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How to make a bug box

You will need

  • Untreated timber
  • Hollow canes such as bamboo
  • Pieces of branch or other wood
  • Wood saw
  • 2.5cm nails and hammer
  • Drill and wood drill bit, screws
  • Screwdriver and self-tapping screw
  • Roof slate (optional)
  • Roof flashing (optional)
  • Clout nails (optional)
  • Wooden post (optional)
  • Self-tapping screw
Do it: all year round
Takes just: two hours


Make a bug box for insects and give nature a helping hand within your garden. Using easy-to-find scraps of timber, old bamboo canes and old branches, it will cost you very little and provide the perfect habitat for beneficial insects such as spiders, ladybirds, lacewings and solitary bees.

How to do it

Measuring wood


Make a box using untreated timber approximately 2cm thick. You will need two pieces of wood of equal length for the sides and a smaller piece for the base. If you're making a pitched roof you will need a protractor to measure 45° angles. Otherwise make a flat roof the same size as the base. 


Screw the pieces of wood together, leaving the front open. Paint the outside of the box with a weather-proof paint. If making a pitched roof, cut to size pieces of slate or similar material, and screw three holes in each one, where you want to attach it to the wood. Use clout nails to gently fix the slate to the wood. Cover the join at the top with roof flashing.


Cut hollow canes such as bamboo into short lengths to fit in your bug box, sanding off any rough edges. You could also drill holes in pieces of wood or branch, making your holes different sizes to suit different insects. Fit the canes and wood into your box.


Drill a hole into the back or the base of your box and fix it on to a fence or wooden post, using a self-tapping screw.

Our tip

Place the bug box in the sunniest part of your garden in order to attract the widest range of insects.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to make a bug box
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angelstar958 24/11/2011 at 15:27

Thank you for all the bug box info and bee hotel I have been looking for projects like this

janetgould54 24/11/2011 at 15:28

i have been every were to find projects for my grand children, and here you are. fantastic. thank you.

Salaverry 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Will definitely be making a few of these!

christinaflynn 24/11/2011 at 15:30

iv had a allotment for 3 years now put a pond on it to bring in the wild life . grow every thing from flowers to fruit and veg .T he sun flowers have been out standing this year which will help to feed the birds threw the winter and last year saw lady bird larver for the first time i was so excited and this year can,t beleave how many lady birds there are . and now can,t wate for my husband to make the bug box

Jean Webster 26/04/2012 at 18:18


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