“Helping You Find Plants That Work”

by Ana Morlier

Come One, Come All, to L’Hôtel Des Insectes!

Bonjour, and welcome to L’Hôtel Des Insectes! At this hotel, we have first-class service for some of the least valued workers in the world: bugs! Find solace in its many rooms. You can try the temperate brick room, the rustic twig room, the soft hay room, or the shielding bark room. Dine on the finest dried leaves, the freshest larvae, and perfectly aged plant matter. Rooms are free, as long as you, my guest, continue pollinating and munching away at other harmful creatures. A vacation you needed from the hustle and bustle of urban development.

All descriptors aside, bug hotels provide permanent residences to some of the most important insects and pollinators, such as bees (not all live in beehives), spiders, beetles, and ladybugs, all coexisting to get rid of pests. Now, are you ready to provide these guests with a luxury suite?

Bug Hotel

Base/building: This will hold all the shelves, plant matter, and your guests. Try reusing materials such as:

Birdhouses (reuse if possible!);


Thick picture frame;


Gallon Jug;

Large soda bottle (can serve as one room);

Palettes (make a brick base and pile palettes on top).

For more handy gardeners, you can make your own by making a shadowbox out of untreated wood. Glue or drill four-foot-long boards (width: 4+ inches.). Add a backplate, drill in some shelves, and you have a shadowbox!


Next, you want to add in rooms:


Cardboard rolls;

Bricks/cinder blocks;


Layered palettes;

Untreated wood.

Interior Design

Now that your hotel has been constructed, it’s time for some interior design! There is lots of plant matter for you to choose from to attract different insects. Please make sure all plant matter is untreated by chemicals. Here’s the insect guestbook as to “room” preference:

Bees: Bamboo/Reeds, Logs with holes drilled in;

Beetles and centipedes: Logs/bark;

Rove beetles (get rid of slugs!): Twigs;

Spiders: Any material;

Ladybugs love: Leaves, stems.

Other materials possible:


Ripped-up cardboard;

Bricks (holes facing out);

Broken pottery, such as from flower pots;


Overall Tips

Do not paint; your guests just adore the natural decor (and it is healthier for the ecosystem).

If placed on the ground, put a layer of bricks under your hotel first. It is ideal to hang or post bug hotels further up on trees or posts (but isn’t the easiest to employ).

Ensure your hotel is protected from hazards such as rain, wind, children, and pets.

Other ideal conditions include a warm spot near flowers and other flora. Also, don’t make your guests complain about the sounds and smells of the highway! Make sure to place the hotel at least ten feet away from the road.

If you haven’t already, make a (non-painted) sign to name your hotel, so your guests know what to look up in GPS.

Finally, bug hotels do not require much maintenance, as you do not want to disturb your insect guests. So, let the “cash” (aka improved garden conditions) flow in and enjoy!

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