Where to put hedgehog houses?
12th June 2020 at 8:50 pm #24610
Recently i purchased a hedgehog house online and received it in very poor condition, there was complications with a courier to take it back so the company has let us keep it with a refund too, we decided to build one our self out of wood when we received the box in poor conditions but there has also been complications getting the right wood to build it and finding something to treat the wood with that is okay for the hedgehog, so we decided just to use the hedgehog box that we purchased and just patch for the time being. So i have 3 places i’m thinking of putting the hedgehog house but there are pros and cons for each place.
Position number 1- Its behind a big shrub and a big fir tree in the corner of our front garden away from the dogs who go in the back garden only, it’s against a wall and there are piles of cut grass and leaves and garden waste there so i thought it would be good to make space between the piles of garden waste and maybe cover the roof of the box with the garden waste and leaves to make it blend in again. There tend to be birds behind there a bit so could the birds disturb the hedgehog if it is sleeping/hibernating and so on in the box by entering the box or singing and waking it up, there’s always birds singing around the area too but i’m presuming that won’t bother the hedgehog sleeping. Also the road is on the other side of the wall, not a busy road we live in a small neighbourhood with about 7 houses spread out so there’s not many cars but when there are any cars could that disturb the hedgehog in the box too?
Position number 2- Its in some over grown ivy and brambles that are on the ground, there’s bushes behind it and a wall, holly bush in the middle of the bed, its a quiet cut off corner of the garden but is near our driveway which is sometimes a bit busy with the family going out, could that disturb the hedgehog? and again the other side of the wall is the country road and there are sometimes birds behind there too and also mice, i have spotted a fox back there too on my wildlife camera trap one night. I’m also pretty sure cats go back there too.
Position number 3-Its in a fenced off area that leads to my back garden but i have blocked the pathway that leads to the back so the hedgehog doesn’t go behind there where there are dogs and also slug pellets, i have cut a hole in the fence to the position which is by my wooden logs store, where we store our logs, there are lots of bugs and wood chippings nobody goes behind there very often and its pretty quiet against a wall. The other side of the wall is my neighbours garden where she has cats and i have seen other neighbourhood cats behind there too so not sure if they would disturb the hedgehog, also the ground is gravel there so not as cosy, not much to make the box blend in it would stand out a bit but its quiet from humans and dogs.
All of these positions are far away from the dogs they cant get anywhere near them and we don’t use slug pellets in the front garden since we discovered the hedgehog. Also the box has a corridor that separates where the hedgehog would be sleeping and the entrance to the hedgehog room is at the back of the corridor so no cat or fox can get in or get there arms in and attack the hedgehog. What position do you think is best to put the box?
Thanks13th June 2020 at 2:04 pm #24625
As you say, it seems there are pros and cons to all your proposed sites. There is some information about hog houses here: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/hedgehog-homes/
If you have hog in the front garden it’s quite likely that they will get into the back garden, too. I would not use slug pellets at all if there are hedgehogs in the area. Slugs and snails can travel a bit too.
The cats probably won’t bother the hogs, although if you were putting food in the box (which I wouldn’t advise if you wanted it to be used for nesting), there would probably be at least one cat which managed to get in! The birdsong wouldn’t bother the hedgehog either.
Bear in mind that if using natural materials to build a nest they like medium sized leaves, long grasses to help weave it all together, that sort of thing. Although you could always leave a pile of suitable material nearby wherever you decide to place the house.
You might find that you need to try out different places to see which works best. But I wouldn’t keep moving the box too often. Sometimes with hogs they won’t use a box until it has become part of the scenery – although sometimes a hog moves in almost immediately.
But I think you are going to have to make the decision yourself. It needs to be somewhere convenient for you as well as the hogs.
Good luck. I hope wherever you choose you get a tenant soon.13th June 2020 at 3:16 pm #24629
Thank you, we have a wall separating the front garden to the back garden and I have blocked off any ways that it could get to the back for their safety, I have also bought straw for bedding, could I leave that outside the box or just put it inside?
Thanks14th June 2020 at 1:34 pm #24665
I would put a small amount of bedding in the box – to give them the idea, but leave most of it outside. Many hogs seem to like doing their own interior decorations and have been known to empty out what someone has helpfully put in a hog house for them! If you have any dried leaves, I would leave them nearby as well – they sometimes like having a bit of variety in their bedding.
When it comes to bedding for hibernation (later on) they quite like long grasses as well as leaves, to help weave everything together.14th June 2020 at 5:03 pm #24673
Thanks for your response, I will keep that in mind when we put the Hedgehog box out, I might pile up some leaves for the hedgehogs now, we don’t have many long grasses in our garden but I will leave out straw and leaves for them!22nd June 2020 at 6:21 pm #24978
You were right Nic, I put my camera in the back of my back garden last night by big piles of cut grass, sticks and leaves and I caught some footage of a hog/hogs behind there, I have suspicions that there is a hog or more than one possibly living amongst the leaves and twigs and the garden waste, not sure though. I will have to do some investigating with my wildlife camera and put it in different locations in the back garden to see where it’s going, what it’s doing, where it’s coming from et cetera! I’m not sure if there are more than one hogs as I wouldn’t know how to tell them apart! I’m slightly concerned as we have 2 dogs a Labrador cross Border Collie we think and another Labrador cross but not sure what with as they’re both from rescue centres and we have an allotment which is prone to slugs and things like that so we tend to use slug pellets a lot in both the allotment and in the main garden for the flowers as I said before.23rd June 2020 at 1:00 am #24993
Glad to hear the hogs are making good use of the nesting resources. The hogs might be foraging amongst the garden waste. Might be a good place to pick up beetles, etc.
I’m still worried about the slug pellets. The slugs/snails can climb over walls and the hogs still potentially eat them.
I found some information, with safe slug control ideas, which you might find useful:
https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/ideas-for-safe-slug-control/23rd June 2020 at 10:51 am #24997
Thank you, I’ll try them out and see what happens.
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