Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Real Men Sow
All gardens have a vital role for useful insects. These insects are essential to gardeners’ jobs, as they help us avoid pests and pollinate our crops. You can make it easier for beneficial insects to visit your bug hotel and decide to take up residence. To host these beneficial tiny workers, you can consider building a tin can bug hotel.
Tin Can Bug Hotel Designs
You can make bug hotels from natural and salvaged materials like straw, old wood pieces, bricks, tiles, straw, and broken tiles. It is important to provide a variety of habitats for different insects.
Size of the ‘hotel’
Depending on the amount of space and time available, bug hotels can be varied in size and complexity. Simple hotels are made up of a space that is dry and protected, in which bedding materials can be stuffed. More complex hotels might be constructed from a variety of materials that are stacked together to attract the most insect guests. This is where old pallets can prove very helpful.
Bugs You Will Attract In Tin Can Bug Hotel
Wood-boring beetles, centipedes, and wood-boring insects will love to eat decaying logs. The bark is essential for woodlice or millipedes. Pack plenty of branches and twigs to tempt ground and rove beetles because they eat slug eggs. Hoverflies, wasps, and native bees love hollow stems. Spiders can make their homes in any dry corner or crevice. Ladybirds eat aphids, and hibernate in hollow stems.
Making the Tin Can Bug Hotel
- Plank (120 cm long or 4 feet), Make sure it’s an untreated wood to avoid any harm to the insects
- Thin shingles for roof tiles and string.
- Hollow stems to fill your hotel. (e.g. Bamboo canes)
- Screwdriver and screws
Building Bug Hotel
Start by building the walls of your hotel. The long plank should be cut into four equal lengths, each measuring 30 cm or one foot. Use the screws to attach them together. Before you secure each screw into place, you may need to drill a pilot hole for the final structure.
Attach the backplate once the walls are complete. This will seal the area. As a guide, mark the footprints of the walls on the plate before you attach them to the wall.
You’ll then proceed to install the roof shingles. These can be hammered in place using the tacks. To give the hotel a vibrant finish, you can paint it with a non-toxic, natural paint or a wood stain. Let the paint dry before you continue.
Add the bedding
Now it’s time to prepare the bedding materials. The bamboo stems should be cut to the desired length. As shown, the bamboo should be flush with the hotel walls. To give the bamboo a solid finish, pack them together. Thread some string through the holes in the top of your backplate. Then tie the ends together and hang the hotel in a dry place.
Easy Alternative To Tin Can Bug Hotels
You can also drill many holes in a block of solid wood instead of a bamboo hotel but do not drill through the block. You can add a shingle roof to give it a decorative look. Simply attach a vine eye to your string and hang it up.