In this article, we will be taking a look at how to make your garden hedgehog friendly. These tips can be useful to attract and keep wild hedgehogs in your garden or give your domestic pet hedgehog a play area.
Although some of these tips can be implemented for free, some may require a small budget and a little work. The number of these tips you can add to your garden will also depend on the size you have available as well as any other animals or pets that you may have.
How To Make Your Garden Hedgehog Friendly
If you have already seen the signs of hedgehogs in your garden then you have already won half of the battle. You have managed to attract hedgehogs without even putting much effort in, now all you have to do is make them comfortable.
Provide Them With Food And Water
The first step to making your garden hedgehog friendly is to provide them with food and water. There are three main types of food that you can leave or attract to your garden to make hedgehogs comfortable. These are:-
We will now cover each of these in a little more depth.
Leave Food Or Treats In The Garden
Our ultimate hedgehog food list will give you an idea of the type of food to leave out in your garden. Depending on the size of your garden you can leave food in multiple locations if large enough.
Simply choose some foods from the list in our post above, dice them up and leave them in a suitable pet food bowl in your garden. You can also use a commercial hedgehog food if you like as it is usually quicker and easier, some people also choose to use a cat food for hedgehogs. If you don’t have a garden pond then fill a bowl up with fresh water too.
Use An Insect House
High-quality insect houses are an excellent, cheap, and effective item to have in your garden. Even if you aren’t trying to attract hedgehogs they are extremely useful and provide a number of different benefits. If your garden is large enough then getting multiple insect houses can add even more value.
Essentially they give insects a safe place to live and breed. This then increases the number of insects in your garden and provides a living food source for any hedgehogs you are keeping. As most insects reproduce quickly, any consumed by hedgehogs are usually quickly replaced.
Although these insect houses provide a self-replacing high-quality source of food for hedgehogs in your garden. They also provide a safe and warm place for solitary bees to live. These bees who live solo without a hive do a large amount of pollination in your garden and can help your flowers by living locally.
Have A Worm Factory Or Compost Heap
Another easy to use, self-replacing food source for hedgehogs are worms. A simple worm factory or compost heap can be used to produce both composts for your garden and worms for hedgehogs.
The worms will reproduce quickly allowing you to release some into your garden every now and then. Not only will these help condition your garden soil but hedgehogs will be able to eat any they find. If you like you can put the off worm into your hedgehog feeding bowl as a treat.
Add A Hedgehog House
Although there are usually plenty of places for a hedgehog to set up shop in your garden, a specifically designed hedgehog house can work wonders.
It will help keep the hedgehogs in your garden warm, protect them from predators, and act as somewhere for them to breed. You can entice the hogs in your garden to use the hedgehog house by placing treats inside of the house and leaving it overnight.
Some people choose to add bedding such as straw to the house but it is not essential.
When looking at how to build a hedgehog house with logs there really isn’t much to know. Randomly throw your spare deadwood down in your garden and see how it lands. If you feel there is enough space for a hedgehog to get into the woodpile then its perfect.
The deadwood will act as both a home for any hedgehogs in your garden and a whole bunch of insects helping to offer a constant food supply.
Have A Pond
Adding a pond to your garden not only adds a constant water source for any hedgehogs but also attracts additional food sources. Not only will hedgehogs eat insects attracted to the water but also any amphibians too.
Hedgehogs are naturally strong swimmers so there’s no need to worry if they fall into the pond. Just ensure you have sloped sides so there are ways out for them. The Youtube video below shows just how good of a swimmer hedgehogs can be.
Where Do Hedgehogs Live In The Garden
Hedgehogs are extremely adaptive creatures. They are able to make their home out of a whole range of things that are common in gardens. Although some people choose to invest in a specifically built hedgehog home, hedgehogs can live in piles of logs, piles of leaves, and even long overgrown grass. Some breeds will also dig their own den in the dirt to sleep in if shelter is scarce.
How To Help Hedgehogs In Your Garden
We have covered how to attract hedgehogs to your garden and make it a welcoming place for them but there are some safety precautions you should take.
If your garden has a number of deep holes for some reason, check them regularly. If a hedgehog accidentally falls into one of these holes it may get stuck and end up starving to death. If possible, fill the holes in, if they are essential, look to covering them with a net or a grid.
Although we touched on this earlier, make sure your ponds have at least one sloped side. Although hedgehogs are excellent swimmers, they do need a way to get out of the pond if they jump or fall in. If you are unable to add a sloped side, you can add large rocks in one corner to act as an exit point.
If you have other large pets such dogs then are careful when letting them out into the garden. Not only can this result in a dead hedgehog or more likely, a dog covered in quills but the fleas and parasites from the hedgehog can get on your dog creating a bit of a nightmare for you.