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 A close up of a bug hotel

How to build an insect home

Why not try making your own insect home – or ‘hotel’ – out of junk, to give bugs somewhere to live?

They’ll repay you when they help control pests and even pollinate your plants.


When to do it

The best time to make an insect home is early autumn, so that the bugs have somewhere to hibernate for the winter.


What you need

You can get creative with these insect homes, as there are no rules. We’ve even got a hot water bottle, an old jumper and a pair of shoes in ours! Here are a few things you might like to use:

Recycled stuff

  • Wooden pallets (These are essential – try asking at industrial sites and builders’ yards for free pallets.)
  • Plastic bottles
  • Broken bricks and tiles
  • Stone chippings
  • Broken plant pots
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Drainpipes

Natural materials

  • Logs and twigs
  • Rotting wood
  • Spare rolls of turf
  • Dry leaves
  • Bark
  • Hollow plant stems
  • Straw and hay
  • Bamboo canes

How to build your insect home

Tips on how to make an insect home with a group

  1. Discuss the best place for the insect home, taking into consideration forthcoming plans for the shared space.
  2. Source pallets before you start, but then suggest that everyone brings their own junk and recycled materials to the session; give them guidelines on what sort of thing works.
  3. Arrange a tidy up of your plot, so that you can use natural materials like stems and leaves.
  4. Get a few stronger members of the team to put the pallets and heavy items in place, then invite everyone else, including kids, to stuff the other materials into the holes.

Visit the Eden Project for inspiration