Considered to be harmless animals that promote natural pest control in the wild, hedgehogs are small omnivorous mammals that feast on caterpillars, slugs and other gardeners' enemies. Although it is forbidden to keep hedgehogs as pets, you can welcome them in your vegetable garden! All you have to do is make it easier for it to find a place to live.
What is the interest of having hedgehogs in your garden?
Hedgehogs are insectivorous animals, and they allow you to create an optimal biodiversity! The hedgehog plays an almost essential role in preserving your fruits and vegetables. It is a very appreciated hunting animal that will help you get rid of weevils, grasshoppers, snails, slugs, caterpillars or even cockchafer. There are many other solutions to eradicate caterpillars, for example, but this animal is the most suitable ecological answer. It is even able to keep away snakes such as vipers that venture into your green spaces. It is a seasoned warrior that actively fights against many pests. In no time at all, it eliminates all the little beasts that attack your plants! If you don't have hedgehogs in your garden, but would like to welcome a small family, there are some tips. However, we would like to remind you that it is forbidden to transport or buy a hedgehog. You will therefore have to use your wiles and patience to attract them to your outdoor space.
The hedgehog, the best asset of permaculture gardens
For permaculture enthusiasts, hedgehogs are essential because you won't need to use chemical treatments to keep various pests away. Providing a suitable environment for these animals will only bring you benefits and natural solutions for your permaculture garden. Once installed in your garden, the family of hedgehogs will quickly become an essential asset for the perenniality of your plantations. A green space in permaculture allows you to garden while working in the respect of the planet and the biodiversity. Less you use pesticides and more you benefit from healthy harvests and exempt from harmful substances for your consumption. The benefits of permaculture are no longer to be proven! You will eat healthily and enjoy better health!
How do you build a hedgehog shelter in your garden?
If you have observed certain signs that one or more hedgehogs are present in your garden, you can provide them with a comfortable shelter and a place where they will be able to eat their fill. Hedgehogs like to take shelter from predators and spend their time basking. This is why hedgehogs are often found on walks along the edge of the woods. All you have to do is help them build a shelter by gathering twigs, branches and dead leaves. Alternatively, you can build a natural habitat for your hedgehog yourself by using one of the following solutions:
- You can use a box and then tinker with it yourself by creating a small opening to make a shelter that will keep your hedgehogs warm during the winter and give them a shady spot during the summer. Collect some plant debris from your garden and place it inside the box so that your little animals can make their own cozy little nest.
- You can also make a bigger and better shelter for them with wood logs. The logs should be approximately 60 cm high to optimize the shelter. Don't forget to leave a small entrance, neither too small nor too large, of about 25 cm. This space should be kept as free as possible from predators. If you have dead leaves on the ground, you can use them to cover the habitat you have set up for your hedgehog. You can also make a mulch.
- The other alternative is to make a shelter with compost. The hedgehogs that will have found refuge in your exterior will be happy to take up residence there during the cold and warm seasons. They will have a comfortable nest to rest in and protect themselves from predators. In addition, they will be able to take advantage of the small insects that will be attracted by the compost in your vegetable garden. Here is a video article that explains the interest of making compost for the shelter of small animals.