Your gardening experience can instantly get better if you attract hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are helpful mammals because they consume all sorts of creepy crawlies, protecting your plants from harmful ones. Therefore, many people resort to attracting hedgehogs to their gardens so they can take advantage of the benefits. One of the pests that harm gardens includes snails that eat plants, reduce yield, and spread diseases.
Among other pests, hedgehogs will eat snails when the opportunity arises.
Snails will not be a hedgehog’s first choice; however, they will continue to consume them if they do not find any other food source. Mostly, hedgehogs like to consume insects as their first preference. However, a hedgehog will eat snails depending on its personality, current food source, and changing seasons. Since hedgehogs are small animals, they will consume smaller snails as opposed to big ones.
How Do You Attract Hedgehogs
One of the most common garden animals is hedgehogs. These small mammals are quite helpful in eradicating harmful pests like snails. If you are faced with a snail problem, the best way to deal with it is to attract hedgehogs to your garden. The hedgehogs will ensure that the population is kept in control.
The first thing you can do to make your garden attractive to hedgehogs is to get rid of any hazards that can harm them. This can include any pets that may attack hedgehogs or make a friendly attempt to play with them. For instance, cats may wish to play with hedgehogs, but they perceive them as a danger.
In addition, many gardening items can be harmful to hedgehogs, for example, lawnmowers. Therefore, before you begin to mow your lawn, you must check your garden to ensure no hedgehog insight. Also, any dangerous slopes or ditches should be eliminated.
While hedgehogs like to swim, being in the water for too long can kill them. This is because if hedgehogs cannot find a way out of the water, they simply float until they get tired and drown. If you have a pool, it is important to create a slop so hedgehogs can easily get out of the water when they need to. You can also keep your pool covered to avoid this situation altogether.
After you have tackled the dangers that could harm hedgehogs, you can add a few things to encourage them to come into your garden. Firstly, ensure that you grow thick and lots of grass in your garden. Hedgehogs love to hide and build their nests in the grass, especially during the hibernation period.
Perhaps the best way to invite hedgehogs is to leave out some food and water for them. You can get some cat food kibble for the hedgehogs and leave out fresh water. On the other hand, you must refrain from keeping out milk and any dairy products as this can cause hedgehogs to have diarrhoea.
Hedgehogs are active during the night time as this is when they forage for food. Therefore, it is important to make your garden accessible for them so they can move from one to another. You can do so by creating a small opening in your garden boundary, whether it is a wall or a fence.
In addition, you can also create a hedgehog home in your garden for these beneficial mammals. You can do so by getting a box and putting it in your garden. You need to ensure that you place your box out of direct sunlight. Next, you must fill the box with thick vegetation to make it cosy for the hedgehog.
Do Hedgehogs Eat Slugs?
Other annoying garden pests apart from snails are slugs. Both snails and slugs are slimy creatures that cause damage to plants.
Hedgehogs will consume slugs if they do not get their hands on any other food source. If there are other food options available, hedgehogs are likely to choose them over slugs. However, slugs can carry harmful parasites, which affect hedgehogs when they consume them. For instance, slugs carry lungworm, which affects hedgehogs by causing pneumonia.
Many people use slug pellets to kill slugs. When hedgehogs consume slugs that have been affected by slug pellets, they fall sick. Slug pellets are toxic to hedgehogs because they contain metaldehyde. Many hedgehogs have been found dead because of being poisoned by slug pellets.
What Other Animals Eat Snails?
Apart from hedgehogs, there are plenty of other animals which consume snails. These animals gain great benefits from consuming snails as they are packed with protein. In addition to hedgehogs, you can also attract these animals to your garden.
One of the most common mammals to consume snails are birds. Big birds like hawks are likely to consume bigger snails, whereas small birds will stick to smaller snails. You can attract birds to your garden by installing a birdhouse and putting food in it. In addition to eating snails, birds are also great pollinators.
Other animals to eat snails include amphibians like frogs and toads. You can encourage these amphibians in your garden by creating a garden pond. Having a garden pond also increases the chance that the amphibians will reproduce, increasing in numbers. In addition, some species of snails also consume snails. There are many gardeners who plant snails in their garden to control the current population they have especially.
You can tell that you have snails in your garden by the holes in your leaves and decreasing yield. In addition, snails also spread diseases. One way to control the snail population is to introduce predators to your garden. A hedgehog can be your best friend in this regard because it consumes snails.
You can attract hedgehogs in your garden by eliminating any dangers like using pesticides or pets which can try to harm them. Moreover, grow lots of grass as hedgehogs like to hide and make nests in it. In addition, you can also leave out some food and water. Other animals which consume snails include birds, frogs, and toads.
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Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden