This week Serco, Woking Borough Council’s environmental maintenance contractors, will be unveiling a bug hotel in Woking Park with the help of Woking District Cub Scouts.
Bug hotels help boost biodiversity by encouraging insects such as ladybirds, woodlice and beetles to take shelter, lay their eggs and seek refuge from predators. By enhancing insect diversity, bug hotels also give a helping hand to important ecosystem services like soil formation, pollination and nutrient recycling.
Why not try building your own bug hotel? There are loads of online resources available (check out the list below) but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Different materials help out different creatures. Bamboo is perfect for solitary bees – the hollow tubes are great for nesting. The crevices in pinecones provide perfect shelter for ladybirds and earwigs. Bits of deadwood are a haven for woodlice and beetles. Lacewings love twigs and dry leaves.
- Different conditions attract different creatures. Some insects like cool damp conditions, some prefer sunnier climes. Choose a spot where your bug hotel can remain for at least one winter. A sheltered spot under a tree or by a hedge might work well.
- Bug hotels can be big or small. Your bug hotel could be as simple as a collection of twigs or pine cones. Or it could be a grand multistorey residence housed within a wooden pallet.
- The ideal time to build your bug hotel is in autumn ready to welcome guests ahead of their winter hibernation.