Do You Do Room Service?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Everyone likes a nice, comfy home and bugs are no different from the rest of us. Many are happy to set up home under a pile of leaves or logs. But why not go a step further and create your own bug version of Gleneagles in your very own back garden with a 5 Star Bug Hotel?

A stunning bug hotel from the Chelsea Flower Show

A stunning bug hotel from the Chelsea Flower Show

Many of us like to have a neat and tidy garden and by doing so we often eradicate the natural habitats bugs can call home. Or in a new garden with lots of hard landscaping and container planting there may be limited places for invertebrates to set up home. Bug hotels are purpose built structures which can be as simple or grand as you like.

A bug hotel on Seil Island with a green roof

A bug hotel on Seil Island with a green roof

Designing A Bug Hotel

The first rule of creating a bug hotel is to incorporate a variety of materials and different shapes and sizes of nooks and crannies. Different bugs have different requirements so in order to be diverse and encourage as much wildlife as possible into your garden make sure you use a wide array of materials.  Offer everything from single rooms up to penthouse suites with a spa thrown in for good measure!

[[image:blog/blog-roomservice-3.jpg=A stunning bug hotel from the Chelsea Flower Show using lots of different materials]]

If you can, do a rough design of what you want your bug hotel to look like. Most bug hotels are made from reclaimed material thus making them cheap and easy to build as well as good for the environment. You could use some old pallets which are easy to get hold of to create the different layers of your bug hotel. Or if you are feeling adventurous you could create a real focal point in your garden by building a tower similar to the fantastic work of art at the Chelsea Flower Show a few years ago.

Building A Bug Hotel

Building a bug hotel is a wonderful project to build with children and you can encourage them to collect the materials you are going to use. Many of these you will have lying around the house and you can ask friends and family to donate to your hotel. Ideal materials include:

  •          Bamboo canes
  •          Egg cartons
  •          Pieces of slate
  •          Straw
  •          Logs (drill the ends for even more places for bugs to set up home)
  •          Broken terracotta pots
  •          Old bricks
  •          Old roof tiles

Pack the various materials into different sections of your “hotel” and soon you will have created a home which looks interesting and will have wide appeal.

A pallet incorporating a bug hotel at RHS Cardiff Show

A pallet incorporating a bug hotel at RHS Cardiff Show

Bug Central

So what sort of bugs might pack their bags and move into their new home? Well , common sights include mason bees, woodlice, ladybirds, spiders, beetles and centipedes. By encouraging these bugs into your garden they will help you combat the pests which eat your plants and ruin your grass. Great guests to have and ones which always be welcome back! Wonder if you get Trip Advisor for beetles…

Lots of bamboo canes make an ideal home

Lots of bamboo canes make an ideal home

If you want advice on building a bug hotel or other ways of turning your garden into a haven for wildlife please get in touch.

All at Vialii


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