You will find that hedgehogs are athletic animals that are active and love to explore. Pet owners need to know that hedgehogs require space to move around. These small creatures are curious and love to play. But when exploring, can hedgehogs get through small gaps or not?
Hedgehogs can get through small gaps because of their small size and bendable quills.
A hedgehog’s quills are not only for its protection, but they serve another purpose. When hedgehogs want to get through small gaps, the quills bend so they can easily pass. Hedgehogs also have a smaller size than other animals, and hence, they are great at going through small holes.
Unfortunately, while a hedgehog can lay its quills flat to get through a gap, it cannot go back the same way in the opposite direction of its quills and can often get stuck.
How Big a Gap Can a Hedgehog Get Through?
It would be helpful to know how big of gap hedgehogs can get through so you can build a hedgehog house accordingly. Whether you are building the hedgehog house for wild hedgehogs or your pet hedgehog, there is no use if the hole is not big enough for your hedgehog to get through.
Hedgehogs need a gap that is at least 13 by 13 cm to get through. Other pets, such as certain breeds of cats and dogs, cannot get through a hole this small.
Do Hedgehogs Tunnel Under Fences?
Modern fences have made it difficult for hedgehogs to get through gardens. As a result of fences, hedgehogs are now commonly found on the roads and are at risk of accidents. Hedgehogs roam around at night searching for food, and being on the road at night is too risky for them.
Hedgehogs may burrow under fences too to gain access to gardens. So if you notice any burrows in your garden, it can be a hedgehog’s work. However, apart from hedgehogs, other animals will also burrow, such as rats and even foxes.
How To Make Fences for Hedgehogs
Adult and young hedgehogs are known to forage through gardens in search of food. These hedgehogs, despite their small size, can cover a lot of ground at night.
Before, when modern fences were not the norm, hedgehogs had easy access from one garden to another. However, fences have made getting from one garden to another tedious for hedgehogs
Most hedgehogs are found on the road during nighttime which is dangerous. Hedgehogs have become more susceptible to injuries and death by car accidents because they use the roads to get by.
Therefore, it is important to make hedgehog-friendly fences that allow hedgehogs easy access to gardens to prevent road incidents. Making these fences require little effort, and you will be saving the lives of many hedgehogs.
One way you can create fences for hedgehogs is to make a gap at the bottom. The fences do not have to go all down and touch the ground. Instead, you can leave enough room at the end for hedgehogs to pass through. If you already have fences, you can make holes in them big enough for hedgehogs.
Another way you can enable easy access for hedgehogs is to dig enough under fences, so there is space. You can also place food in these areas for hedgehogs, so they know that it is a safe area for them, and they are welcome in your garden.
How Can I Tell If I Have a Hedgehog in My Garden?
If you want to make your garden more hedgehog-friendly but have never seen one around, you can tell by certain signs. One obvious sign that hedgehogs visit your garden is to observe any footsteps. You will find small footsteps in the mud and dirt in your garden.
Another indication that hedgehogs like your garden are poop. Look for any poop in your garden that is small, around 1 cm. The poop will be dark in appearance and will usually be surrounded by beetles.
When hedgehogs are foraging through the night in search of food, they often leave a trail behind. You can look for the trail in the morning when the sun starts to appear. You will find small tracks through undergrowth left by hedgehogs.
If you ever cannot sleep at night, you can listen outside intently. Hedgehogs are active at night and noisy too. Especially during the mating season, hedgehogs can get noisy. For example, if hedgehogs fight in your garden, you will hear loud huffing and puffing noises.
What Are Some Dangers to Hedgehogs in Gardens?
While gardens can be a safe space for hedgehogs, there can also be dangers for them. Many people unintentionally follow practices that can be harmful to hedgehogs.
If you put out food for hedgehogs, refrain from putting out milk and bread. Hedgehogs can get stomach problems from consuming bread and milk. Also, you should avoid using any sort of netting in your garden as hedgehogs can get stuck in them, and it can be difficult to get out.
Using slug pellets can be harmful to hedgehogs. Most of the time, hedgehogs consume slug pellets or poisoned slugs and die. Therefore, before trimming hedgehogs, always check to see if there are any hedgehogs underneath.
You must also check compost heaps before turning them as hedgehogs build nests and hibernate there.
Hedgehogs can get through small gaps because they are small mammals. Moreover, hedgehogs have spines that can bend to make it easy to get through small gaps. Hedgehogs can get through gaps as small as 13 by 13 cm.
Hedgehogs are known to dig tunnels under fences to get from one garden to another. You can link gardens by making hedgehog-friendly fences by making holes in them or leaving space at the bottom.
By altering fences, hedgehogs will use gardens to forage and avoid dangerous road accidents.