How to build a bug house

Insects pollinate plants, break down compost, add nutrients to the soil, and eat pests that damage our crops. Making a bug house is a fun, easy way of recycling unwanted materials, while inviting these helpful creatures to stay.

Before you get started

What you will need

  • An old mug, flower pot, the end of a clean plastic bottle, or any snug container
  • Bamboo garden cane (cut into short and medium length pieces by a grownup), hollow woody stems, cardboard tubes, corrugated cardboard, paper, bark, or any other tubes
  • A hacksaw and scissors
  • String, if you plan on hanging your bug hotel



Roll paper into tubes

Roll paper, cardboard and bark into tight tubes and cut to fit the length of your container. Lacewings eat pests like aphids, and love to nestle in corrugated cardboard spirals.

Pack your tubes tightly

Pack your tubes tightly into your chosen container, until the whole space is filled. Pack any empty spaces with twigs, dry grass or straw.

Hang your container

Choose a place to hang or place your container. Entice bees and lacewings by hanging your house up high, or on a windowsill. Or place your hotel at ground level so centipedes and beetles can crawl inside.

If you have more space…

Pack more bug hotels between wooden pallets or bricks. Surround with logs, bricks, bundles of sticks and dry grass to make a minibeast mansion!