Garden hazards

Dealing with garden pests
DO NOT USE pesticides or slug pellets in your garden or you will kill species that are links in the food chain. Also, you run the risk of killing those creatures you do not wish to harm, as pesticides and slug pellets tend to be indiscriminate and CAN kill hedgehogs. If you are overrun with slugs and your resident hedgehog(s) do not seem to be keeping the numbers down you could try beer traps (pots of beer placed at the bottom of plants into which the slugs fall or climb) or the skin of half a grapefruit placed on the ground like a dome. If you must use slug pellets put them inside pieces of pipe or under stone slabs where hedgehogs can't get at them. As an extra precaution all dead slugs/snails should be regularly removed.

ALWAYS carefully check ebfore you light any bonfires. Creating on the day you intend to light them is the ideal solution.  

Cutting grass
Grass especially if a little longer than usual is a possible home for hedgehog families and care is needed before mowing or strimming. Cut the grass to a more reasonable length and then check again for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Never burn pampas grass without first checking there are no hedgehogs using it as a nesting place. Over the years we have rescued two litters of hoglets and their mother from the middle of pampas grass, which could easily have been killed if it had not been checked. 

Hedgehogs can swim and are sometimes attracted to ponds, but they may drown if they cannot get out. Gardeners should ensure that there are slipways around the edge of the water to enable the hedgehogs to escape. Half submerged rocks or even a piece of chicken wire to be used like a scrambling net are suggested. 

Garden netting and football nets
Netting of all kinds can be a major hazard as hedgehogs easily become entangled in them. So either check daily or better still invest in some clothes pegs and peg the netting at last 12.5cm (5") from the ground so hedgehogs can safely pass underneath. 

Their inquisitiveness can also get them into trouble if their heads stick in various kinds of containers such as empty food cans, yoghurt cups, plastic mugs etc. So try to keep your garden tidy and dispose of these safely.

Some of the basic information included on this page has been reproduced with the kind permission of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society