Building an Insect Hotel from a Tree Trunk – Instructions and Tips

Insects play an important role in our ecosystem. They pollinate plants and exterminate pests. Therefore it makes sense to integrate an insect hotel in the garden.

Building an insect hotel from a tree trunk
© lcrms –

If you want to turn your garden into a natural paradise, you should offer the little insects a place to feel good. For example, you can build an insect hotel from cans. But you can also make an insect hotel from a tree trunk. It is particularly suitable as a feel-good place for small animals. When building your hotel, make sure you provide as many insects as possible with a home. Therefore, it is important to work with different materials.

Late summer is the best season to build a hotel, as the insects are looking for a suitable place to spend the winter.

What you need for the Insektenhotel

Tree trunk:

If you want to build an insect hotel from a tree trunk, it is of course necessary to find the right trunk. The tree trunk should be at least 30 to 40 centimetres high to provide enough space for many insects. Of course, it would be best if you already get or buy hollow tree trunks. If you do not have this possibility, it is no problem to hollow out the tree trunks yourself. With a chisel and a beater it works wonderfully. For this work, however, a good portion of strength is necessary.

But not every tree trunk is suitable as an insect hotel. You should only use hardwoods. These offer the advantage that they remain in their original form and do not harm the insects. If you use softwoods, they may still resinify later. This would do considerable damage to the insects because they would stick and die.

Filling material:

A tree trunk usually offers enough space to furnish different rooms in the hotel. This ensures that different insects can move into the hotel. The following filling materials are suitable for the insect hotel in the tree trunk:

  • straw
  • reed
  • bamboo
  • thick and thin branches
  • Raspberry, blueberry, etc. plant woods
  • moss
  • Rain pipe with wood wool

It is important that you ensure that you only use untreated wood. This occurs in nature and the insects know the wood. Treated wood could harm the health of insects.

Instructions for the construction of the insect hotel

❶ Tree trunk paint:

Once you have collected all the necessary materials, you can start building the insect hotel. You can paint the tree trunk with paint in advance. Make sure it is waterproof. It has been shown that the colour red attracts insects. This colour is therefore particularly suitable for decorating the tree trunk.

❷ Fill tree trunk:

Now you can start filling the tree trunk. The more different the filling material, the better. Every insect species likes different materials. To help you find your way around a bit better, you will find below a list of suitable rooms for different insects:

  • Hardwood with drilled holes for hole bees
  • Rain pipe with wood wool for ear slurpers
  • narrow crevices for lacewings
  • marrowy twigs for wild bees
  • Reed for hoverflies

You should make sure that you fill the entire tree trunk well and place the materials very close to each other. If small holes remain, you can stuff them with moss. There are generally no limits to your imagination when it comes to the design of the Insektenhotel. Once you have processed all the materials, the Insektenhotel is ready to move in.

❸ Choose the right location:

In order to offer the insects a beautiful life, the location of the hotel plays an important role. In natural gardens the small insects naturally find everything they need. But even in “normal” gardens the animals can have a great life. You only have to make sure that you have planted enough flowers and perennials in the garden. These are an important source of food for the insects and ensure their survival. If the insects find enough food sources near the hotel, they will move into the insect hotel very quickly. It is best to direct the entrance of the hotel towards the south, because the insects like it warm and sunny.

Tips to make insects feel comfortable

Many insects will feel at home in their new insect hotel. They will move in very soon and spend the rest of their lives in your garden. You should, however, follow a few tips to give the insects a good life.

❍ Tip 1 – Do not use poison:

You should not use any spray poison in the garden and completely dispense with chemical agents. This applies not only to the construction of the hotel, but also to the care in the home garden. Chemical toxins are deadly to insects.

❍ Tip 2 – Let wild herbs grow:

You shouldn’t banishing all the wild herbs from the garden. Insects love wild plants such as nettles. It therefore makes sense to give free rein to the wild growth at least at one point in the garden. You can even kill two birds with one stone. After all, you can make your own nettle manure from stinging nettles and use it as fertilizer.

❍ Tip 3 – Green your garden:

There should be many different flowers and plants in the garden. This applies not only to the meadow, but also to the house wall or the wall of the garden house. You can plant them with ivy or other climbing plants. You could also leave a strip of meadow you never mow. Here the insects find a natural environment.

❍ Tip 4 – Decoration and living space in the garden:

You could also create a small pond. But also a stone heap or a heap of dead wood can be a great eye-catcher in the garden. These materials not only look good, but also offer a great feel-good space for insects.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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