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  • Hedgehogs in the garden: 5 important questions answered.

Hedgehogs in the garden: 5 important questions answered.

on July 30, 2020

 

Discovering you have a resident hedgehog in the garden can be a wonderful thing.  Hedgehogs are a gardener’s friend, as they eat snails, slugs and insects whilst you sleep at night.  You will sometimes be alerted to a hedgehog’s presence by finding droppings, or hearing the distinct huffing and puffing as they forage through your garden.

 1. How do I look after a hedgehog in my garden?

Making your garden hedgehog friendly is a straight forward process, and starts by removing any dangers or pitfalls that might injure your new garden friend.  These include:

  • Covering drains and holes
  • Placing bricks at the side of ponds to give hedgehogs an easy route out
  • Checking for hedgehogs before strimming or mowing under hedges
  • Don’t use slug pellets
  • Remove netting when not in use as this can entangle a hedgehog and cause injury

You can also give hedgehogs somewhere attractive to nest by leaving areas of your garden wild.  Piles of leaf fall and logs make a perfect nest, as well as attracting slugs, beetles and other invertebrates that hedgehogs like to eat.  You can also make a hedgehog house as simply as placing a board against a wall, or buying a dedicated hedgehog house which even if unused by a hedgehog will look attractive in your garden.

2. How can I get hedgehogs to come back every year?

Leaving food and fresh water out will help encourage hedgehogs back to your garden.  Hedgehogs can eat foods like wet dog or cat food, and crushed dog or cat kibble.  Specialist hedgehog food, such as those available from Brambles or Extra Select are recommended. 

 3. Where do hedgehogs sleep?

During daytime and when hibernating over winter, hedgehogs will sleep in a nest built in thick undergrowth, under a shed, or in piles of leaves.  This is why it’s important to check bonfires before lighting as they make a great nest.

Hedgehog in the undergrowth

 4. Do hedgehogs eat every night?

Unlike some animals, Hedgehogs will eat every night, and travel up to a mile or more in search of food.  Leaving food out in the same place every night will encourage hedgehogs to return to your garden every night.

 5. What should you not feed hedgehogs?

These foods should never be fed to hedgehogs, wild or pets like pygmy hedgehogs

  • Milk
  • Grapes, Raisins and Citrus fruits
  • Processed, raw or fried meat
  • Onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes or mushrooms
  • All nuts and Seeds
  • Chocolate

Large quantities of mealworms can cause metabolic bone disease, so it best to avoid feeding mealworms and instead feed something more nutritionally balanced.  Mealworms are very high in phosphorus, and not to mention expensive.  Extra Select Hedgehog Crumble contains Black Solider Fly Larvae which is a much better alternative.

 

Did this blog help any important hedgehog questions you have? Let us know in the comments below.


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