I need advice on hedgehog tics
20th June 2018 at 5:38 pm #10020
I am new here and would really like some help about tics.
We are feeding 2/3 regular visitors in a hedgehog house. Sometimes 1 will have a sleepover. We recently took an overnight visitor to our local vet to have tics removed. We now know we have loads of tics in the hedgehog house so assume every time they come for food tics can attach to them. We were using straw in the house. We have removed the straw and cleaned the house. Any ideas what we can do to stop it happening again. We are in the process of building a separate feeding station
Thanks20th June 2018 at 6:05 pm #10023
You are right about the hog houses being a source of ticks. The best thing to do when you clean out the hog house is to use boiling water so that any eggs are killed as well. Make sure it gets right into the cracks in the joins. I had a similar problem with one of my boxes a few years ago and it was quite incredible the number of ticks I kept removing. I put some of them in a sealed bag prior to disposal and some of them actually laid eggs whilst in there – and they lay a lot of eggs! Boiling water seemed to solve the problem and I hope it does for you too. Don’t be tempted to use insecticide as many are not good for hogs.
Good luck and happy hog watching!20th June 2018 at 7:01 pm #10024
Is it OK to put straw in the house and how often should we clear/clean it?20th June 2018 at 9:51 pm #10025
I myself never use straw for hedgehog bedding as it is to hard. I get a bag of hay from the pet store.
Willpar.21st June 2018 at 6:08 am #10031
Thanks, I think it is hay as I bought it from the pet shop. It’s what they use for small mammals.21st June 2018 at 9:49 am #10032
The following is a link from Hedgehog Street https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/cleaning-out-boxes/
Whilst it recommends April and October, because you have had an infestation of ticks, I would be inclined to check it fairly often for a while – you may find that you need to repeat the boiling water treatment if more ticks appear. That is on the understanding that you are sure there are no hogs in there and if there are, you should not disturb the box.
I think the advice given is to some extent connected to breeding and hibernation. But my feeling is that if your box is just used for casual and occasional over-day stays or short naps, as mine has been in the past, it is ok to check it if you are sure it isn’t in use. This casual use is the sort of use that can encourage ticks to be shared around. It only needs one hog with ticks to sleep in there for a while to set the whole cycle off again.
I stress that you need to be absolutely sure there is no hog present in the box before disturbing it. If a female hog is disturbed when she has very young hoglets, she may desert them or even eat them.
Re. bedding. If you leave a variety of materials close to the box the hogs will likely take in whatever is their preference. You may like to put a small amount of material such as hay or leaves to start it off, but at this time of year, I find that for casual stays, the hogs are perfectly happy with a minimal amount of bedding, if at all. ( I had one hog here who just used to curl up in the corner between a wall and a fence for a nap). If a female decides to use the box for breeding, I imagine she will want to chose her own materials and design of nest! That’s where lots of materials nearby comes in handy.
There is loads of information on hog related things available here on Hedgehog Street and on the BHPS site and it is really worth having a read when time allows.22nd June 2018 at 8:37 pm #10044
Ok. We will clean more often if we have no lodgers.
I could be wrong but we seem to have mainly male visitors.
I check the camera every morning and can usually tell if we have s visitor.
Thanks for your help.
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