How to Make a Bug Hotel (STEP BY STEP)

This blog will show you how to make your own DIY bug hotel using a gabion basket. Just follow the step-by-step instructions below to create a hotel for insects in your backyard.


Table of contents

Step by step instructions


  • Experience Required: Low
  • Tools Required: Protective Gloves
  • Materials Required: Gabion Basket (45cm x 45cm), Helical Corners (Pack of 2) or Cable Ties, Logs, Pinecones, Twigs, Compost, Bamboo, Bark, Dead Woods, Twigs, Plant Pots, Hay, Straw, Dry Leaves, Bricks, Cardboard, Tiles

Step 1) Materials and their purposes

  • bug-hotel-materialsLogs, pinecones and twigs: create a perfect habitat for insects that thrive in dark, woody environments.
  • Compost: serves as a food source for insects like earthworms and mites and should be placed at the base of the bug hotel.
  • Bamboo: its hollows offer solitary bees, bumblebees, and wasps suitable sites for nesting, egg-laying, and hiding.
  • Bark, dead woods and twigs: offer hiding places and food sources for beetles, especially in urban areas.
  • Plant Pots: filled with hay, straw, or leaves make excellent shelters for snails and bugs and keep them dry.
  • Hay, straw, and dry leaves: offer warmth and protection for bugs, such as ladybugs, during colder weather.
  • Bricks: provide additional nesting opportunities for insects like bees.
  • Cardboard: provide insulation, nesting material, protection, moisture retention for a variety of insect species.
  • Tiles: serve as ideal roofing materials, preventing water from entering the bug hotel.

Step 2) Attach the corners


  • Fold the four side panels up from the base.
  • Use tying wire or helicals to attach the corners. If these aren’t available, cable ties or rope can serve the same purpose.
  • Twist the spirals into place, ensuring they secure the corners of both panels.

Step 3) All sides assembled


  • Once you have assembled all sides, leave the top lid hanging open.

Step 4) Fill the gabion basket


  • Start filling the basket with the materials collected for your insect hotel, aiming to construct nooks, crannies, crevices, and tunnels for the bugs.

Step 5) Finish filling in


  • Add all the materials you have gathered.

Step 6) Close the lid


  • Close the lid, ensuring it sits comfortably on the fillings without any gaps.
  • Secure the top around the edges with the helical connectors, using the same technique as before.

Step 7) Add a roof to the bug hotel


  • Make sure to add a roof to your insect hotel to protect it from bad weather.

Step 8) Attract pollinators to your bug hotel


  • Your gabion bug hotel is now ready! Additionally, you can add flowers to the top to attract pollinators.




Tips and tricks

Now you have learned how to make a bug hotel, here are some tips and suggestions to attract even more beneficial insects to your garden!

  • Create a “sky bar” by adding flowers to the top of your bug hotel to create a welcoming environment for pollinators. In this article by The Wildlife Trusts you can learn more about which flowers are the best nectar cafes for them.
  • Place the elements vertically to help bugs move easily between them.
  • Avoid using harmful materials like toxic paints or substances that could harm bugs.
  • If you don’t have helicals, rope or cable ties can be used to attach the gabion corners.
  • Periodically check and clean your bug hotel to remove debris and ensure it remains a safe and comfortable habitat for insects.
  • Provide a nearby water source such as a shallow dish filled with pebbles or rocks to offer drinking spots for insects and other small creatures.


Further reading

Build a minibeast hotel
A well built bug hotel can provide hideaways for various minibeasts while also offering shelter to hedgehogs and toads. You can learn more about this by reading the RSPB‘s in-depth guide.

Simple Bug Hotel for Kids
Sure, you might find fancier bug hotels out there, but sometimes, simple is best—especially if it means creating fun memories with kids. If you’re looking for simple bug hotel ideas, check out Red Ted Art‘s tutorial.

How to make a tin can bug hotel
Our backyards require our care and protection, and it is vital to educate our children about their significance, Backyard Nature offers a simple old tin can bug hotel tutorial, it’s a perfect activity to teach kids about the world around them.

Build A Bug Hotel From Your Recycling
In this article by Lukeosaurus And Me you’ll discover how to use recycled tin cans to recreate a bug’s natural habitat. Building a bug hotel will help increase the number of beneficial insects visiting your garden.

Make a simple bug hotel
You can help insects in their vital work by providing a place to hide and hibernate, even if you don’t have a garden. You can enhance your balcony with a simple bug hotel, created by Thrive.

How to attract insects to your garden
In addition to bug hotels, there are numerous methods available for enticing insects to your garden. This article by Kew Gardens explores other approaches.

Beneficial Insects & How to Attract Them
This article by Gem The Mother Cooker explores the importance of beneficial insects and offers guidance on how to attract them to your garden with practical tips and insights to create a hospitable environment for these helpful creatures.

Beneficial Insects in the Garden
The Almanac’s article not only provides a formal introduction to the diverse array of beneficial insects possibly inhabiting your garden but also offers insights into how you can attract them to your garden space.

Beneficial Insects: Nature’s Pest Control
Garden Design offers valuable insights into identifying and attracting beneficial insects to your garden in this article. It list the importance of pollinating insects, predatory insects, and parasitoid insects, highlighting their diverse roles beyond pest control.

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