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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hedgehog(s) visiting our back garden daily since 24th June 2018 Reply To: Hedgehog(s) visiting our back garden daily since 24th June 2018

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Hi Tojo75

Really pleased to hear you have hogs there and are enjoying their visits.

I suspect humans trying to get rid of slugs may cause more of a problem to hedgehogs than them catching lungworm from them. Hedgehogs have been around for millions of years – don’t know how long slugs have been around, but they form a part of the hedgehogs natural diet and I imagine parasites have been around a pretty long time too. You would never get rid of all the slugs anyway and they do perform an important function breaking down dead plant material, as do earthworms which can also apparently carry lungworm. So, if you got rid of slugs and earthworms a significant part of hogs’ potential natural diet would be gone. Also hogs are travelling into many gardens and could be eating slugs in any of them.

I have heard beer traps suggested, where you sink a small container with beer in it into the ground and the smell is supposed to attract slugs, who then drown in it. You would have to be very careful about the container you used to ensure that any hog could not become trapped in it. Being inquisitive creatures they apparently sometimes put their heads into containers and get them stuck and small hoglets could, potentially, fall into others and become unable to get out. I don’t know whether or not hogs would also be attracted to the beer, nor what effect it would have on them if they drank it. Other than to keep the slugs away from a prized plant, I can’t see that it would make a great deal of difference.

My feeling is, the best thing to do if you want to reduce slug numbers, is to create a wildlife pond which will encourage frogs, who eat slugs as well.

To quote from ‘Hedgehogs’ by Pat Morris re. lungworm:
“Adults are more often infected than juveniles because these parasites come from eating infected prey, and so it takes time to acquire them. It’s perfectly natural and hard to avoid. Sometimes infestations may be sufficiently severe as to result in death, but normally a hedgehog carries relatively few of these parasites and the only evidence is their microscopic eggs in the hedgehog’s droppings. …..”

So by no means all hogs are badly affected by lungworm, but if you hear a hog sounding wheezy, or coughing you could take it to your local carer and get it checked out. The huffing sound they make during ‘courtship’ is perfectly normal.

Hope this helps and that you continue to enjoy the hedgehogs visits without worrying too much about slugs!