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There’s a great amount of joy that comes from watching hedgehogs snuffle about in your garden in search of snails, worms and other food to snaffle up during their nighttime feeding frenzy.
But, as autumn approaches and the temperatures begin to drop, our prickly garden visitors need a safe space to call home.
However, constant urban development and a need to keep our gardens looking clear and pristine at all times has removed the hedgehog’s natural habitat, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to find a place to hibernate.
This has led to a quick decline in the UK’s hedgehog population, and there are now fewer sightings of these beautiful animals in our gardens than ever before. But, there is something you can do to help the plight of these spiky creatures.
By installing a hedgehog house in your garden, you’re not only providing them with a warm, dry place to hibernate throughout the winter months, but you’re also keeping them safe from predators and giving them somewhere to raise their little hoglets.
However, with so many choices available online, finding the perfect hedgehog house to add to your garden can be a little bit confusing.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of five of the best hedgehog houses available, that will help keep your visiting hedgehogs safe and warm as they sleep through the cold winter months.
We’ve also included a handy buying guide that’s full of useful information on what to look out for before you settle on your final purchase.
So put your feet up, keep reading, and you’ll soon know everything you need to know about providing a cosy little home for your garden hedgehogs this year!
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Hedgehog House – Comparison Table
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Best Hedgehog House – Buyer’s Guide
Providing a warm, sheltered space for hedgehogs to spend the winter in your garden is not only rewarding to see, but will also pay dividends as they come to think of your outdoor space as a reliable source of food, safety and comfort and visit more frequently.
But when you’re looking to place a hedgehog house into your garden, there are a few things you need to consider before purchasing. We’ve outlined some points you should give some thought to, and that will ensure you buy the best hedgehog house for your prickly friends!
One of the most important things to consider when you’re buying a hedgehog house is the size of it. Although it’s true that hedgehogs hibernate alone, they also need to be able to line the interior of the house with a mixture of leaves, straw and foliage to keep themselves warm, as well as fit in there themselves.
There’s a really good chance as well that your resident hedgehog may decide that your hedgehog house is the perfect place for raising their hoglets, and the more room they have to do that in the better.
So buy them a decent sized hedgehog house that is roomy enough for them to get comfortable in, but not so big that a predator will be able to get inside.
Your hedgehog house is going to be placed outside, and so it will need to be able to hold its own against anything the winter weather can throw at it. With that in mind, take some time to look at what materials the house is constructed from.
Most hedgehog houses are built using solid wood, which provides a sturdy construction that can sit solidly in strong winds and won’t bend or break under the weight of heavy snowfall. Wood is usually quite breathable as well, so your hedgehogs will still be able to get a good flow of fresh air without any condensation building up on the inside of the house.
There are also hedgehog houses that are built using steel frames which are then covered with natural materials, such as brushwood and moss. These are also a good choice as the sturdiness of the frame will be able to withstand adverse weather conditions, whilst the exterior will provide warmth and waterproofing.
Plastic is another material that you may find in the construction of hedgehog houses. This is also really strong and durable, and is naturally waterproof so will help keep the residents warm and dry. However, with environmentally friendliness at the forefront of everybody’s minds, we’d recommend you go for a hedgehog house made from recycled materials if you’re leaning towards a plastic option.
It’s important to think about the style of the hedgehog house you’d like in your garden as well. If you’ve spent a lot of time designing your outdoor space to look a certain way, you could ruin the aesthetic by purchasing a hedgehog house that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the look.
Hedgehog houses that are constructed using natural materials are not only better for blending effortlessly into your borders and flowerbeds, but are also a lot more appealing to hedgehogs. This is a great way to keep them out of your compost heap and away from bonfire piles.
Whichever style you choose, it’s important to place your hedgehog house in a quiet area that is sheltered from wind and is away from the house. A south facing wall underneath a tree would be the ideal location.
Hedgehogs come up against predators when they’re hibernating, and their sleepy state makes them an even easier catch for foxes and badgers. So to ensure that they survive the winter and are kept as safe as possible, it’s a good idea to look for a hedgehog house that offers some predator proofing.
Some houses have been cleverly designed with internal compartments, which offers the hedgehogs a safe space to sleep in, and prevents any predators from being able to reach around into their living compartment and accessing them.
The size of the entrance tunnel is another important thing to look at when considering predator proofing. The larger the entrance hole, the more chance there is of a predator getting in. Look for a hedgehog house that has an entrance of no larger than 5”, as this will give the hedgehogs room to come and go comfortably, but will be too small for anything larger to get in.
Hedgehogs are at their most susceptible to certain diseases whilst they hibernate as well, so if you can find a hedgehog house that will help keep them protected from bacteria then that’s also another great feature.
A lot of hedgehog houses now come treated with special antibacterial and antifungal coatings, which help ward off any diseases and keep the hedgehogs living in your garden safe and healthy as they sleep.
If your hedgehog house has been treated with an antibacterial coating, it’s also worth checking how long it will last before it needs to be treated again. You can then reapply as necessary at home, and help ensure you’ve got healthy residents year after year.
Once the hibernation period has passed and the hedgehog has vacated the premises, it’s a really good idea to give the hedgehog house a clean. This will ensure that it’s kept in good condition and will encourage return visitors next winter.
Look for a hedgehog house that has a removable lid, as this will allow you to take a quick peek inside and see if the residents have left, and will give you easier access to cleaning it out with boiling water.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do hedgehogs hibernate for?
Hedgehogs enter hibernation around October and leave their nests in the late spring, usually around April. This is, however, temperature dependent and you may still see some hedgehogs in your garden as late as November.
How can I encourage hedgehogs into my garden?
The first thing you need to do is make sure that hedgehogs actually have access to your garden. Most urban gardens are fenced off at the perimeters, so by making a small hole at the bottom of your fence you’ll be allowing a hedgehog access. Another good way to bring hedgehogs into your garden is to provide them with a safe space to spend the winter months away from the cold and from predators. The best way to do this is with a hedgehog house.