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Hedgehog ticks

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    I’ve noticed in today’s photos that one of my two resident hogs has a few ticks around it’s ear. The advice says that these are usually harmless to hogs until they become a large infestation. At what stage should I become concerned and is there anything I can do safely? I did read somewhere that when hedgehogs share nests ticks are an increased risk. Any advice please? Thanks

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    Hi 5sandown

    I think the best thing to do is contact your local hog carer/rehabilitator and ask them re. quantities. Some have different ideas of amounts than others, but they might also give you a lesson on how to remove the ticks yourself as well. Don’t follow any of the old wives tails about how to remove them. But just bear in mind that the bigger a tick looks the nearer it is to dropping off the hog.

    I would also check in feeding boxes, etc. for any adult ticks which may have dropped off. They may almost immediately lay eggs. The places the hog goes are as important as what is on the hogs. No point removing them all from the hog, if it immediately goes and picks up a load more.

    I think the main problem with sharing is if one hog moves in straight after another one and there hasn’t been time to clean out the box in between. Because the eggs get dropped in the hog house, hatch out and attach to the next hog. But if two are sharing and one has ticks, it seems likely the other one will pick them up as well. Ideally, if you are absolutely certain that a hog house has been vacated and not reinhabited, you would clean out the box. Use boiling water to kill the eggs, not chemicals. Pay special attention to cracks and joins in the wood.

    Hope that helps.


    Thanks Nic. I’ve contacted Warwickshire Hedgehog Rescue and am going to see them next week. I’ve also got an interest in becoming a foster carer so that would help me deal better with the wild visitors.


    Ticks are a big problem with the hogs that visit here.
    We have now been taught how to remove them with the special tick instrument. It’s quite difficult to do as inevitably the hog will roll up. We found a good way to relax the hogs is to stroke the spines softly with a soft toothbrush. I do this whilst the other half does removal. We stop as soon as we think the hog is getting stressed.
    If you do end up doing it yourself, have a jar ready with white spirit in. Drop the ticks into this. Put lid on and dispose! I would also do this outside and wear tight disposable gloves and keep well covered.
    I have had conflicting views on how many ticks are too many but we would try and catch a hog that had 10 or more. Easier said than done.
    Hope that helps a bit

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    Hi 5sandown

    That’s brilliant news. Good luck with that.

    As Simbo says, if you do learn how to remove the ticks yourself, do check very carefully that none have sneaked on to you. It’s a good idea to be wearing light coloured clothes (as well as the other protections) – more likely to spot an escapee!

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