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Hedgehogs as Pest Controllers in Your Garden

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Hedgehogs are not just cute pets that should be confined in hedgehog cages. More importantly, they can be effective in naturally controlling the population of pests around your home, especially in your garden.

Just recently, I was researching about natural pest controllers for my garden. I was having problems with snails and other pests and would like to get rid of them naturally. I am serious about having an organic garden which is free from insecticides and other chemicals. One website recommends hedgehogs. There are areas in the US where hedgehogs naturally thrive in the wild. By encouraging them to visit your garden from time to time, you will enjoy the benefits of having natural pest controllers at no cost.

For a little background about hedgehogs, they are insectivores. They feed on insects so you don’t have to worry about them eating your plants. They are also nocturnal so they are awake and feed during night time. This is good news for gardeners who are not comfortable seeing them while they tend to their gardens. These little animals are also voracious eaters. An adult hedgehog can eat up to 200 grams of insects in one night.

To give you an idea on how effective they are in controlling pests in your garden, say you have a small garden which is slug infected. It will only take about three months for one hedgehog to single-handedly eliminate all the slugs. This means that the more hedgehogs that can visit your garden, the better.

Hedgehogs like to seek their prey around hedges. After all, that is also how they got their name. However, in many gardens, they are barred from entering because of closed-up fences and walls. And if they did find a way to get into your garden, you need to put a bit of effort to encourage them to stay and munch all the destructive insects in your garden.

According to Hugh Warwick, a hedgehog expert, there are three things that hedgehogs need and having these things in your garden encourages them to stay. They are food, water and shelter. It could be achieved by having a good heap of compost. Another option is to plants shrubs that grow close to the ground where hedgehogs can nest. You could also add leaf litter underneath to make it more like a real nest.

Additionally, Warwick also cited different ways to encourage hedgehogs in your garden. One way is to make sure that they can get in by leaving small openings in your fences. Less gardening will also encourage them to stay once they got in. This means you have to leave plant hedges and wild patches where these animals could nest. And also, while they can feed on the insects in your garden, be sure that they also have a good source of water. A compost heap is a must and is where they could find a sanctuary. Lastly, help ensure that they will not suffer from any injury while in your garden by removing nests and other ground structures that could entangle them.

I’m really glad that I have learned so much about hedgehogs as natural pest controllers. The next time that I see hedgehogs straying in my garden, I will try my best to let them stay.

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