Hedgehogs for Garden Pest Control?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by moonwolf, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Is anyone aware of the use of Hedgehogs as an organic form of biological garden insect pest control ?

    from Wikipedia:

    "Pest control
    Hedgehog
    Hedgehogs are a powerful form of pest control. A single hedgehog can keep an average garden free of pests by eating up to 200 grams of insects each night. Therefore, it is common throughout England to see people attempting to lure hedgehogs into their gardens with treats and hedgehog-sized holes in their fences."



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedgehog
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Or you could lure in some ground hogs, and insects wouldn't have anything to eat when they got done caretaking your garden.
    Sounds like a real good homesteading sideline would be raising hedgehogs to sell to gardeners.
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    that's the difference, though. Ground Hogs eat vegitation and would kill your garden. Hedgehogs are insectivores, and would not eat your garden plants.

    If a hedgehog (I guess an 'ordinary sized' one that is bigger than a 'pet' hedgehog) eats 1/2 lb. of insects a night. Wow. that is an amazing pest control, don't you believe? :shrug:
     
  4. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WOW.
    Might have to get a hedgehog come springtime! Know they are awesome at insect control (particularly grubs) but never put two and two together...
     
  5. karsan

    karsan Well-Known Member

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    Do you really have hedgehogs in America? I thought they were found only in the Old World. Erinaceus europaeus - we better make sure we are talking about the same animal. Supposedly they eat slugs too - I wish some hedgehogs would settle in my garden, but so far I have never seen one there. I did spot one about 1 km away, though so there is hope. In a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden.

    karsan
     
  6. Cara

    Cara Well-Known Member

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    We don't have native hedgehogs...they're all imports.....but really cute imports!
     
  7. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    Cute little buggers :)
     
  8. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are there any varieties that are capable of surviving in the wild in the north American climate ? I used to see lots of them in gardens in southern England but I don't even know if they live in the northern England or Scotland. I'd love some around here.
    PQ
     
  9. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    The only hedgehogs I've seen sold in the US are African Pygmy hedgehogs. I doubt they'd do well wintering outside. But I've often thought about keeping one in a greenhouse or sunroom. And now (thanks to this thread!) I'm thinking about getting a couple for the garden in summer. It's fenced in poultry wire, with the chicken moat around that, so double fenced. They'd just need a small shelter, and water, and some feed supplementation...but they'd rather eat insects which are the natural food, so I doubt much supplement needed during summer! They'd be fine staying in the house over winter. And they're litter box trainable, so cleaning the cage would be easy.

    They do have a tendency towards lice, however, so I'd advise a thorough check before they're brought in!

    Hmmmm....I think the Japanese beetles are in for a treat this year! hehehe!
     
  10. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a very old groundhog that lives at the edge of my garden, contrary to popular opinion, he never bothers anything. his ancestors have been here 40 years.
     
  11. redbudlane

    redbudlane Head Zookeeper

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    Our local library has a hedgehog for a pet. I got him for them while I was working there in the children's department. The kids just love him and so do the adults. I don't think they would be hardy enough to withstand cold winters (maybe they would hibernate?) but may do OK in warmer climates. I know one of his favorites treats is chicken.
     
  12. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    The English hedgehog looks like it is more able to take care of itself in the wild. The African hedgehog looks more like a loveable house pet. Just my opinion, but I don't think the African hog would survive in cold weather. Maybe in the deep south, but what kind of impact might it make on the area if they adapted and started breeding like rabbits? I'm not a tree hugger, but when I see how much damage the Kudzu has done it makes me think of how well mother nature has done for hundreds of years. It only takes one person to introduce an invasive plant or animal that can upset the balance and cause rampant destruction. It's taken half a lifetime for me to learn, but I'm now aware of how delicate the balance of nature is and how much damage is done by well meaning people making small changes that can have devastating results.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. karsan

    karsan Well-Known Member

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    yes, the English hedgehog, which is the same species we have in Scandinavia, hibernates in winter. I never heard of anybody having them as pets indoors. Quite a number of people put out food for 'their' hedgehog in summer, they can become rather unafraid of people but will not let you pet them. Their defense is to curl up into a ball with spikes in all directions. They usually do not come out until dusk. They have become rather rare, too. Curling up into a ball is not a good defense to automobiles when crossing a country road.

    karsan
     
  14. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Do the pet african hedgehogs eat a lot of insects?
    The fact they won't survive winter is a good thing. Garden pests in winter aren't a problem, so they might work if they eat a log of garden pests as you go out with them as pets with supervision so they won't be open to predators on their own. Do they only eat at night too? That could make it more difficult.
     
  15. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I'm wondering if they only eat ground insects, or if I could build a ladder so they could feast on cucumber beetles... ;)

    Honestly, hedgehogs remind me of that old Monty Python "Dinsdale" sketch, where the giant hedgehog keeps popping out and calling, "DINSDALE!!!"

    Pony!
     
  16. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used to have a pet african hedgehog. we had her for a long time until she died. they are in the pet shops everywhere. I wonder if you could keep them in the garden in the summer, and keep them inside over winter? any thoughts?