why would hedgehogs stop coming in July?
11th July 2021 at 12:35 am #32414
I need some advice. We attracted hedgehogs to our garden last year to help us with slugs on the veggie patches just by making a walkway under the fence and have water put out for them. No doubt attracted by the food dropped from the bird feeder they were wondering the garden before we even had bought hedgehog food. They came along all last year. This year in March at the first warm weather spell they were back and kept visiting every night, eating the food. We sometimes saw them wondering around and caught them on camera trap at the food tray. Now 3 things happened in the last couple of weeks and we haven’t seen any hedgehogs or caught on camera or found any poo since. I am not sure if any of it is related, but the slugs are thriving and I would love the hoggies back.
1: we caught a rat in the hedgehog house on camera 2 nights in a row cleaning up the remnants. We did cartch hedgehogs before and after his visit on camera. Scared of trapping a hedgehog that may get caught in the “friendly” rat trap door we tracked the rat trails and planted 3 mint plants in the area where it enters our garden from the neighbours (not the hedgehog entering point – is too small)
2: we put our vegetables out. Just tomatoes and peppers growing in pots, but it made the garden different and fuller. But we had those last year too.
3: to move the hedgehog food away from the rat trail and less tempting, we moved the hedgehog shelter to a different area, where it is more open.
It has been 2 weeks now since we saw any sign of a hedgehog. I am worried something happened to them, it is way to early for hibernation. Although it did happen shortly after it got colder…. I did scout around and when we get home early from our nightshift we look closely on the road, we haven’t seen any killed lately either. I love these little creatures so I hope someone has some insight and tips on how to get them back to wondering into our garden as our slugs are getting out of hand. Thanks13th July 2021 at 6:40 am #32426
Our wild hogs did exactly the same last year and in previous years left in September. It’s always a worry but hogs have big roaming ranges and they move on when the mood suits them or when they find better foraging, particularly when the mating season is over. Females find nests to raise their hoglets and makes go exploring. It’s just the way they are. I hope you see them back but remember that our food is supplementary for them and their natural diet is worms and insects.13th July 2021 at 10:10 am #32429
Same here Afrikaren, our 2 seem to have moved on this last week, so you are not alone.16th July 2021 at 3:28 am #32501
thanks for replying – I am indeed only feeding them a little as I don’t want them to rely on the food but forage (in our garden). We had five different ones in March. They had weird white markings as if their spikes had turned white or someone spraypainted them with something. No sign off them still but will cross fingers they come back18th July 2021 at 8:09 am #32524
Glad I spotted this thread as my 2 hogs haven’t been visiting much over the last week or so. We were away a couple of weeks ago so the wildlife camera was on 24/7 but the weather was also pretty rubbish. One of the hogs visited on Saturday briefly, then last night it captured me watering the garden at 10.18pm and the next activity was a cat at 5.08am. It was hot of course so even the regular moggy that eats up the scattered hedgehog food didn’t visit. But useful to know that they may just be doing what comes naturally.
When would I be OK to check/clean out the hedgehog house? I want to tweak its position and level the ground it’s standing on. I’m not going to move it as my wildflowers have grown around it so it’s in a great spot (didn’t seem like it till the plants grew, but it’s also near a hedgehog/rat hole under the fence)20th July 2021 at 12:17 pm #32553
Hi, I’ve just read this interesting post and replies. I’ve been tracking my local hedgehog population – at least 7 individuals – for several years now, using a night vision camera. I’ve seen fights and courtship, but no babies yet. However the numbers have been dropping off over the last two weeks and last night nobody came at all! I know that they do their own thing, but I can’t help being worried. I think it’s important that we put water out for them in this very hot weather.
On the subject of slugs, I don’t believe they like slugs at all. Our gardens are overrun with slugs and snails and over several years of observations I have never seen a hedgehog eat a slug. I’ve seen them walk on top of them, trample them underfoot but mostly they ignore them completely. I’m afraid I don’t think you can rely on hedgehogs to keep slugs off your veggies.21st July 2021 at 11:58 am #32565
Well said about the water – vitally important for hogs and best left available all day every day.
