Hedgehog ticks need advice please
20th August 2018 at 8:59 am #11436
So I have at least 7 hedgehogs visiting my garden every night if not more! I’ve been feeding them and leaving a big shallow water dish for them every night for the last 3 months. I feed them by my back door( as it is sheltered spot) but I’ve nottice a while back one or two ticks in a couple of them. As female ticks can lay many eggs very quickly and I spend a lot of time in my tiny garden during the day I’m a bit worried about a tick infestation or even getting them in the house if the weather is right for them. Bear in mind that I love hedgehogs and undisturbed they spend hours every night in my garden. Any tips of what should I do regarding possible tick infestation would be very appreciated. TIA20th August 2018 at 7:44 pm #11446
You can obtain home flea and tick foggers from pet supply shops. These are aerosols which will kill off any of these unwanted visitors which may be present and will kill off any flea or tick larvae for up to 3 months. I use them as the cats have occasionally brought them into the house, as they like to frequent the parts of the garden where hogs prefer.
Follow the instructions on the container carefully to avoid harming people or pets.20th August 2018 at 8:00 pm #11447
I would be very wary of using any pet pesticides around hedgehogs and certainly wouldn’t use them outdoors where they could prove very toxic to a whole range of wildlife. They are intended for indoor use only.
A small number of ticks on a healthy hog will do no harm. The BHPS have an interesting downloadable page about ticks on their site.20th August 2018 at 10:33 pm #11448
I was talking about indoors. Foggers would not work outdoors.
I understand that this warm summer has created a plague of parasites, including, I hear, bedbugs.20th August 2018 at 10:56 pm #11451
As a postscript. If you have long grass or vegeitation in the garden it is best not to go into it bare legged as picking up a tick could give you Lyme disease.20th August 2018 at 11:10 pm #11452
It’s lovely to hear that you have lots of hedgehogs visiting.
I agree with Buddy42 about not using any insecticides around hedgehogs, (or their nests, boxes, etc.) although of course if you have a problem indoors that’s a different matter, as Katzeye suggests. BHPS does have a fact sheet about ticks. It is really aimed at vets, vet nurses, hedgehog rehabilitators, etc. but others may find it interesting as well.
You can minimise the risk of ticks multiplying in the garden by, when you clean out any Hedgehog houses, feed boxes, etc., using boiling water so that it kills off any eggs which may be in the joints and cracks. It seems most likely that hogs would shed their ticks where they are sleeping or eating so cleaning out the boxes should help. Also with feed boxes make sure any adult ticks are removed daily. Make absolutely certain there is no hog in residence before considering cleaning out a box. Females are very sensitive when they have very young ones and may desert or kill them, if they are disturbed. So extreme caution is required.
If it’s any consolation, I have in the past had more hogs than you mention visiting my garden and have not had any problems with tick infestations. If you are worried, it is fairly straightforward to check your arms and legs to make sure there are none present before going indoors. I don’t recall ever finding any ticks on me which I could attribute to coming from my garden or the hogs.
With regard to fleas. There are many different types and hedgehogs fleas are host specific, so that if they ended up on another species they would be unlikely to stay for long.
Good luck and happy hog watching!20th August 2018 at 11:38 pm #11453
To add to the above.
If you are going to any area of long grass or vegetation, where ticks may be present, it is always good practice to check that you have none on you when you leave, in your own garden as much as anywhere else. It is never pleasant to find a tick on you and as Katzeye suggests an infected tick can give you Lymes disease. That doesn’t mean that if any tick bites you, you will get Lymes disease. It has to be an infected one.
P.S. Katzeye. Don’t like the sound of a plague of bedbugs!21st August 2018 at 12:20 am #11456
And don’t let the bedbugs bite; )21st August 2018 at 9:00 pm #11470
Glad I don’t live in London, at least!
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