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Will another hedgehog move in?

Home Forums Champions’ chat Will another hedgehog move in?

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    Hi, I’ve been feeding the hedgehogs in our garden for about 2 months now and we seem to have at least 3 regular characters who visit every evening. I recently built a hedgehog house at the bottom of our garden and was thrilled to see on my wildlife camera that one of the three decided to move in almost immediately using the bedding (dead leaves, dried grass and some straw) I left nearby. He/she slept in the house for 3 consecutive days but then decided to move out although they are still visiting and enjoying the food every evening. A few nights later we watched on the camera one of the others entering the empty house, having a good sniff around and then come back out again.
    Will another hedgehog move into the house with the bedding that the first hedgehog used still in there or would I need to empty and clean the house before someone else would consider moving in?
    I know if it where me I would expect the landlord to give it a thorough clean before I moved in but then hedgehogs may not be so fussy!😆


    Hi MerryMouse!

    It’s perfectly normal for hogs to only stay a few days, and no you don’t need to change the bedding- they will bring fresh bedding if they want it, although it can’t hurt to leave some nearby for them. They usually prefer to take it in themselves, as you’ve seen.

    It’s actually only advisable to thoroughly clean the hog houses a couple of times a year, in certain months, to avoid the risk of disturbing hogs that are hibernating or mothers with young.

    It’s great that the house got used so quickly and I’m sure they will use it again. If you can make more houses I’m sure they would also get used, maybe even for hibernation. I have two hedgehogs that seem to sleep in my garden every day, but once a week or so they will switch to a different hog house. So I’m hopeful that some of them may be hibernating with me, although they have shown very little interest in nest-building so far.


    Thanks Kitty878, will leave the house as it is then. I’m definitely going to make some more houses, will set it as my weekend project.

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    Hi MerryMouse

    I would be inclined to clean the house out. If a hog has been using it for short stays it could easily have left some external parasites and their eggs, in payment! Just make absolutely certain there is no-one in residence before you begin. A rolled up ball of paper or leaf or twig – that sort of thing – in the doorway, might help you be sure. Then just open the lid very carefully just to be completely certain.

    This is one of the times of year to clean out hog houses, anyway – before hibernation. The last thing you would want is for some poor hog to begin hibernation with loads of external parasites.

    So I would dispose of the material the other hog used. Use gloves and make sure you don’t get any ticks on you and then use boiling water to kill any eggs that may have got into the cracks. Dry thoroughly and then just add a handful of material to give them idea and leave loads of material nearby. Medium sized leaves are preferred for building nests, especially hibernacula.


    Hi Nic, thank you for answering my question. I had my camera on the house last night and just viewed the footage. A different hog did go in, had a look around and came back out again so I’ll clean it out today incase they decide to go back in. At least I know it’s empty at the moment.

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