Bug hotels at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

A finished bug hotel standing in our veg garden

The ranger team have been working hard this summer, building and installing bug hotels in our veg garden. Bug hotels are a great home for a many number of insects and help to grow biodiversity in any garden, they're also fairly easy to build.

How to make a bug hotel

The Ranger team has just constructed and installed two new Bug Hotels in the Vegetable Garden. These attractive and clever boxes will attract a variety of insects including bumblebees, lacewings and ladybirds which will help control aphids in the veggie garden here at Sissinghurst and preserve a healthy ecological balance in your own garden.

 

Here's a step by step guide to help you create your own bug abode

1. Collect sheep's wool from field boundaries and thistles, or animal hair of any kind will do, as will natural products such as bark, dead wood and dry leaves.

2. Cut dried cow parsley stalks and bamboo garden canes into hollow tubes. If necessary, drill down through the centre of the canes to create little tunnels to attract solitary bees, or drill holes into a simple piece of wood to serve the same purpose.

3. Twist small handfuls of hay into balls.

4. Construct a simple wooden box with one side exposed, a central dividing panel and a sloping roof to protect your hotel from the rain. Build compartments within each half by wedging in a pliable piece of wood in a curve.

5. Fill each compartment with your selection of different natural habitats.

The rangers putting together one of the bug hotels
The rangers putting together one of the bug hotels



6. Tack on some chicken wire to contain the habitat materials and prevent predators from eating the bugs.

7. Attach your lovely Bug Hotel above ground to a post, fence or tree branch and wait for it to fill up with friendly guests.