Bug Hotels

Help insects have a home

Building a bug hotel can help house lots of insects all year round. Using items you can find around the home and outside you can easily build something in your garden.

Young children will enjoy watching the different insects using the hotel which could include ladybirds, slugs, spiders and woodlice.

If you leave bigger spaces within your hotel you may also attract hedgehogs or toads.

bug hotel

You can use any of the following items:

  • Old wooden pallets
  • Strips of wood
  • Straw
  • Moss
  • Dry leaves
  • Woodchips
  • Old terracotta pots
  • Old roofing tiles
  • Bricks, preferably those with holes through them
  • Old logs
  • Bark
  • Pine cones 
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Hollow bamboo canes
  • Dead hollow stems cut from shrubs and herbaceous plants
  • A sheet of roofing felt
  • Planks of wood

How to make your bug hotel

The best bug hotels have lots of small spaces in different shapes and sizes and made from different materials. Ideally some should be nice and dry inside, and others a bit dampish. Bug hotels are generally made from reclaimed materials, or natural objects, which reduces cost, helps them blend in with their surroundings and is probably more attractive to the mini-beast guests.

Start with filling the lower part of the bug hotel with the larger objects like pipes, pot and roofing tiles.

As you continue to fill up the layers of the bug hotel add pinecones, bamboo canes, straw, bark and logs or wood with drilled holes.

Keep going until you are happy that the bug hotel is full and that insects will want to stay there.

Ask an adult to help you with the highest parts and don’t forget to put a roof on top keep the hotel dry and waterproof.

Bug hotel gallery

We would love to feature your bug hotel in our gallery. Please send a photo to [email protected]

Harry and the Bug Hotel Digital Book

Please click on the book image to open a digital version.


This book was given out to all Childbase children as a gift in Spring 2019.

In this story, Harry helps his insect friends at the Bug Hotel prepare for an inspection by the toughest snail in town.

Harry’s friends help to collect the items required to update the Bug Hotel and ensure that they receive a 5 star rating when Sally the snail arrives.

We recommend viewing in landscape mode on your phone.

Minibeast hunt

Why not try and find the bugs living in your garden?

Click on the activity sheet image above to have a go.

Bug fossils

Make your own bug fossils with some plastic bugs and playdough. Click on the activity sheet image to find out more.

Bug pairs game

Test your memory with our fun ‘bug pairs’ game. Click on the activity sheet image for full instructions.

Make a wormery

A wormery will recycle your waste food to make nutrient-rich compost for your plants. Click on the activity sheet image for full instructions.

Bug books

Below are some of our favourite ‘bug based’ books and stories:

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk
  • Bugs Galore by Peter Stein
  • Little Yellow Bee by Ginger Swift
  • Caterpillar Dreams by Clive McFarland
  • Never Touch a Spider by Rosie Greening and Stuart Lynch