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Hedgehogs are delightful creatures and are of benefit to our gardens as they eat slugs, snails and insects.  Read the tips below to find out how best to care for and encourage them in your garden.

  1. Leaving wild areas in the garden with piles of logs and leaves will help to provide a home for invertebrates such as beetles and slugs that they feed on, as well as shelter for the hedgehog itself.
  2. Provide a hedgehog home in a quiet area of the garden.  Many are available from the link at the bottom of the article. This will provide shelter when they hibernate between November and mid March and maternity nests. Only clean out hedgehog homes in April, after hibernation and before mating.
  3. Provide fresh water in a shallow bowl.  Do not provide milk as this can cause diarrhoea.
  4. Provide a specialist hedgehog food, usually around dusk as hedgehogs are nocturnal. Do not offer bread.  Many good hedgehog foods are available from the link at the bottom of the article. This will encourage hedgehogs to return to your garden.
  5. Cover holes and drains to prevent the hedgehogs falling in.  Cover swimming pools at night and when not in use.  Provide bricks or rocks at the edge of ponds to give an easy route out.
  6. If building bonfires, build them near to the time of lighting and check before lighting to make sure no hedgehogs and other wildlife are inside.
  7. Only use chemical slug pellets as a last resort.  Try to use natural alternatives that are harmless to hedgehogs and other creatures.
  8. When fruit and vegetable netting and sports netting is not in use, remove it to prevent injury to hedgehogs that may become entangled in it.
  9. Before strimming or mowing, particularly under hedges, check for hedgehogs.
  10. Before forking over compost heaps check for nesting hedgehogs.
  11. It is often detrimental to the health of hedgehogs to spray with dog or cat flea sprays. Hedgehog fleas are host specific to hedgehogs and cannot live inside or on dogs, cats or humans.
  12. Do not handle healthy hedgehogs.  Only handle to take to a sanctuary if the hedgehog appears to be injured.

To view Hedgehog products at Garden Wildlife Direct click here

Mark Snelling

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