At Aviva, we're committed to playing our part in creating a sustainable future for all. We recently installed a bug hotel to support native wildlife and promote biodiversity at Home Turf, our community garden located at Aviva Stadium – and now it's your turn to try!
You’ve already got what it takes to make a difference as most of the materials used in the bug hotel can be found around your home, garden or local park. This easy step-by-step guide shows you how to help our planet and get family and friends involved in the eco-friendly fun!
Supporting native Irish insect populations
Bug hotels are a fantastic way to provide shelter and breeding grounds for all kinds of native insects, with over 11,500 different species having been discovered in Ireland alone!1 These tiny creatures play a vital role in our ecosystem, by pollinating plants and controlling pests.
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How to build a bug hotel
Bug hotels provide a snug and safe space for solitary bees, ladybirds and other insects commonly found in gardens across Ireland.
What you can use to get started: cardboard, straw, leaves, glass jars, twigs, bricks/tiles, bamboo, plant pots, stones, old boxes, bricks, pine cones.
Find or make a level and solid setting for the base.
Use old boxes or crates to make a structure.
Get family and friends involved and start filling in the gaps...
The first guest of this bug hotel.
Create a roof using old tiles to keep the structure dry.
Don't forget to add the finishing touches!
Now watch your bug hotel come to life.
Now you've made your garden eco-friendly, you can make your insurance eco-friendly too by going paperless.
Check out aviva.ie to learn more.
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Three types of insects to expect at your bug hotel
Resembling mini wasps, the non-stinging Hoverfly helps with pollination and pest control. Adults feed on nectar and pollen, while larvae consume common garden pests such as greenflies and caterpillars as well as decaying plant matter.
To attract hoverflies, create a suitable bottom layer to your bug hotel which features compost. Adults are also drawn to umbrella-like flowers, as well as wild buttercup, ivy, privet, and other plants, so don’t be afraid to add a splash of colour.
The easily recognisable ladybird with its red and black spotted wings is a common visitor to Irish gardens, contributing to pollination and helping to control pests such as aphids and thrips.
They are big fans of sheltered areas of your bug hotel, such as piles of leaves and hollow plant stems and bamboo shoots – so don’t forget to add these to the mix!
3. Solitary bees
We’re all aware of the much-loved bumblebee, but did you know that there are over 70 different species of solitary bees going about their daily business across Ireland’s gardens, parks and woodland?2
Unlike other species of bee, solitary bees don’t form large colonies or produce honey. They often make their nests by excavating tiny burrows into soil or clay. An easy way to encourage solitary bees to visit your bug hotel is to fill old bricks with clay, so they can form their own burrows.
Choose a location
Find a level, secure location in your garden. The best place to build a bug hotel is in a semi-shaded area, near to a bush or tree, as many bugs love cool and damp conditions close to the ground.
- Gather your materials
Be creative and resourceful when gathering materials for your bug hotel. We've used old crates, pieces of wood, plant pots, glass jars, stones, pinecones, bamboo, twigs, leaves, straw, old broken tiles, and bricks filled with clay. A diverse range of materials will help to create a habitat suitable for all sorts of creatures.
- Create the structure
Start by creating the framework for your bug hotel. You can use an old wooden crate or build a simple wooden box. Then, divide the structure into sections with pieces of wood or other sturdy materials.
- Fill in the gaps
Now comes the best part! Get your family and friends involved and start filling in the gaps with your collected materials. Arrange them in a way that creates small nooks and crannies for insects to crawl into and make their homes.
- Watch your bug hotel come to life
Keep an eye on your bug hotel to ensure it remains a welcoming habitat for your new guests. Top up materials as needed, and watch it come to life over the coming days, weeks and months!