Thursday 14 August 2008

How to attract hedgehogs

Thanks very much to those who suggested ways to get rid of slugs.

As one reader commented, hedgehogs love to eat slugs so it is a great idea to attract them into your garden. The best way to do this is to provide good places for hedgehogs to nest - such as piles of old leaves - and to put food and water out for them. They particularly like dog food.

Unfortunately for me, I already have foxes nesting in my leaf pile, who would also quickly eat up any dog food I left out. As foxes also sometimes hunt hedgehogs, I realise why I don't have any hedgehogs in my garden at the moment.

Hedgehogs are sadly dwindling in numbers in England. One of the reasons for this is the use of slug pellets. Many slug pellets are poisonous to hedgehogs, and by putting them out to kill slugs we are also killing the slugs' natural predators.

You can also make your garden more hedgehog friendly by checking the creatures haven't got inside your shed before you shut the door, or climbed inside a bonfire before you set light to it.

One myth that has harmed many hedgehogs is the mistaken belief that they like bread and milk. In fact, they can't digest these things as they are carnivores, so only feed them water and meat - dog food being ideal.

I very much hope a hedgehog does decide to make a home in my garden, but until it does I will use a bit of sympathetic magic to attract one, by putting an old hedgehog-shaped doorstop by my kitchen door. If nothing else, maybe it will help scare away the slugs!



Anonymous said...

Good morning,i am lucky to have a hedgehog in my garden.He's been here for about a month,as far as i know.Thankyou for mentioning about the milk/bread bacause it is important that they don't have this.Also the book looks cool,going to buy it.I love my prickly friend and it's a joy to see him.Who knows how long he will stay,but we will protect him through the winter if he's still here.

Badwitch said...

You are lucky to have a hedgehog! Hope you enjoy the book.