Did you manage to put the rats off without upsetting the hhs? I’d love to know, as I have an ongoing rats situation.
I’m afraid I have no idea whether this would work or not, but I read the best natural deterrent for rats is peppermint oil – you soak cotton wool balls in it and leave them where there’s a problem. You’d have to change them frequently.
I also understand lavender oil is also a deterrent, the same is claimed for chilli powder and ground black pepper. I put hot chilli powder around rat-attacked-plants in pots in my garden, and that did seem to keep the rats away, whilst not being at ground level to hurt the hhs.
If you put powdered chilli or black pepper under the box I think you’d need to put plastic or roofing felt over it, in case it manages to puff its way into the hedgie box, as I’m sure they’d not like these two!
The problem with all of this is, I have no idea if it would put off the hhs! Nic suggested I try it with small amounts of oil and monitoring how it affected the hogs – which I will try when my rats become a problem again.
Please let me know how you got on – thanks :o)