Frequently Asked Questions about Bug Hotels

What purpose does a bug hotel serve?

Insect hotels can do many things for the environment, as insects play a vital role for the habitat. For example, bees pollinate flowers so we can eat, and many insects are food for animals that wouldn't be able to work without them. Insect hotels provide safe shelter for bugs. And when insects and other animals thrive, the environment thrives.

What benefits do insect hotels provide?

By introducing bug hotels into your yard and/or garden, you are providing valuable housing for beneficial insects. This housing provides a safe and natural place for insects to hibernate and nest, thus increasing the overall diversity of insects in the immediate vicinity. This, in turn, can result in a much healthier overall ecosystem, as positive changes can be seen in soil quality and increased pollination, among other benefits. All told, impacts can be seen in the form of better soil quality, increased pollination, elevated ecosystem diversity, and even reductions in the populations of detrimental insects.

What types of bugs are attracted to insect hotels?

Bug hotels are great for many types of insects and bugs. Bug hotels attract a variety of visitors such as bees, ladybugs, spiders, woodlice, lacewings, beetles, wasps, harvestmen, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, and many other arthropods.

What are good materials to put in an insect hotel?

Each insect species may have different nesting requirements, so it is important to use varied materials in a good insect hotel. Common materials used in bug hotels are bamboo, dead wood or wood chips, dry leaves and dry sticks, hollow plant stems, bark, pinecones, hay, straw, and twigs. Using all natural materials works very well to attract bugs.

Where should I place my insect hotel?

To attracy as many bugs as possible to your hotel, you need to put it in a location that the insects will love. Set your hotel up in a sheltered area of the location away from the wind, because having a ton of wind come in is not very nice to rest on as a bug. Your hotel will become occupied quicker if it is located close to where insects in your location go the most -- a hedge, a bank by a stream, etc. Try to put the hotel above the ground, preferably on a tree or on a post.

How can I attract bugs to use my insect hotel?

You can plant more native species of plants (for example in Maryland, a native plant is milkweed.), build ponds, etc. Having more native species of plants attract the native bugs to your bug hotels. The more native bugs in your garden can lead to healthier and more happy plants and animals.

Why should I put a bug hotel in my yard?

Insects are an important part of any healthy habitat. While bugs will find homes anywhere they can, it has become more difficult for insects to find proper homes. Providing a safe space for insects to thrive can be an easy way to positively affect your local environment. By strategically placing insect hotels in your yard, you significantly increase the chances of beneficial insects moving in and helping your garden thrive.