Hedgehog(s) visiting our back garden daily since 24th June 2018
13th August 2018 at 11:37 pm #11311
Hedgie first appappeared in our back garden on the 24th June this year 2018.
We have a cat who was curious and after a gentle touch of Hedgie has observed from a distance.
After about a month of feeding Hedgie a small hedgehog also appeared in the garden.
The next evening another little hedgehog, so there are now 3!
I continue putting out cat food and water every night. They also like Brambles hedgehog food! They also now have a house to protect the food from neighbourhood cats with another house arriving this week.
I have read eating slugs can give them lungworm…what can get rid of slugs but not hurt the hedgehogs?
Our garden is surrounded by gardens all with dogs so have not created highways as do not want tiny dog next door in our garden and do not want hedgehogs hurt by the surrounding other big dogs.15th August 2018 at 10:14 am #11326
Really pleased to hear you have hogs there and are enjoying their visits.
I suspect humans trying to get rid of slugs may cause more of a problem to hedgehogs than them catching lungworm from them. Hedgehogs have been around for millions of years – don’t know how long slugs have been around, but they form a part of the hedgehogs natural diet and I imagine parasites have been around a pretty long time too. You would never get rid of all the slugs anyway and they do perform an important function breaking down dead plant material, as do earthworms which can also apparently carry lungworm. So, if you got rid of slugs and earthworms a significant part of hogs’ potential natural diet would be gone. Also hogs are travelling into many gardens and could be eating slugs in any of them.
I have heard beer traps suggested, where you sink a small container with beer in it into the ground and the smell is supposed to attract slugs, who then drown in it. You would have to be very careful about the container you used to ensure that any hog could not become trapped in it. Being inquisitive creatures they apparently sometimes put their heads into containers and get them stuck and small hoglets could, potentially, fall into others and become unable to get out. I don’t know whether or not hogs would also be attracted to the beer, nor what effect it would have on them if they drank it. Other than to keep the slugs away from a prized plant, I can’t see that it would make a great deal of difference.
My feeling is, the best thing to do if you want to reduce slug numbers, is to create a wildlife pond which will encourage frogs, who eat slugs as well.
To quote from ‘Hedgehogs’ by Pat Morris re. lungworm:
“Adults are more often infected than juveniles because these parasites come from eating infected prey, and so it takes time to acquire them. It’s perfectly natural and hard to avoid. Sometimes infestations may be sufficiently severe as to result in death, but normally a hedgehog carries relatively few of these parasites and the only evidence is their microscopic eggs in the hedgehog’s droppings. …..”
So by no means all hogs are badly affected by lungworm, but if you hear a hog sounding wheezy, or coughing you could take it to your local carer and get it checked out. The huffing sound they make during ‘courtship’ is perfectly normal.
Hope this helps and that you continue to enjoy the hedgehogs visits without worrying too much about slugs!15th August 2018 at 11:03 am #11329
Hedgehogs are able to cope perfectly well with these parasites when they are well. It is only when they are ill or under significant stress that the levels of parasites can rise and cause problems.
It is thought that the nematode slug pellets are safe around hogs – there is not enough current research. Personally I would go down the route Nic has suggested as the really only safe solution. It also keeps the wildlife in balance.
Hedgehogs quite often have a ‘sweet tooth’ and so beer may be quite a temptation although if the trap isn’t too deep then it would work
Enjoy your little family15th August 2018 at 9:54 pm #11359
We have a visitor every evening too!
We put a dish of hedgehog food and mealworms out.16th August 2018 at 2:06 pm #11369
Really pleased to hear that you have a regular hog visitor there. Hedgehog food is fine for them, but mealworms, sadly, not. Many people don’t know that they have very little nutritional value for hogs and because of the ratio of phosphorous to calcium they contain, they can leach calcium from their bones. Unfortunately, the hogs do like them (a bit like humans with crisps) but they are best avoided.
Hope you continue to enjoy the hog’s visits. Happy hog watching.
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