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Cleaning my hedgehog house

Home Forums Champions’ chat Cleaning my hedgehog house

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    I currently have an adult female and healthy autumn juvenile living and eating in my garden. The female has been eating here all year but they have only moved into my H house in the last 2 weeks.
    The H house was clean and fresh hay put inside beginning of October but I’ve noticed over the past 2 days that the adult has an increasing number of ticks so I’m concerned it is due to the house.
    I fully understand that handling should be kept to an absolute minimum and that a lot of ticks can mean other things are going on with my hog. However I don’t think it is so many that I should worry just yet but I don’t want it to get worse so am wondering if I should clean the house out when they are both out of it during the evening. Or by doing this would I run the risk of them not wanting to return as they would notice the changes I had made.
    Would really appreciate your thoughts.

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    Hi mypoppet

    It depends how many ticks the hog has. It’s best not to clean out the hog house whilst they are out for the evening unless it got really bad – as you suggest, they may vacate completely.

    But if it is a Mother and her young I suspect that she will soon go off to hibernate and leave the hoglet. The Mother may already have started building her hibernating nest elsewhere and could have got the ticks from there. It would be a bit worrying if the infestation became large, just before hibernation, though. It might be a good idea to contact your local carer – to whom you can describe exactly how many ticks the hog has and take their advice.

    You can get contact details of your nearest carer from BHPS 01584 890801
    If you do need to take the hogs somewhere to have the ticks dealt with you could potentially clean the house out then.

    The hoglet may or may not stay in that hog house if the Mother goes to hibernate. If it moves out then problem solved and you can clean it out. But be very careful that a hog – one of those or another hasn’t built their hibernation nest in there and is still in residence, hibernating. A hibernating hog may not be easy to see. A hog house might to look as if it is full of bedding material, but there might be a hibernating hog in the middle.

    The really important thing when cleaning out hog houses, though, is to use boiling water so that any tick and flea eggs are killed. You probably wouldn’t be able to see them and using chemicals is a bad idea. They may be in the joints of the wood so pay particular attention to them. Normally a hog wouldn’t use the same nest again – probably to reduce any problems of parasite infestation, so if we want them to use the hog houses we provide multiple times, it’s up to us to make sure they are parasite free when we we clear them out. I personally prefer not to use hay, if I have a choice, as I suspect that may also sometimes have tick eggs in it – possibly depending on where you get it from.

    Leaves are best for hogs – they prefer medium sized ones. If you don’t have many in your own garden, you may be able to find someone who has too many in their garden who would let you have some. It’s best to put a small amount of bedding in the hog house and leave piles nearby so that the hog can take in what it chooses. For a hibernation nest think of how many leaves you think would fill the hog house and multiply that several times. Hogs layer the leaves for their hibernation nests, so use what we would probably consider to be huge amounts. Long, oranamental grasses are also useful to help weave the leaves together.


    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply in such details.

    There are probably approx 10 ticks in total on mother hog and last night I noticed a couple on baby. Spread out all over her body, not in 1 cluster.

    The hay I use is what my house rabbit doesn’t eat, ridiculously expensive stuff I have to ship in from USA because he is just THAT fussy lol.

    I’m also in the process of building a second hog house in the hope that mum might use it leaving baby in the one that is already there.

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    Hi mypoppet

    Hopefully ridiculously expensive hay for fussy rabbits wouldn’t have any tick eggs in it!

    Brilliant idea to make another hog house – you can never have too many! But also should both the hogs move in to a different hog house, you may get the chance to clear the first one out again.

    If the ticks increase, do ring your local carer – they will probably be happy to advise.

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