Build a Bug Hotel

March 22, 2019

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Not all insects should be considered pests. Some insects are crucial to the success of fruits and vegetables. Consider building a bug hotel to house these helpful critters—it’s a fun project for the whole family!

Beneficial insects are an essential part of any successful vegetable or fruit garden. They help us by eating pests and by pollinating crops but to to make sure there are lots of them in the garden in time for spring, they need some protection during the colder months.

Bug hotels are easy to make and are great projects for children to get involved in. They give beneficial insects a safe, cosy home to shelter in over winter, so they’ll be right on hand to help fight pests and pollinate crops when the weather warms up next year.

In this short video we demonstrate how to build a bug hotel that will make beneficial insects want to check in and stay in your garden forever!

If you love growing your own food, why not take a look at our online Almanac Garden Planner here: ​


Reader Comments

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Cleaning required?

Do these bug hotels need to be cleaned seasonally?

Cleaning Insect Hotels

The Editors's picture

It’s not necessary to clean out a bug hotel each season, since insects will use it to overwinter in and you may inadvertently remove hibernating residents by cleaning it out. However, after a few years, the nesting materials may get used up; at this point, you can replace used nesting material with new ones. 

Distance of Hotel From Garden

Thank you for your video! Do you recommend that the Bug Hotel be rather close to the garden or far away? What would be an ideal distance, in other words?

Have the bug hotel as close

Have the bug hotel as close to your garden as you can. It will be full of beneficial insects, and the closer they are to the plants you are growing, the more of a beneficial effect they will have - whether that's pollinating plants or predating on pests.

bug hotel

The Editors's picture

Somewhere relatively close to the garden is good since you want beneficial insects to control the bugs in your garden but to be honest they’ll probably find the garden anyway so it’s not too critical. A sheltered position is best. 

Bug Hotel

Thank you for making your video on how to build a bug hotel for beneficial insects. As a plant scientist, I can't believe I have never even heard of the idea! I am always trying to give bugs a good name, so I am excited to share this project with my 4th grade students. This is a great project to physically show them how plants and bugs work together in the ecosystem. Plus, every child will enjoy putting together a creative, attractive garden piece!
Thanks again, and I look forward to watching more of your videos. I am an avid gardener and I love plants!


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