A hanging insect hotel for your garden

A hanging insect hotel for your garden

Yvonne Moser
Zürich, on 28.05.2019
Post-editing: Eva Francis
When there are creepy crawlies everywhere, your children will be on the lookout for bugs, beetles, worms and ladybirds. An insect hotel offers species shelter and awakens your children's spirit of curiosity and discovery.

As most insects are content with some wood shavings and a rainproof dwelling, a hanging insect hotel takes no time to build. You'll need a clay pot, coir rope, wood shavings or straw and a piece of chicken wire. You can also use acrylic paint and a brush to give your hotel a personal touch.

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How it’s made

First up is decorating the clay pot. It's up to you and your child(ren) how you do it: there are no rules when it comes to colours or shapes. I went for white and red, creating opposite patterns on a pair of pots.

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To be able to hang the insect hotel from a tree, you'll need a piece of rope the right length. Feed the rope into the hole in the pot from the outside and tie a thick, tight knot. The knot should be big enough to take the weight of the pot.

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Now fill the clay pot with plenty of wood shavings or straw. You can press the contents down a bit, but make sure there's still enough room for oxygen.

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To keep the filling in the suspended pot, you need a piece of chicken wire a little bigger than the pot itself. Fold over any part of the wire that's hanging over the edge and place it inside the pot.

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Your insect hotel is complete! Now you can hang it from a tree in your garden with the children. The insect hotel is most popular with its guests if it touches the trunk a bit. That way they can reach their food more easily.

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From now on, you can make it a habit to check on the insect hotel once a day. Has there been any progress? Have any guests checked into your homemade hotel?

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If so, you could get a cup magnifier to help your little explorers study the creatures. If you've come across anything exciting, let me know in the comments.

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Yvonne Moser
I'm more of a thinker than a doer. Yet I'm still always active: crafting, sewing, writing to-do lists, daydreaming, counting clouds, digging into soil, comforting my two little ones and collapsing into bed after a long day. If it were up to me, each day would have a few extra hours... I wonder if that would be enough.

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