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Hedgehog Houses and Ticks

Home Forums Champions’ chat Hedgehog Houses and Ticks

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    We have seen one of our regular visitors who has built a nest in our hoggie house- with lots of ticks. On the advice of our local carer we have tried de ticking as much as possible (the other half was taught by the vet how to do it).
    We got 17 ticks. We also cleaned out his nest and house(on carers advice) and lost count of the amount of ticks in there. Although he came back to eat and investigate the house, he didn’t stay overnight like he usually does- probably very put out that his lovely nest is no longer there.
    My question is- Do ticks breed more rapidly in the houses than in a natural outside nest?
    On the subject of ticks there was a piece on Autumnwatch – New England about how climate change is meaning ticks are breeding for longer and decimating the moose calf population. Heart breaking ! Is this another factor our darling hedgehogs will have to contend with as the ticks survive and breed for longer.

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    Hi simbo65

    Well done for getting rid of the ticks.

    The difference between a wild nest and a hog house is that they are likely to vacate the wild nest and not use it again, whereas they will re-use the hog houses. That’s why it is important when you clean out your hog house to use boiling water to kill any eggs which are hiding in the cracks. To hedgehogs, the hog house is not a home, but rather a useful structure which they can build their nest within.

    Parasites may be the reason why hogs change nests, even during hibernation.


    We did clean it with boiling water and tried to make it cozy again but neither Big Daddy or Cyclops stayed over though they did eat still and have a little nap.
    Last nights footage only shows Cyclops and again he didn’t stay only eat the food. No sign of Big Daddy. Gutted. I hope that by trying to help we haven’t done something wrong but removing 17 ticks seemed like given him a better chance.
    I am keeping everything crossed he will appear soon or in the spring.

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    Hi simbo65

    You haven’t done anything wrong. He is better off without all those ticks. From what you’ve said elsewhere, I think it is very likely that he has another nest somewhere else. They wouldn’t normally hibernate in the nest that they have been using day to day – probably because of the parasites. Males, in particular, often change nests during the Summer anyway, so it was a seal of approval that he stayed so long.

    Hibernation is always a difficult time for us hog lovers, but all we can do is hope that they come back in the Spring. Loving wild animals is always a bit of a roller coaster. They give us a lot of worry, but also a lot of joy.


    Thank you for the re assurance. We are in a fairly safe area even though it is urban. I will keep putting out food, water and the camera and hope that they do well.
    The good new is when we saw Cyclops up close he looked a good size and his eye looked like an injury that had healed. He got a bit stressed but didn’t roll up. Is that normal?
    We were also advised that gently rubbing the back of the hoggie with a soft toothbrush would help him relax and it worked! Big Daddy uncurled almost completely so we could get more ticks off.

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