The Best Hedgehog Houses For Your Garden
Over the past two decades, hedgehog populations all over the British Countryside have declined. As large-scale agriculture and urbanisation replace hedgerows and trees with crops, hedgehogs are now considered vulnerable to extinction for the first time.
As a result of pesticide use that kills off the hedgehog’s natural diet of insects (they eat lots of insects), worms, and slugs, combined with road construction and lack of wild gardens, the hedgehog population continues to decline.
During the warmer months, hedgehogs cannot hibernate without safe shelter and food. Hedgehogs can be protected from predators in your garden, if you clear out a space for a hedgehog house.
You can make your own hedgehog home if you have the time and resources, but not all of us do.
Hedgehog houses provide a sheltered, safe environment for these nocturnal visitors. Many of the best hedgehog houses are made with materials that are not readily available in our local hardware store or gardening centre and are specifically designed to be insulated throughout the winter and ventilated throughout the summer.
In addition to the weatherproofing and removable roofs that make them easier to clean, the hedgehog homes below should all last for several years because of their design features.
What is the best hedgehog house for your garden? Our buying guide ranks the best based on factors such as durability, size, predator-proofing, and cost. As well as some tips for how to correctly prepare your hedgehog boxes and how to maintain it, we’ve included some helpful tips.
The Important Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Hedgehog House
Create a welcoming and safe environment for hedgehogs:
- Dig a tunnel underneath your fence or cut a hole in it.
- For them to come in, set out a shallow bowl of fresh water and a few cat biscuits.
- Slug pellets should be thrown away. They love eating slugs.
- Creating an escape route from steep sided ponds is a good idea if you have a pond.
Once these steps have been completed, getting a hedgehog house is the next step. It doesn’t take long for them to discover that your garden is safe and well-stocked, and that it’s a good place for them to live, so they’ll be tempted to move in.
So now you have seen our recommended choices for a hedgehog house that are on the market for the UK . Lets move onto some more detailed best reviews of the above listed products.
This is a house used by the Hedgehog Preservation Society and also featured on the BBC’s Autumnwatch, and the lid of the Hogilo can be swivelled so that it is easy to access for cleaning or monitoring any hedgehogs that might be sheltering. The Hogilo Hedgehog House, crafted from FSC approved plywood and covered with agricultural plastic, is one of Wildlife World’s premier products.
This hedgehog home is one of the best homes for those who are environmentally aware, and it is evident that great thought has gone into creating the home in an eco-friendly manner.
Hedgehogs in this 50 x 39 x 23 cm home are protected from predators by a curved anti-predator tunnel. This is especially important during the winter months if the hedgehogs hibernate inside.
Even with that restriction in place, it might be possible for smaller cats to slip into the shelter, so you may want to bear this in mind if you or your neighbours have a small feline. In the instructions, it is explained where to place the house so that animals are not able to enter.
In terms of cleaning, swivelling the lid to one side means inspecting and cleaning the interior is easy. The house can, as a result, be kept hygienic, as well as suitable to be used for years to come.
Many people choose to place the raised footing of the hut on a solid base, such as bricks or a concrete slab, in order to prevent moisture and dampness from causing damage to the wooden base and wooden feet.
A hedgehog house that is easy to clean like this Riverside Woodcraft one can save time since hedgehogs can be messy. If you plan to put food inside the hut, this is especially true.
It is easy to access the living quarters due to the hinged weatherproof composite-wood roof. In the interior of the house, there are two elements: the entry corridor with a rectangular shape and the sleeping area with a square shape, both completely accessible from the top.
This flooring is made from resin bonded wood, which has many benefits, and it’s antifungal and antibacterial on all its surfaces. The material resists rot, helps control moisture, and is easy to clean.
There is a lot of space for hedgehogs inside this hedgehog house, measuring 52.5 by 38.5 by 51 cm, and the entrance is 12 by 12 cm.
Similar to the Hogilow house featured here, it’s built to keep predators out, while the hedgehogs hibernate in an adjacent room. However, some small cats may still be able to access the entrance.
The Riverside house has the advantage of a lockable roof, so larger predators cannot force it open, which is not available on the Hogilow.
I think this wooden hedgehog house is well-made, sturdy, and makes a big difference in keeping hedgehogs out of the elements. Due to its hinged lid, square design, and resin-bonded floors, it also ranks highly in terms of ease of cleaning.
