How To Make A Bug Hotel From a plastic bottle/cardboard

  • By: TheWalledNursery
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Making a Bug Hotel is a great and simple activity you can do with the family whilst helping the environment. Using recyclable rubbish from around the home helps the environment and stops pollution allowing your garden to blossom. Follow our easy step by step guide to make your Bug Hotel. 

How To Make A Bug Hotel (Step by Step Guide)

Making a bug hotel with just a plastic bottle and some cardboard is super easy, and you can then hang it up in your garden for all the little insects to enjoy! 

Step One) Get a two-liter drinks bottle and give it a thorough wash, especially if it has contained something other than water. Allow it to dry. 

Step Two) Take some sharp scissors and cut the top of the bottle off (the end that you would pour the liquid out of). Be careful that you don’t cut yourself as you first pierce the bottle, as this can be a tricky procedure. Try to make the cut reasonably level, but it does not need to be perfect. 

Step Three) Get a sheet of corrugated cardboard, and cut it so that it is a little shorter than the length of your bottle. You want a nice, long strip of card, so make sure the original is a reasonable size – a cardboard box is usually ideal. 

Step Four) Roll the cardboard up along its length so that you can stuff it into the plastic bottle, and then trim the end if necessary. It should fit into the plastic bottle pretty well, and ideally, you want it to fill most of the bottle. You may find you need to do this a couple of times to get it right, but it can be done! 

Step Five) Adjust the card to make sure there are plenty of gaps for insects to crawl into. Push the ends of the card firmly into the bottom, so that none sticks out or even comes close to sticking out. 

 If any card sticks beyond the edge of the bottle, it will get wet, absorb the water inward, and soak the inside of the bottle. This will ruin it and stop any insects from using it. 

Step Six) You can either find a snug place to situate the bottle in the bough of a tree or bush, or hang it up. To hang it up, you should get a hot glue gun and some string, and glue the string to the bottle.  

You can then suspend the bottle from a branch or a hook. Make sure that it is not tilted upward at the open end, or water will run inside and spoil the cardboard. 

Your bug hotel is now complete! 

Why Is This A Great Way To Make A Bug Hotel?

You might be wondering why you would make one like this instead of buying a cute bug hotel from somewhere. There are a few reasons, but one of the most important is that it’s good to recycle items you might already have, and put them to use instead. 

This is also a fun project for kids to try, and they will then be more engaged with any insects that move into the bug hotel. You can talk to them about the importance of insects, and what sorts of things they expect to see living in the hotel they have built. They may also enjoy studying the life cycles of some common insects, or learning about their larvae. 

How Long Will The Bug Hotel Last?

This depends a bit on where you put it, but most bug hotels made of cardboard and plastic will probably only last for around a season. The cardboard will usually get damp and mushy after a while. 

If you bring the bug house indoors during the winter, it may last for a little longer. Try to keep it in a warm, dry place while it’s outside, preferably under a sheltered overhang so that it does not get wet inside. 

Once the bug house has been finished with, you can simply recycle the components. If you have added any glue, make sure you remove this first, but otherwise, you can just put the cardboard and the plastic bottle into your recycling bin! 

It will have served a good purpose, sheltered insects, and done its bit for the planet before being turned back into materials to be used in other ways, so this is a nice, eco-friendly way to end the cycle and ensure your bug house is reused even after it has ceased to work outdoors. 

If your child is very interested, you might then want to buy them a bug house that will last longer, made from bamboo canes and wood – or try your hand at making your own!