Bug hotels are starting to pop up area and they work by providing a home for passing insects. Bug hotels can help to provide a home for solitary bees, wasps, caterpillars and spiders. The benefit of bug hotels for your garden is to increase pollination to grow more fruit and increase biodiversity to create a natural balance to control pests.
Bug hotels and kids
Bug hotels are a great addition to your yard if you have kids. Bug hotels give kids the opportunity to have a close up look at insects in a safe way.
Teach kids not to touch insects but look at the way that spiders make webs and can live together with other insects happily.
My bug hotel brought guests like a range of spider of different sizes living on the outside and inside of the hotel.
Caterpillar have found a home in one of the bamboo holes and they all lived together.
Insects will move in and out of the bug hotel over time and you will see new insects as the season changes.
What can stop your bugs moving into a hotel
Too much rain
Very heavy rain can wet the bug hotel and stop insects from moving in. Bug hotels should be placed in a dry area and kept protected to avoid mold. If you live in a very rainy area, you will need to keep your bug hotel protected from the rain.
Too much wind
Windy conditions can stop bugs from living in your hotel. Bugs like a protected area and will look for a space that is out of the wind. If your bug hotel is in an exposed area then bugs will move out and find somewhere else to avoid the wind and weather.
Put your bug hotel in a protected space under a shelter or under a large tree. Hang your bug hotel 4-5 feet high so that dogs and cats can’t knock it over.
Holes are the wrong size
To encourage bugs into your hotel make sure there is a range of hole sizes for the insects to move into. Holes that are too large or too small will mean that bugs will pass your hotel by instead of moving in. If you are making a bug hotel yourself, choose small sticks, bark, twigs and bamboo pieces to give bugs a range of holes to hide in.
How long it takes before bugs move into a bug hotel
Bugs will move into a bug hotel as quickly as 2 weeks from when you place it in your yard. When I put my bug hotel near my vegetable garden, it took 4 weeks before I saw spiders and caterpillars move into the holes.
The time it takes for bugs to move into the bug hotel will depend on the weather, how many insects are in your area, where you have placed your hotel and the size of the holes. Spring and Fall are the best times to install an insect hotel as bugs will be on the move and looking for a place to rest.
Where to buy a bug hotel
Bug hotels can be bought from Amazon, garden centers, hardware stores or you can repurpose another product to make one yourself. Ikea have a large doll house which is the perfect place to fill with natural materials for a range of insects to move in.
Check out this bug hotel from Amazon that looks great in your garden.
To find out more about the best place to put an insect hotel, check out my previous article here.
I have found that my bug hotel has really worked to make a new home for insects in my yard. I have seen spiders and caterpillars move in and out of my bug hotel over winter. As the weather warms up in spring, I hope to see new bugs make a home in my tiny bug hotel.
Making a bug hotel yourself can be a great project so check out this video for a fun way to make a bug hotel yourself.
But hotels – FAQ
Insect hotels are a good idea to give a home to insects in your yard. They make it easy to see what insects are living in your yard, they give kids the opportunity to observe them in an easy way and they are a fun project to make together.
Insects are losing their habitat so any additional space we can create for them to live will increase the range of insects in your yard which can pollinate flowering trees and shrubs and help you to grow more fruit like strawberries, apples, citrus and blueberries.
Bugs will use bug hotels after 2-4 weeks if you place it in a sunny, protected position in your yard. Bug hotels provide a great space for insects to live in your garden and can be a great addition if you are growing a food garden. Pollinating insects living in bug hotels can help you to grow more strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, citrus and apples as they pollinate the flowers.
The point of a bug hotel is to give insects extra space to live in your backyard. They can help to increase insect biodiversity, give a home to solitary bees and support struggling native insect populations that are losing their homes. Bug hotels are very interesting to watch and can be an easy way to learn what insects are living in your yard.
Naturally attract bugs to your bug hotel by placing it in a sheltered position near plants or your vegetable garden. Bugs will move from plants to your bug hotel if they are placed close together. Bug hotels with lots of natural materials and different sized holes will attract a range of bugs to your hotel.
Put natural materials like bark, leaves, twigs and branches in your bug hotel. You do not need to add any additional food to your bug hotel to attract insects but instead use natural materials for them to make a home in.
Do bug hotels really work? – Summary
Bug hotels really work if you place them in a protected space, if they are filled with natural materials and have a range of hole sizes. Bug hotels are a fun way to decorate your garden, create something fun for the kids to watch and to see what insects are living in your local area.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.