Make Your Own Bug Hotel
16 Bug Hotel Ideas For You

In order to have a good variety of wildlife in your garden you need to have a healthy insect population. Insects and creepy crawlies do some very important jobs in the garden and are the food of many creatures. You can help to encourage more insects to live in your garden by knowing how to make a bug hotel / insect hotel / bug house or insect house. You can have one big one, or perhaps a few smaller ones will suit your situation better.

What is a bug hotel?

It is a man-made structure that is made from different materials, natural materials are best, that tries to replicate the natural habitats of insects or bugs. They can be big or small and can be different shapes depending on the purpose for it and the insects that will live there.

A bug hotel is also known as a insect hotel, insect house, wildlife hotel or bug house. No matter what you call these structures they are all the same.

a bug hotel, insect hotel in a garden
an insect hotel standing upright next to a garden wall
a bug hotel attached to a tree

As you can see from all 3 images above, there is no set way to make your own bug hotel / insect hotel they come in all shapes and sizes.

Why are bug hotels beneficial for gardens?

Bug hotels are beneficial for gardens as they attract bugs and insects that support biodiversity. They are essential for the ecological balance of the world. 

Why do we need insects?

There are many reasons why you want to have a healthy insect population including creepy crawlies in your garden and there are a few different ways that you can create areas where insects like to live. One way is through knowing how to attract pollinators, another is knowing how to use logs and stick piles to create homes for beneficial insects. Your plants need insects for pollination so that they can produce fruit and seeds. You need the beneficial insects to keep the bad ones under control, for example ladybirds eat aphids.

Some insects are good for eating rotting plant material and wood, thus adding important nutrients to the soil. They are also food for different creatures including birds, bats, frogs, toads, lizards, fish and even some small mammals like hedgehogs.

How how to build a DIY bug hotel.

An insect hotel is really just a collection of different materials that insects like to live and breed in, all placed close together in a frame. It can be any size that suits your garden. Some people like to have one big hotel, others like a few small specialised houses, first thing to do is plan it out.

When building a bug hotel there are a few things to consider:

  1. Know what insects or bugs that you are you trying to attract to your hotel.
  2. Gather suitable materials for your bugs / insects.
  3. Design your bug hotel / insect hotel correctly, helps to minimise the chances of disease especially amongst bees
  4. If building a bee hotel section remember that different types of bees require different sized holes, from 2mm to 10mm
  5. Select a suitable location for your hotel / house. A bee hotel should be placed in full sun facing south.
  6. Due to the fact that insect hotels / bug hotels are made from natural materials which will degrade over time, how easy will it be to fix or replace that material?

What do you need to make a bug hotel?

There are many materials that you can use in an insect hotel and this is a good chance to do some recycling and re-purposing. Make sure everything that you use is natural and not treated with chemicals or anything that might be harmful to insects.

close up of materials used in a insect hotel, bug hotel

Close up of the parts and marials used when building a bug hotel / insect hotel.

Depending on the type and size of hotel that you want to build you might need something to use as a frame. This could be old wooden pallets, old shelves, even an old cupboard; it could just be a few clay bricks and a couple of planks; or it can be built to the size and shape you want it to be. You will want to put some sort of roof over it to keep it dry in wet weather. Also consider placing your bug hotel in a sheltered spot. This will help the insects to keep dry and safe and will also give them a place to overwinter in the cold areas.

List of some of the materials and items you may need when making a bug house or insect hotel:

  • Sticks
  • Pieces of wood
  • Loose bark
  • Various grasses
  • Leaves
  • Stones
  • Pine Cones
  • Bamboo Canes
  • Hollow Stems
  • Dead Wood
  • Broken clay tiles or pots
  • Paper / cardboard / egg boxes
  • Wooden logs
  • Whole clay plant pots
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Tins
  • Moss and other plant material
  • Chicken wire or wire mesh
  • Roof Tiles

These are just some ideas and once you get going you are sure to find many items that you can use for your insect habitat, using recycled materials is the best way to go.