The Hutch Company Hedgehog House has a pitched, waterproof roof, along with pressure-treated wood that is resistant to British weather; it has been treated with an anti-bacterial marcide coating to prevent the spread of disease. This all makes cleaning this house very easy.
The internal chamber is concealed from the entrance, on the left hand side.
The roof is removable by just lifting it up and is not lockable.
Hedgehogs need space to feed, this house measures height of 26cm, width of 34cm, and depth of 40cm. It has a 13cm wide doorway and 12cm high opening.
It’s common practice to place the hut on a solid base, like bricks or concrete, to prevent moisture and dampness from damaging the wood base. Since the base is made of thin plywood, moisture and dampness may cause damage.
Some smaller cats may slip into the hut, as with some of the other houses on this list, so if your neighbour has a small cat, this is something to keep in mind.
This hedgehog house offers decent accommodation for hedgehogs while offering good value for money.
This product, although made by the same company as the Hogilow, is a simpler design, but it still provides a safe, dry refuge to hedgehogs.
A brushwood and moss trimming creates the ‘wicker’ effect, making it blend into the garden undergrowth naturally. In wet weather, hedgehogs will remain dry in the shelter, which is covered with waterproof material. In addition to housing hedgehogs, the shelter can serve as a feeding station instead.
There is no floor, so the shelter is less encompassing than other shelters. It is fairly large, measuring 59 x 53 x 22 cm, so it may be flipped by larger animals. The shelter would be more secure if there were ground pegs included.
A family group like a mother and her hoglets can stay in the Igloo. Designed to keep badgers, cats, foxes and dogs at bay, the entrance tunnel is small. In winter, additional brushwood can be arranged over the igloo to create a cover for winter hibernation. The Wildlife World Igloo is predominantly designed as a shelter.
Stylishly designed and made from beautifully durable FSC-certified wood, this wooden hedgehog house is both unique and gorgeous.
An innovative extending porch, a unique feature of the Hedgehog Barn, helps to prevent predators from getting into the interior of the house, and makes cleaning and storing much easier. The rear of the house also has an opening hatch for thorough cleaning and inspection.
This product has been carefully designed to suit hedgehogs’ needs and help encourage them into your garden.
This house measures 24cm x 37cm x41cm and has a unique feature of an extendable porch that can extend out by 10cm.
Choosing The Right Hedgehog House
Since hedgehog houses can range greatly in price as well as in shape and size, it can be a challenge to choose the right one.
Hedgehog houses can also be made from a variety of materials. How durable, resilient to adverse weather and long lasting the habitat will be depends on how good it is.
Roughly three to four years will also pass before a brushwood hedgehog home will degrade, unlike the solid wood options which will last longer. In order to repair the hedgehog house, you will need to buy additional brushwood.
The following points should be kept in mind:
- You want your hedgehog house to be the right size for nest-building by hedgehogs. If it is too small, it will not be a good option for them to hibernate. Having a small house will also make it unlikely for you to attract more than one hedgehog.
- There is a wide range of prices for hedgehog houses, ranging from solid wood and Eco-Plate models to simple brushwood models. However, the solid wood and Eco-Plate are more durable and will last a longer period of time.
- Waterproof or weatherproof materials, such as Eco-Plate, provide long-term durability for hedgehog houses. Those constructed from solid wood should be varnished to enhance durability.
- Hedgehogs must be protected from predators and the predators need to be prevented from dragging bedding out of the shelter or the hedgehog itself (or both). In some hedgehog houses, there is a predator-proof tunnel; tunnels that are curved at least 90 degrees into the next chamber are best. Predators won’t be able to get their paws into the main room of the shelter. If your home lacks one, build a tunnel yourself as soon as possible. A few bricks can make a big difference for baby hedgehogs known as hoglets.
- By producing your own camouflage by putting soil and pile leaves around the house, you can also help obscure the house helping it to blend in more with the surrounding environment.
- A hedgehog house with a removable roof will allow you to clean it easily. In addition, they can be useful for hedgehog rehabilitation if you need to look after them closely and check on the resident hedgehog. It is also beneficial to have overhanging or pitched roofs for protection from heavy rain.
Wooden Hedgehog Homes
Go for real wood when you are planning on buying a wooden hedgehog house. A rotting nest site will make hedgehogs susceptible to predators and fungal infections, and plywood isn’t going to last that long.
Staining or varnishing a hog house will prolong its lifespan, but it may still take time for the hogs to come in. Strong smells may be deterring initially since they have sensitive noses. After the hedgehog house has weathered a little, it will be more likely to be used.
