9 Best Bug Hotels of 2021
Find out what all the buzz is about. Backyard bug hotels provide a safe place for insects to rest weary wings, shelter or nest.
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What Is a Bug Hotel?
A bug hotel (also known as an insect hotel, house or hive) is a small, artificial building that serves as long-term lodging or a winter hibernation habitat for crawling and flying insects.
You can hang bug hotels from tree branches, attach them to fences or stake them into the ground — preferably near flower beds or an organic vegetable patch. Not only does hosting beneficial insects help them, but it also promotes a healthy ecosystem through pollination and pesticide-free pest control. Insects also make a super-nutritious supper for native birds.
Some bug boarders like to burrow in hollow plant stocks, while others are attracted to dry, dead, wood and bark. Placement in the yard is insect-specific with some bugs preferring to bask in full sun, while others like shady spots.
Here’s a rundown of our favorite bug hotels.
Best Butterfly Hotel
Constructed in the U.S. of rot- and pest-free cypress wood siding, with a solid copper-trimmed hipped roof and adornments, the Flutterbye butterfly house is a piece of garden art. Fluttering winged wonders enter through slats on the front where they can nest safely inside, away from dangerous predators. This hotel comes with a 30-inch mounting stake (some customers wish it was taller) and a copper-covered cleanout.
One five-star reviewer wrote, “Solid construction and very pretty. I staked it into a walkway garden that I had planted butterfly-attracting plants in.”
Best Ladybug Hotel
The Heartwood lady bug house features horizontal slats that create large entry and exit ways. The roof lifts off for easy cleaning and observation and you can place the house on a deck or other flat surface or use the included mounting pole. Providing a place for ladybugs is important because they eat unwanted aphids, mealy bugs and scale insects.
Best All-Inclusive Bug Hotel
Like a condominium for pancrustacean hexapod invertebrates (AKA bugs), this Beneficial Insect Habitat is a welcoming sanctuary for flyers and crawlers. It has a series of customized compartments with layered sections of hollow cane, drilled-out holes, pine cones and dry wood chips. There are also two flip-up, slotted entrances. It has everything necessary to attract and meet the needs of many kinds of bugs, making it an excellent gift for your favorite entomophile (insect lover).
Best Bug Hotel for Kids
Watch your children learn about nature’s biodiversity first hand — the 15-piece SmartLab Bug Playground is an educational STEM toy focused on entomology. Send the kids outside where they can observe and study the behavior of ants, beetles and crickets as these bugs romp around in a mini pool, tube, slide, climbing wall and jungle gym. The kit is easy to assemble and includes a bug catcher, base, lidded top, short side walls, long side walls and activity booklet.
Best Decorative Bug Hotel
Carefully crafted of hardy oak and attractive pine, the DuDifferentCrafts handmade wooden bug hotel makes a lovely crash pad for traveling insects. Featuring wood embellishments and filled with small pine cones to provide nooks and crannies for bugs to hide in, the 10-inch x 7-1/2-inch x 6-1/2-inch house is not only good–looking, it’s sealed with a glossy marine varnish for durability and protectant from rain and wind.
Best Mason Bee Hotel
Small enough to hang anywhere, the Kibaga mason bee house is made of bamboo. It provides a safe and sustainable environment for non-swarming (solitary) mason bees (AKA orchard bees). To encourage these pollinators, the octagon-shaped exterior surrounds 60 bamboo nesting tubes where bees can feel safe. Hang the house from the included rope in a sunny, dry area.
Best DIY Bumblebee Hotel
Do your part to save bumblebees by providing these fuzzy pollinators with somewhere to nest. To attract wayward bumblebees to your garden, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust offers a free downloadable guide with step-by-step instructions on how to create a suitable site for the queen bee to lay her eggs. You can easily fashion this bee hotel out of an extra terra–cotta pot and a few other simple materials. Place your DIY hotel near bee-friendly flowers and plants for a greater chance of success.
Best Honeybee Hotel
Ideal for beginning beekeepers, the Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Hive is designed for housing and raising bees naturally. Easy-to-use, the hive’s roof is peaked to shed water and ventilated to control airflow. Painted white with a water-resistant finish, it comes with two medium (number eight) frames, but can accommodate up to 16 (sold separately). It also includes two hive boxes, two viewing windows, 18 top bars, an insulated quilt box, a screened-in base and support legs. And it’s easy to assemble!
Reviewer Jessica wrote, “Everything I expected! Super easy to assemble. Used a drill and it was together in 30 min[ute]s.”
Best Bird and Bug Hotel Combo
Who says birds, bugs and bees can’t cohabitate? Not Wildlife World — they make the Bird Bee & Bug Hotel. Fitted with four separate chambers: The attic houses nesting birds, the first floor is a bug zone (for ladybugs, lacewings and solitary bees), the middle floor hosts overwintering insects and the bottom floor, with interactive nesting trays, invites in mason and leafcutter bees.