How to make bug shelters

Well, it’s not as luxury as a bug hotel but let’s call it a cute little cottage! Located somewhere in the countryside, modest and comfortable grandma’s house. Such a place is always cozy and welcoming! Everyone loves to go there and will forever come back.

Here is an idea how to make a bug shelter to attract the beneficial insects to your garden. Not everyone can build a whole bug mansion or hotel, but even kids can create these shelter pots. Actually, the original idea comes from a kid’s garden book!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • A few terracotta pots
  • Hollow dried plant stems (I’ve used stems from Dahlia, Gladiolus, and Nerone)
  • Dry plant leaves (I’ve used fern)
  • Moss
  • String

  1. Cut the plant stems into lengths of roughly the same height as the pots and put a handful from the dry fern.
  2. Arrange the stems one next to another and tuck in and around the moss so they are held in position.
  3. Tie a piece of string around the neck of each pot, leaving the ends long so they can be used to suspend them from a tree or bush.

That’s it! Now you’ve got your bug shelter and you successfully helped the beneficial bugs! Hung them in a sheltered position so they can provide refuge for insects, such as hibernating ladybirds and lacewings, and solitary bees, which may lay their eggs in the tubers, sealing them with a mud bung. Each egg hatches into a grub that passes the winter as a cocoon and emerges as a bee in spring.

It is a really good thing that by using different materials for creating a bug hotel or a shelter you are actually recycling some of the garbage you would otherwise throw away. Limited only by your imagination, you can create your own design, which can be as big or small as you want, by searching your shed or garage for unused items like broken bricks and old flowerpots. Your effort will hopefully encourage beneficial insects to live in your garden and in the end, both sides will benefit from it. Here are some ideas for what you can use to build a structure:

  • Dead wood and loose bark are perfect for both larvae and adult beetles, centipedes and spiders.
  • Tunnels, such as bamboo canes, hollowed-out cornstalks, bricks or holes drilled into wood are welcoming nesting sites for solitary bees.
  • Hay and straw create the perfect hibernation site for many beneficial garden insects.
  • Dry sticks and leaves create an area similar to the forest floor, providing areas to hide.
  • A stone on the bottom provides a cool, damp area that frogs and toads will find comfortable.
  • Corrugated cardboard rolled up like a tube can be a home for many bugs.