Hedgehog Houses

 

If you have hedgehogs in your garden, please look after them well. You are one of the very few lucky ones to still enjoy the presence of these endangered animals. There are several types of hedgehog house available from good pet stores, garden centres and many online stores
All styles of houses are beautifully designed and crafted, classy and a real asset to your garden. Useful for hedgehogs and  aesthetically pleasing for us.

These are some of the houses we recommend to help a hedgehog in your garden

You can also buy many other different types of hedgehog houses through our Hedgehog shop

Buy through our hedgehog shop

The majority of the houses you buy need to be covered in roofing felt to protect from the weather and prevent leaks. Please don’t rely on the small amounts that the manufacturers put on. If you purchase the Ark hedgehog houses or the Riverside Woodcraft Eco houses then they use  a special plastic treated wood combination that is fully waterproof without any extra roofing felt.

Where to put the house

The ideal place for the house is under a hedge, large shrub or similar concealed place to make it as natural as possible.

Never put it in direct sunlight. Behind a shed or in a quiet shady corner is fine if you haven’t got any bushes or shrubs.

Put a couple of slabs under the hedge to protect the box from the damp ground and keep it fairly level (cost about 90p each from your local DIY store), then put a rubber doormat with holes to allow drainage on top of the slabs, with the box sitting on the mat, this allows rain water to run away under the box without any danger of the box getting flooded.

Fill it ¾ full with hay and dried leaves  and your hedgehog will soon take up residence. It may take a few weeks for the hedgehog to adopt the box, but rest assured it soon will. Often during the summer the box will be used by a mother to have babies or as a temporary shelter for the odd night or two and then during the winter a hedgehog will take up permanent residence and hibernate safely & successfully..

When you first put it down, check after the first rain storm that there are no leaks, we found that what we thought was a waterproof house wasn’t, the felt had slipped when I placed it. If the felt tears or cracks then just place another sheet over the existing one, a couple of layers make for good insulation.

It is a very good idea to keep a spare sheet of felt or tarpaulin and a bag of hay around for emergencies .

Please try to put a box or other shelter down early in the year so the hedgehog can get used to it and knows it’s there, especially if there is bad weather before hibernation time.

Once the house is being used, it just needs a quick clean out twice a year, in March/April when the hedgehog wakes up from hibernation & again in September/October before the hibernation. Just take out all the old hay and give it a quick wipe around with a safe disinfectant (one you would use on your food preparation surfaces or one sold especially for animal use) DO NOT USE BLEACH, then refill with hay.

If you have hedgehogs visiting your garden & can’t build or buy  a proper house then any shelter is better than none.  A good quick alternative is to lean a piece of plywood or board against the shed wall or similar sheltered place at 45º angle, put another piece raised on bricks underneath it as a floor and place a tarpaulin or piece of roofing felt over to make it waterproof, leaving just a small entrance at one end. Fill with hay and hope that a hedgehog will use it.

You can build your own hedgehog house and there are loads of sites showing how to do it. However I have found over the years that unless you are particularly handy with wood and power tools it works out just as cheap, if not cheaper to buy a ready made one

Here are a few :

BBC Gardner’s World

Hedgehog Bottom

BBC Breathing Places

Here is  a rough idea of how to build a hedgehog house yourself

You can download a PDF copy

hedgehog house plans

 

I would add one word of warning about all these suggestions and ideas. Do not bury the house underground as many of them suggest. That is a recipe for disaster. The box will get damp & wet and full of slugs, snails, earthworms and other creatures but no hedgehogs. Always have it above ground in a sheltered place and covered with roofing felt or tarpaulin. Remember, you need to clean it out at least twice  a year and change the bedding inside it.

Buy through our hedgehog shop

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7 Comments on "Hedgehog Houses"

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Teresa
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Gemini, My Dad needs a hedgehog in his large garden as it is full of slugs eating his flowers and vegetables.

Pat
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will leaving food for the hegdehogs encourage rats, if so how can I avoid this?

Amanda
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If you leave meal worms they do not seem to attract the rats

Paul
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I have just been out to check on our hedgehog who has her house in the garden. We had ours placed on bark under a coniffer. The bedding looks pretty damp and slightlty mouldy on top. Further down it seems better. I noticed a dead maggot or meal worm on her when I checked her and it looked like slugs and snails have got into the hay. She looked alright. Would you recommend changing the bedding at this late stage mid feb or waiting another 4 week to when she awakens. Im just hoping she is going to be ok.

Annie
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I have had a hedgehog in my (Riverside woodcraft) house regularly since middle of March (and in the feeding station) and noticed he had quite a few ticks on him. In the house, I noticed ticks not only on him but many around the walls and floor. He has gone to be checked over by our local wildlife hospital, and I have temporarily blocked up the entrance, as I am concerned that others may get infected. I feel I need to give the house a thorough clean – but what should I be using to clean without harming any hedgehog.… Read more »
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