How To Make A Mini Bug Hotel

Watch the video above to find out how to create your own mini bug hotel with Amanda from our Outdoor Learning team from natural items you've gathered from the parks.

What you will need:

  • Plant pot – with holes at base. If you don't have a pot, you can use another plastic container (e.g. large yoghurt pot or small ice cream tub) but you will need to put holes in the base. You will need to get an adult to create these for you.
  • Gardening gloves
  • Secateurs
  • Selection of natural materials collected off the ground. Suggestions include:
    Pine cones and teasels
    Hollow bamboo canes and hogweed stems
    Small sticks – can have leaves attached
    Pieces of tree bark
    Dry leaves (leaf litter/ forest floor)
    Seed heads e.g. sunflower
    Small stones

How to make your mini bug hotel:

  1. Start by placing your sticks around the edge of your pot. You may need to cut/break your sticks to fit your pot. Its ok to have sticks either poking out the base or longer than your pot.
  2. Continue to add your natural materials as you like until there is no more space – turn your pot upside down to check if anything will fall out!
  3. Fill any remaining small holes with your dry leaves (leaf litter).
  4. To finish turn your pot on its side and place in your garden. To encourage a variety of insects to visit their new habitat choose a dry, semi shaded and quiet/undisturbed location.

What insects will visit my Bug Hotel?

Insects are important to our ecosystem and essential to animal food chains. Your bug hotel will provide much needed shelter during the colder winter months and insects will have a dry place to lay their eggs and create new nests sites for spring.

  • Solitary bees (pollinators)
    Hollow bamboo canes and hogweed stems

  • Ladybirds
    Dry leaves / sticks /straw and pinecones / teasel seed heads

  • Centipedes, millipedes, woodlice and wood boring beetles (Stag beetle)
    Decaying deadwood – sticks
    Loose bark

  • Ants, slugs, worms and snails
    Leaf litter and decaying dead wood


  1. Find out three amazing facts about four of the minibeasts above.
  2. Which of these minibeasts do you think is the most impressive and why?
  3. Not all minibeasts are insects. Can you find out what an insect is and give two examples?
  4. Why are many insects under threat?

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