Hedgehogs are known for their love of snacking on insects, which can often lead them to nibble on the grass in your garden. While they may not cause as much damage as a dog or cat, they can still be a nuisance if they constantly munch on your lawn.
In this blog post, I will take a closer look at whether or not hedgehogs ruin lawns and provide some tips on how to deal with this pesky problem.
Do Hedgehogs Ruin Lawns?
Hedgehogs are not typically known for their destructive habits, but they can cause some damage to your lawn if they are constantly snacking on the grass. While hedgehogs do not typically eat enough to kill the grass, they can still cause brown patches and make your lawn look patchy and unkempt.
Do Hedgehogs dog Holes in Lawns?
Another common concern among gardeners is that hedgehogs dig holes in their lawns for food. While it is true that hedgehogs are known to dig small holes in the ground, they are not typically doing this to find food.
Instead, they are usually just looking for a place to build a nest or to take shelter.
They don’t often dig holes in lawns. Instead, hedgehogs will frequently go for cover in places like bushes and the spaces under your houses. Therefore, it may not necessarily be a hedgehog’s responsibility if you see holes in your lawn.
Why Do Hedgehogs Visit Lawns?
Hedgehogs are attracted to lawns for a variety of reasons.
Source of Food
Lawns are a great food source for hedgehogs as they are full of insects. Hedgehogs will often snack on grubs, worms, and other small insects in the grass.
This can be a problem for gardeners trying to keep their lawns free of pests.
Lawns also provide hedgehogs with a place to build their nests. Hedgehogs typically nest in small, hidden places where they will be safe from predators.
A well-manicured lawn with lots of bushes and trees can provide a hedgehog with the perfect place to build a nest and raise its young.
How Can I Keep Hedgehogs Off My Lawn?
If you are concerned about hedgehogs damaging your lawn, there are a few things that you can do in order to deter them.
Grow Short Grass
Hedgehogs prefer longer grass when they are looking for food. So one of the best ways to deter them from snacking on your lawn is to keep the grass short.
You can do this by mowing your lawn regularly or by trimming the edges of your lawn with a pair of hedge shears.
Install a Fence
Another effective way to keep hedgehogs off your lawn is by installing a fence. A simple chicken wire fence can be enough to deter hedgehogs from entering your garden.
Ensure the fence is at least three feet tall and buried at least six inches into the ground.
Keep Insects Away
Hedgehogs are attracted to yards with a lot of insects. So, if you reduce the number of insects in your garden, you will also reduce the number of hedgehogs attracted to it.
You can do this by using insecticide or attracting natural predators like bats into your yard.
Provide Them with an Alternative Source of Food
If you provide hedgehogs with an alternative source of food, they will be less likely to snack on your lawn. You can do this by placing a bowl of dog or cat food in your garden or by setting up a small pond for them to drink from.
Use Hedgehog Repellent
There are a number of commercial repellents that you can use to deter hedgehogs from entering your garden. These repellents usually contain strong smells or tastes that hedgehogs do not like, such as garlic or chili pepper.
You can find these repellents at your local garden center or online.
If you have a particularly persistent hedgehog, you may need to resort to trapping it. There are a few different types of traps that you can use, but be sure to check the laws in your area before setting one up.
Once you have caught the hedgehog, you can release it into a more suitable habitat. This is often the most effective way to deal with this problem since it will allow you to remove the hedgehog without harming it.
How To Tell When There Is a Hedgehog in Your Garden
Here are some possible signs that you have a hedgehog in your garden:
It’s possible that you will find some hedgehog footprints on your lawn if there is a patch of soft ground there. Hedgehogs may weigh up to 1 kg.
Thus, you can easily find their traces after they leave them. Be aware that if your ground is hard, this may not be the case, as hedgehogs don’t normally step firmly.
If you hear some grunting, snuffling, or hissing noises coming from your garden at night, there’s a good chance it is a hedgehog. These animals are mostly nocturnal, and their sounds are often the only way to know they’re around.
Like the excrement of other animals, hedgehog excretions are typically cylindrical and dark brown or black in color. They typically include most things that hedgehogs eat, including berry pips and insects like beetles.
Hedgehog excrement doesn’t smell as horrible as other animal excrement, yet it still won’t smell like a bouquet of roses. However, you may be certain that hedgehogs live nearby your lawn if you notice piles of hedgehog poo on your lawn.
Hedgehogs love to nibble on soft fruits, vegetables, and flowers. So, if you find that your plants have been nibbled on, it’s likely that a hedgehog is a culprit.
Holes in Your Lawn
As I mentioned before, hedgehogs typically create small holes in the ground as they search for food. Finding these holes on your lawn is a good indication of a hedgehog in the area.
Hedgehog and Lawn FAQs
What do hedgehogs eat?
Hedgehogs are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. Some of the things that hedgehogs typically eat include insects, snails, slugs, frogs, eggs, and small mammals.
Hedgehogs will also occasionally eat fruits and vegetables.
Do hedgehogs carry diseases?
Hedgehogs can carry a number of different diseases, including rabies, salmonella, and leptospirosis. However, the risk of contracting these diseases from a hedgehog is relatively low.
If you do come into contact with a hedgehog, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Do hedgehogs bite?
Hedgehogs can bite if they feel threatened. However, their teeth are relatively small and not very sharp, so the bites usually aren’t too serious. If a hedgehog bites you, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly and contact your doctor if it becomes infected.
Hedgehogs can be a nuisance if they decide to make your garden their home. However, there are a few steps that you can take in order to remove them without harming them.
Be sure to check with your local wildlife rehabilitation center before taking any action, as they will be able to help you determine the best course of action.
I hope this article has helped you learn a little bit more about hedgehogs and whether or not they ruin lawns. Happy gardening.