Build a Bug Hotel in your Garden

Another Cleeve Nursery blog by garden guru Alan Down but this one is all about homes for wildlife. He is encouraging you to Build a Bug Hotel in your Garden

Bug hotels are places for those all-important creepy crawlies to survive whatever our winter throws at them and come spring, they’ll be back out in your garden pollinating, eating pests and getting eaten themselves!

A good starting point is to find a few old wooden pallets. Often the owners of these are only too pleased to see them taken away! These can form the main structure and framework of your hotel. If you can’t find any pallets then scrap wood or bricks and concrete blocks will do just as well.

Before you start constructing, look for a quiet out-of-the-way place in your garden to site the hotel.  It’s not so much that your construction will be unsightly; it’s more that it will have higher occupancy in a shaded and sheltered location. Behind the garage, behind the shed, under a tree or in an alleyway are all worth investigating.

Using the pallets or bricks start to build the hotel in layers leaving plenty of gaps. Into those gaps, stuff rolled up cardboard, old bamboo canes, bunches of dried grass and straw. Add a few old pots, broken tiles and perhaps some cut pieces of pipe. All this infill will create top places for bugs to hibernate in your hotel! Keep on piling it up and make it as varied as you can because that way you will attract the widest range of insects.

You may be restricted by available materials, but a hotel of about 75-100 cms high is perfect. Don’t worry if yours is shorter; just think of it more as a bug bungalow!

Bug-Hotel-IMG_4655.jpg-rdcd-225x300 Build a Bug Hotel in your GardenWe find that topping the whole thing off with some old grass turf works well. It keeps some of the winter rain out and looks very natural too!

After a year or two you will find that it needs a bit of renovation and some of the materials will have either rotted or have been taken for nest building. These can soon be replaced by stuffing more cardboard, straw, sticks or whatever you can lay your hands on. And as the wood breaks down it will be attacked by hordes of insects and their larvae providing even more food for wildlife.

Wildlife-home-of-bricks-and-tiles-.jpg-rdcd-300x213 Build a Bug Hotel in your Garden

Another Cleeve Nursery blog by garden guru Alan Down but this one is all about homes for wildlife. He is encouraging you to Build a Bug Hotel in your Garden

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