An average garden could hold over 2,000 different species of insect – and they all need somewhere to live! A Bug Hotel provides a safe home, especially during winter, for the good insects in your garden. By encouraging good bugs in your garden you’ll keep bad bugs under control, without needing to use any harmful pesticides or sprays. They also make beautiful garden art.

You can assemble one from re-cycled materials around your home; bottle caps, tubes, bamboo, sticks, straw, pipes, bricks, and scrap timber.

Check out this great Pinterest Board for some inspiration.


Cost: $10 per entry
Deadline: Bug hotels to be delivered to Koonara by Friday 4 May 2018, 5pm
Auction: Saturday 19 May, 4pm. The top 8 Bug Hotels will be auctioned to the public, with all profits raised going to the 2019 Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival.
Pick-up: The remaining hotels will be ready to collect from Koonara after 3pm Sunday 20 May and must be collected by Sunday 27 May (otherwise we will donate them to the community).
Adult Prize: $300 cash.
Children under 12: $50 cash

Step one: build your structure (max 1m x 1m)

The structure design is completely open – it’s up to you. You might like to use recycle pallets to create a large free-standing hotel, or use small wooden box-frame to make a smaller hotel that will hang in a tree. The structure will form a roof to keep your bugs dry, try to ensure it has plenty of gaps and holes to fill which will create the habitat for all different creatures.

If you don’t have these materials around your home, come into Koonara Wines cellar door and we will give you a bug building kit.

Step two: Filling the gaps

There are many different ways to fill the gaps in your hotel structure, here are some suggestions:

  • Dead wood. Dead wood is essential for the larvae of wood-boring beetles, such as the stag beetle. It also supports many fungi, which help break down the woody material.
  • Straw and hay. These provide many opportunities for invertebrates to burrow in and find safe hibernation sites.
  • Dry leaves. More homes for a variety of invertebrates; this mimics the litter on the forest floor.
  • Loose bark. Beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice all lurk beneath the decaying wood and bark. Woodlice and millipedes help to break down woody plant material. They are essential parts of the garden recycling system.
  • Crevices. Many garden invertebrates need a safe place to hibernate in through the winter.
  • Lacewing homes. Lacewings and their larvae consume large numbers of aphids, as well as other garden pests. You can make a home for lacewings by rolling up a piece of corrugated cardboard.
  • Ladybird homes. Ladybirds and their larvae are champion aphid munchers! The adults hibernate over winter, they need dry sticks, bundle of twigs or leaves to hide in.
  • Butterflies and moths. loves dried leaves for hibernating.
  • Bees. Bundles of hollow stems, or upturned flowerpots stuffed with straw.

Reference: naturalresources.sa.gov.au