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Hedgehogs rubbing their belly

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hedgehogs rubbing their belly

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    Hello from Italy, I’m new to the forums.
    I recently got into hedgehogs and I’m trying to make my garden as much hedgehog friendly as possible. I’m also making sure they’re healthy and happy.
    I used to have 2 resident hogs, one lived under a pile of compost, the other under a pallet. Sadly the first hog one night went out of my garden (I have a hog highway) to never come back.
    The second hog is a female and she’s still there. I noticed that it’s very hard to find information about the hedgehog behavior so sometimes I’m not sure if my resident female is doing well or if she has health issues, for this reason I joined the community, so hopefully I can learn more about these amazing animals.

    My first question is about a rubbing behavior, you can see it in this video:
    is this normal? She’s not stuck or anything.

    Another question is, are the white spots on this hedgehog fleas or just dirt?

    Last question, some hedgehogs have very characteristics signs on their backs that are glowing to the IR light. Here is an example:
    This was the other resident hedgehog that disappeared. He had this weird glowing stipe on all the IR cameras.
    What is that?

    Thank you in advance for your time!

    Avatar photo

    Hi Altair

    Are you positive that the hog is a female, because it looks slightly similar to the neck rubbing which sometimes seems to extend into entire under body rubbing which hogs sometimes do – although it seems it’s normally more often that males do it.

    The white spots look to me as if it’s got specks of food on its face, but that probably depends on what you are feeding, as to whether that is feasible or not. Alternatively particles of soil or similar. They don’t look like fleas to me – fleas would more likely be hidden between the spines/fur, but it’s quite normal for hogs to have some fleas.

    The stripes are almost certainly marks which someone else has put on the hedgehog to identify it. Not something that I either approve of or think is necessary – hedgehogs can be identified by their natural markings with a bit of time and observation.

    Hope that is some help.


    Thank you for your answer, yes I’m sure she’s a female because I can see the “button” on the males bellies every time they drink from the bowl. The net on the background of the video is strategically placed to force the hogs to show their profile to the camera whenever they drink so it’s very easy to sex them.

    Yes it’s probably the rubbing behavior, I’ve seen her do it twice and I was worried it could be something abnormal but apparently it’s nothing to worry about.

    About the marked hedgehog I doubt it’s a man-made id mark: nobody in my area cares about hedgehogs (sadly in my country hedgehogs are just street pizzas that sometimes materialize on the asphalt). I’ve seen the marked hedgehog under the light once and nothing was visible on his back to the naked eye. The only thing I can think of is that maybe he self-anointed with something that appears funny on the IR light.

    I also confirm that the things on the hedgehog face is dirt/soil debris and not fleas. I found out that it’s always the same female using my hedgehog house: sometimes she’s clean, others she’s not.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Altair

    Seeing that ‘blob’ mid-abdomen is a good way to differentiate the males.

    I hear what you say about other people being unlikely to be interested in hedgehogs, but hedgehogs can travel up to two miles (up to 3 kilometres) a night, so it may not be anyone very near. No-one ever wants to think someone is marking the hedgehogs, but that is the most likely – sadly some people do mark them. The chances of the hog finding some substance which is only seen in infra-red light and then self annointing itself so neatly, in such a clearly demarcated way, are pretty remote.

    Yes, hogs can be quite messy. I used to have one here who always dug through the food sending it flying in all directions! But they do sometimes push their noses into food, or alternatively tip up bowls by mistake so food flies all over them! But if they are rooting around in the undergrowth they could equally get a bit messy.

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