Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Hedgehogs in May • Kay Bullen BHPS

All the hedgehogs should be awake from their hibernation now.  The early risers may also be pregnant so now is a good time to think about making our gardens safer for them.
If you are setting traps put them somewhere where they cannot be reached by hedgehogs.   If you are using poisons again keep them out of reach of hedgehogs and any other animals, wild and domestic.  Many people do not realise that they have a legal duty to do their best to stop animals other than those targeted from accessing traps or poisons. The following is taken from an official Government web site.

Protecting other wildlife from harm you must protect other animals from traps or poison you put down for pests by:

  • placing lethal traps under cover or so that other animals and birds aren’t caught
  • preventing wildlife from eating poison you’ve put down

Many people use chemicals in the garden, some will be more wildlife friendly than others and there are various websites about organic gardening.  However if you feel you must use chemicals in the garden, especially if you have resident (and possibly pregnant) hedgehogs around here are a few tips.

Take time to read the instructions, when did you last read the suggested “dose” for the slug pellets you are planning to use. Try to restrict access to the chemicals, perhaps put pellets under a slate or old tile or a piece of old carpet and collect the dead slugs and snails up in the morning.  Please remember that killing slugs and snails reduces the amount of natural food in your garden for hedgehogs and some birds.

If applying a liquid application for your lawn perhaps use in the morning so it is dry by the time hedgehogs are out and about. Don’t leave any puddles of chemicals around that wildlife may drink or bathe in.  If possible cover the area treated to restrict access to other wildlife, you could perhaps use some carrot fly netting that allows light and water through but not animals. 

If you use ant powder or similar apply sparingly and wash it away before the evening – if a hedgehogs sniffs the powder it may be in serious trouble.

It is safer for you, your family, pets and wildlife to use non-chemical methods of pest and weed control where possible and appropriate, and when using approved humane traps check them regularly.

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 6thto 12thMay this year and is a perfect time to remind friends and neighbours to take care of hedgehogs when gardening you can find out more about the week on social media using #hedgehogweek or at the BHPS website.

If you are concerned about any hedgehogs you should see contact your local hedgehog rescue or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (01584 890801), they can give general advice and perhaps details of a local hedgehog rehabilitator that you can contact.

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