|Hedgehogs are a natural pest control but, because
they like eating all the insects that people wish to kill, they will hoover up
the corpses of pests that have been poisoned by pesticides - and the result is
poisoned hedgehogs. If you need more pest control than your local hedgehog can
offer, wildlife-friendly products are widely available.
|Bonfires and Compost Heaps
|Every November, Wildlives puts out its annual warning
about checking bonfires before setting light to them. However, the dangers
exist all the year round. Hedgehogs will look for somewhere warm to sleep
during the day - and bonfire piles and compost heaps, to the hedgehog, seem
ideal for this purpose. So before you light your bonfire, or dig your spade
into the compost heap, check for
hedgehogs. If you find a nest with nestlings - a possibility
throughout the warmer months - the best thing to do is to postpone the bonfire
for a few weeks. Moving the nest may lead the mother to abandon the babies or,
worse, to eat them.
|Strimmers and Lawn Mowers
|We see hedgehogs that have fallen victim
to strimmers and lawn mowers distressingly often at Wildlives! From the very
short haircut right through to the missing limbs and horrendous wounds. Please
check the long grass thoroughly before cutting it.
|Ponds and Swimming Pools
|Hedgehogs actually enjoy swimming, but
they will dive in without checking to see if there is a way out, and will drown
as a result. Sloped or stepped sides to your pond, or a piece of hanging
chicken wire in your swimming pool, will ensure that these little water nymphs
can get out after their bath.
|Hedgehogs (and other wildlife) can
easily become entangled in these, and may sustain awful injuries trying to
escape. You can prevent this by making sure you never leave netting or mesh
lying around on the ground. If you have put netting up for a particular
purpose, leaving a gap of about a foot underneath it will allow hedgehogs to
pass safely underneath.
|Hedgehogs may fall into open drains and
be unable to climb out again. Drain covers will prevent this from
|Cans, bottles, cartons, the plastic
loops that hold drinks cans - all these can be lethal death traps for small
animals. Crush cans before throwing them away; cut the plastic loops so animals
cannot get caught up in them. Most of all, never leave rubbish lying
|As a general rule, domestic pets do not
seem to be interested in hedgehogs (and vice versa). Besides that, hedgehogs
can usually avoid injury by curling up and presenting any potential predator
with an impenetrable, prickly exterior. First of all however, there are some
animals that can penetrate that defence: badgers are one type, but there are
certain types of dog that may also be able to tear a
hedgehog open. Secondly, sick or injured hedgehogs may not be able to operate
this defence effectively - and thus be particularly vulnerable. There is little
that can be done initially, but if your dog has attacked hedgehogs before, you
might consider putting a muzzle on it, or taking it out on a lead at night.