ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Hedgehog:Organic Pest Control

Updated on October 14, 2012
The hedgehog is the gardener's best friend for pest control
The hedgehog is the gardener's best friend for pest control | Source

A hedgehog, otherwise known as a hedge-pig is a spiny mammal found through parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. Hedgehogs are not native to North America or Australia.

Hedgehogs have remained the same for the at least  the past ten million years. They were one of the first mammals and are adapted to an insectivorous, nocturnal lifestyle. They are called hedgehogs because they live in hedgerows and have a snout similar to that of a pig.

Hedgehogs primarily come out at night, and have varying levels of daytime activity depending on the particular species. The hedgehog sleeps during the day either in a hole in the ground or under grass, a rock or a bush. Many species of hedgehogs shelter in underground dens which they dig themselves. Hibernation can occur in all hedgehogs but whether it occurs or not depends on three factors: availability of food, species of hedgehog and weather, temperature in particular.

Hedgehogs that live in the wild are frequently welcome in gardens as a natural form of pest control.

One hedgehog can keep an average garden pest-free while it eats up to 200 grams of insects and bugs per night. Commonly, people try to lure hedgehogs into their gardens with treats. To encourage hedgehogs into your garden, is best to leave out only a small treat (tinned dog food for example) which means they are still hungry for eating the pests in your garden. Keeping your garden free of pests is thirsty work so be sure to leave plenty of water out for hedgehogs as well.

The hedgehog is considered to be a helpful, busy and cute (but not so cuddly) helper in the garden. This is because what it considers gourmet food  are what we consider garden pests. For example, the hedgehog likes to eat snails, beetles, slugs, insects and caterpillars as well as other garden pests.

Even though the hedgehog is very popular, man is it’s main predator, by accident rather than on purpose of course. Hedgehogs are often killed by cars on the roads and the use of pesticides in the garden means that they are susceptible to poisoning while they forage there. Because of it’s sharp spikes, man is the hedgehog’s only (inadvertent) predator and it is clear that the hedgehog has begun to use more useful flight tactics to avoid becoming roadkill i.e. many hedgehogs have learned to run away from the path of an oncoming car rather than curling into a ball in the middle of the road.

A hedgehog’s spikes are made of keratin and are extremely sharp. A female hedgehog can have one or two litters in the summer months with up to seven young in each litter. Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal and it is widely believed that only sick or hungry hedgehogs appear during the day. Late summer and Autumn is a busy time for the hedgehog as it is then time to eat abundantly to produce sufficient fat deposits to survive their hibernation in winter.

If the use of chemical pesticides is kept to a minimum in the garden, the hedgehog and the gardener can enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship i.e. the hedgehog removes garden pests by eating them. Perhaps the gardener can also supply a small undisturbed pile of grass clippings, sticks and leaves where the hedgehog can bed down during the day before going on-duty as garden-pest exterminator at night. Surely, those who are supplied with food and board in a garden in this way will think they are in hedgehog heaven!

Do you have hedgehogs in you garden?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thanks for your feedback

    • profile image

      Nick 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this. I've been debating whether to get an exterminator for my garden an this was very interesting. http://givebugstheboottucson.com

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thanks so much for that.Apparently they are not native to North America or Australia.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      These animals are very cute, but I don't think I've ever seen them in the wild here in Southern California. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      7 years ago from New Brunswick

      Hedgehogs as organic pest control, I like that.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)