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How to make a home for stag beetles


Stag beetles lay eggs underground near rotting wood. The larvae of these insects live in the wood for up to five years, before pupating to become adults. Help protect this endangered species by making a simple habitat for them.

How to do it


Use a craft knife to make holes about 3 cm across in the sides and base of the bucket.


Choose an area of your garden that will not be disturbed and dig a hole to bury the bucket so that its rim is just below soil level. Loosely fill any gaps around the bucket with soil.


Place a few large stones in the bottom of the bucket and then fill it with bark chippings and a little garden soil.

Our tip

Over time, the contents of the bucket will rot down, so top it up with fresh bark chippings periodically.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to make a home for stag beetles
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ruffordian 24/11/2011 at 15:29

As a 'Retired' Nurse & D.I.Y. Fan the Illustrated use of a Stanley Knife to cut these holes is HIGHLY DANGEROUS!! Use a Plumbers 'Holecutter' on your Drill, Fill Bucket with Sand. Save spending time in A.& E. studying 'Suture Technique'!! [Hole-cutters are in Pound Shops or Market Stalls Very Cheap]
Safe Gardening.


Trish3 12/11/2012 at 14:18

In the past whilst digging out the compost from my heaps I came across several large grubs with orange heads - can't say I noticed any leg stubs - These may well have been stag beetle grubs.
As I am about to dig out the compost heaps to spread on the garden, if I should come across these grubs what should I do with them? Last time I threw them under the hedge.