It’s always a worry when hogs disappear, but as you will have read they often do and then return again. There are many potential reasons.
Regarding the question of slugs. It is mostly the small and medium sized slugs that hogs eat. As you say, those big ones, they normally just ignore. But it is apparently the small ones which do the most damage to vegetables, etc., so that’s good. You would be unlikely to see a hog eating those tiny slugs from night cam video (i.e. differentiate a tiny slug from an insect and also the slugs that eat plants would be less likely to be found around hog feeding stations where cameras are often aimed), but they do eat the slightly bigger ones as well. It may depend a bit on hog’s personal preferences.
Fingers crossed some hogs return again soon.26th July 2021 at 12:06 pm #32647
Thanks for your advice Nic. I hadn’t really realised that slugs come in different sizes! I hope Afrikaren is successful in keeping them off the veg patch.
You’ll be happy to know that our hogs have returned now that the weather is a bit cooler. I can only surmise that they went away to a hedgehog rave somewhere!26th July 2021 at 12:14 pm #32650
Great news the hogs have returned! Happy hog watching!30th July 2021 at 11:00 pm #32760
Finally at long last we spotted a spiny bum in the hedgehog house again for 2 nights in a row now. I am soooo happy.
As for the slugs, we are suckers and have kept on tossing them over the fence knowing full well they will return, but we managed to save most of the plants. Just a few they really loved were decimated… ah well.
But I am going to do a happy dance now30th July 2021 at 11:08 pm #32762
That’s brilliant news that there’s a hog back – so pleased for you!
Happy hogwatching!19th August 2021 at 9:52 am #33198
Mine have returned sporadically – I was pleased because the dog and I spotted a dead one elsewhere on the estate. I haven’t had the camera out for a couple of weeks because the weather has been rubbish and as there was so little activity, put it out last night and just got the usual cat eating up the food I scattered. I really want to check the house, but then again I don’t – if that makes sense. Don’t want to put Sonic off if he/she is living in there but wanted to adjust its location if it’s empty, ready for hibernation.25th August 2021 at 7:54 am #33335
I’m new to the site and was interested to read about the hedgehogs disappearing for a while. We have a resident hedgehog who lives under our shed. We moved two years ago and shortly after could hear strange snorting noises in the garden of a night time. Our bedroom overlooks the garden and we live in a bungalow. One evening I looked out the window about 11pm and at first I thought it was rats running about as I couldn’t hear any noise. I got my phone and turned on the torch and discovered it was 3 hedgehogs. I didn’t feed at first just leaving then to their own devices. Time went on and then I could only see one. I started feeding it every night. I knew it lived under the shed as I watched it come out and go back under. One day early April it was in the garden during the day. Very strange so I put out food which it ate and some water. A week later my dog found it under our hedge in the day time. I thought it was dead as it was a sunny day and it wasn’t moving. On closer inspection it was alive but very weak and looked like some blood on its spines. I quickly scooped it up and took it to a hedgehog friend of mine. He kept it for a week and it recovered nicely. It was under weight so he fed it up and returned it to me as I wanted it back to where it lived. It went straight back under the shed when I released it that night. I’ve continued to feed him every night since and he’s got quite big. However I went on holiday on 8th August for 2 weeks. My son came over periodically to feed him but the last sighting of him was 18 August. I haven’t seen him since we returned on 20th. I have put food in the usual place and right by the shed but food hasn’t been touched. I’m really worried something has happened to him.26th August 2021 at 1:48 am #33373
Hi Tomo T,
Lovely to hear the story about your resident hedgehog. I hope he is safe and well, sometimes they do seem to disappear for a while but hopefully he will show up again. Clearly your shed is excellent for sleeping under, I wish mine had space underneath it!
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