An insect hotel has many rooms

Create sections with the different materials to cater for the different insects. Solitary bees like to nest in holes in wood or logs. For this you will need to drill holes in a log or in piece of wood. Fill a section with a bunch of stick and another with grasses or reeds, or you can mix them up in one section. Stones can have their section, broken clay pieces in theirs. Use some overturned clay pots that insects and other creatures can crawl under.

To put leaves or moss and other softer materials in a section you can make a cage for these using some chicken wire and then push this into place. The chicken wire will prevent the material from falling out or being blown away by the wind.

a painted bug hotel with multiple sections
An insect hotel with many rooms for its different visitors

You Insect hotel doesn’t have to be elaborate here’s a simple bug hotel that’s not to complicated that kids can make on there own

Where is the best location for a wildlife bug box?

In order to safeguard your bug hotel from strong winds, place it against a flat surface. Ideally, you should place it in a warm, dry environment. Moist, decayed plant materials are also attractive to bugs. At the base of the hotel, put dead plant matter and damp logs. There’s a high probability that centipedes, millipedes and woodlice will be attracted to this. Centipedes and millipedes are good sources of food for birds. These spots are also very good hiding spots for spiders.

A fun project with the family

There are many ways to do this and there are really no rules. This can be a really fun family project for a weekend at home. Once you have your insect hotel built you have a place where you can discover what insects you have in your garden. Not all the insects will use it, but if you have created a variety of habitats in it then it will be used by a good variety of them. Don’t be surprised if you also find some other creatures like beetles or lizards (depending on where you live) making use of your new habitat.

Here are some helpful video guides showing you how to build and make a DIY bug hotel

Buy An Insect Hotel If You Don’t Want To Make One

1 – Fallen Fruits DIY Insect Hotel

This is a kit that has everything you need to make a DIY bug house.

2 – Buddy Wild Insect Hotel

Buddy Wild Insect Hotel

A 40cm high bug hotel with a variety of section for attracting different insects to your garden, 28cm wide and has a waterproof roof.

3 – Pet Ting Wooden Insect Bee House Natural Wood Bug Hotel

Natural Wood Bug Hotel

Make your garden a haven for bees, butterflies, ladybirds and a whole host of other insects and provide a place where they can stay because it’s made of eco-friendly components and made to help wildlife. Give useful insects a special habitat so they can create a home for themselves where they can thrive.

Some Bug Hotel Ideas To Give You Inspiration

You might think that all insect hotels look the same. Built as part of an eco-friendly art installation, this bug house is impressive.

My favourite thing about this is the aesthetics, and the variety of insect “rooms” will attract a wide range of critters over the seasons. Adding cute details to the box – like a “hotel” sign – won’t bother the insects!

The attention to detail on these 3 bug house’s is incredible and so cute, they almost make me want to live in one of them.


If you have the space then you can try and build a similar epic size insect hotel, how many insect live here you reckon?

epic size insect hotel

Here’s a new way to upcycle your old pieces of furniture that you think you have no use for. I have to say that I’m loving it.

An insect house create to attract a diverse number of insects, plenty of different rooms and sections, which room would you stay in.

An alpine style bug house here, anyone fancy doing a bit of yodelling? I would love this in my garden. The plants and the planted roof are a lovely touch.

Reusing and recycling wooden pallets into a gorgeous DIY bug hotel that kids will love. With plenty of levels and rooms, finished off with a living roof.

There is no doubt in my mind that it is the most extravagant design I have ever seen! A sculpture that is less of an insect hotel and more of an insect universe, this eco-sculpture is a great example of how sustainability and art can be blended together. You can get inspired by looking at the sheer variety of materials that went into creating this masterpiece, however it may seem like a bit of a challenge to construct one yourself.

Even if you have a small garden you can create a wall mountable insect house, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits that they bring to your garden.