Friday, October 23, 2020
We can hear or sometimes see lovely prickly hedgehogs in the late hours while they are fumbling in the dark. Hedgehogs are easily recognizable by their spikes, but there are other things why they are unique. Hogs have long history which goes back to approximately 15 millions years. Moreover, they have only changed a little during this time, so next time you see a hedgehog remember you are observing an ancient creature.
Build hedgehog highways
Hedgehogs are always welcome in our gardens as they eat snails, slugs and insects. But one garden is not big enough for them, and their number is declining due to the increasing urbanization. The main problem is that they often face obstacles when searching for food or a mate, because of the strong and secure fences we build around our houses.
In general, hedgies roam 1 mile each night foraging for food and nesting materials. hedgies Therefore it is vital for these nocturnal visitors to have “highways” that they can use to roam freely. Also, they are lone-travelers, so having opportunity to be part of the local community is important for them to breed.
Fortunately, we can solve this problem easily by building a hedgehog gate in the fence. It provides enough space for any hedgehog to pass through, yet too small for other pets. Not to mention, that in this way they do not have to cross roads, thus it is an effective way to prevent (often fatal) accidents. No matter what type of fence you have at home, the gate can be fastened with screws (wooden fence) or with cable ties (other fences), too.
Gardens’ natural pest control
Hedgehogs are the “natural pest control system” as they are insectivores, reducing the number of pests in the garden. Since they love to eat, an easy, yet effective way to lure hogs in the garden is to place out some supplementary food.
We composed our hedgehog food in collaboration with a specialist in order to make sure it contains all the needed supplementary nutrition. It is packed in a recycled paper box making it a sustainable choice, too. You can use it all year round, however autumn is a particularly important period, because hedgehogs have to put on weight before hibernation. Use a decorative feeding bowl dedicated for hedgehogs. Place also fresh water next to the food, because it is scarce during the cold days!
Tip: Leave a corner in the garden ‘wild’, because the piles of leaf litter and logs attract insects, which invite hedgehogs for a nice meal!
A place to rest, nest and hibernate
Placing hedgehog houses in the garden not only provides them a nesting place, but it is also a good shelter in the hibernation period (between November and March). Not to mention, that if your garden is missing natural nesting sites (tree roots, log or leaf piles, rabbit holes), it is a bigger help to have hedgehog houses. We recommend to place out more houses separately, because hedgehogs live lonely and it is likely that there are more, than one in the neighborhood.
Tip: For a safe home, cover the house with a thick layer of leaves, then put a plastic sheet with a heavy rock on the top and then another layer of leaves. The construction is very important to prevent dogs or badgers disturbing the hedgehog.
See the whole range of our hedgehog articles here.