Metal-Framed Hedgehog Homes
Usually, wildlife charities recommend wooden hog houses over metal-framed ones since they can cause condensation. However, metal-framed hog houses are generally more value for money.
Hedgehog houses with metal frames should be checked inside and outside for sharp edges before each use, hedgehogs are easily cut by protruding pieces of metal, and once an open wound is created, they will die slowly unless a veterinarian or hedgehog rescue can intervene.
Additionally, metal-frame houses should be pegged down since they have little weight behind them. Your hard work can easily be undone by an over-excited child or dog tipping it over, the frame and brushwood can be secured with four tent pegs that you push into the ground beneath.
Buying a Hedgehog House vs a Feeding Station
A hedgehog house can serve both as a nest and as a feeding station.
It’s not a good idea to use the houses for both purposes. You are attracting other hedgehogs (possibly creating turf wars), predators, and flies into the chamber of the hedgehog you are feeding. Nest invasions will become inevitable as a result.
It is possible to purchase two hedgehog houses, and use one for feeding and one for shelter, or to build your own feeding station. Cats and foxes will probably be attracted to food left out in the open overnight, but hedgehogs will also come for a taste.
The installation of a wildlife camera will allow you to check what is eating your food; this way you can be sure that the hedgehogs are benefiting from it.
Attracting Hedgehogs To Your Garden
You may wonder how to get hedgehogs to live in your hedgehog house once it has been set up. If you want them to visit your garden, try the following:
- It is necessary to provide hedgehogs with easy access to your garden so they can find your home. Fences are too high for them to climb over, so a 15×15 cm hole in the fence will allow them to get through. If it’s not possible, dig beneath your fence to create a tunnel (this might require some discussions with your neighbour). Hedgehogs will be unable to get to your garden without access.
- Easy access to a reliable source of clean water should be ensured. Your garden won’t be visited by wildlife if water is not provided. Cleanliness and consistency are the key factors. There is no doubt that hogs travel a considerable distance at night, and they get extremely thirsty. In the heat of the summer, hedgehogs often end up in wildlife rescue centres severely dehydrated – just imagine being without water for a few days in a heatwave. The next time you see a hedgehog laying direct sunlight, contact your local veterinarian, wildlife charity, or any animal shelter.
- Hedgehogs should never be fed bread and milk, no matter what anyone says. Providing hedgehogs with any product containing lactose will lead to diarrhoea since they are lactose intolerant. Dehydration and death are subsequent outcomes. Bread will not cause them to die, but it will also not provide them with any nutritional value. Dry or wet cat or dog food that tastes meaty is the best food for them.
Positioning Your Hedgehog House
Some areas are better for hedgehog houses than others – they prefer specific areas.
Ensure that the area you choose is sheltered on dry soil and does not get flooded. In the winter, is this an area that gets wet? During hibernation season, hedgehogs can develop health issues if damp conditions exist.
Heat is also a factor to consider. The direct heat of the sun can kill a hedgehog inside a house for hedgehogs. Those big bushes (evergreens are best) make a great spot to situate a hedgehog house. When hedgehogs come out of the shelter, they prefer a bit of cover to hide under. Furthermore, it helps keep the temperature of the shelter in a consistent range.
You should also turn the entrance from the prevailing wind so that it faces the opposite direction. There’s nothing worse than a wind gust blowing inside a hedgehog’s shelter and making it chilly.
Last but not least, we must make sure that it won’t be placed on a hedgehog footpath. As the hedgehog leaves and enters your garden, it is common for him to frequent certain paths. When they have access to your garden through the fence line, they tend to run along that fence line. It would be better to not have the hedgehog house there if this is the case. Since the area is too busy, potential residents are not likely to be attracted to it. Hogs like sheltered areas with a secretive feel to them.
You can cover your house with dead leaves and trigs over winter.
When to Prepare Your Hedgehog House
I believe that hedgehog houses can be put out at any time of the year – right now is an excellent time to do so.
While hedgehogs hibernate in cold weather, they are often seeking out food and water during milder winters. This may be the time when hedgehogs come across your much better-suited accommodations and decide to move in.
How You Can Get Your Hedgehog House Ready To Go
It’s as simple as making sure there are plenty of leaves around the hedgehog house. Hedgehogs will build their nests using materials that are nearby. In the main chamber of the hedgehog house, you should place some nesting material (dry leaves, straw, or hay). By doing this, they will have a head start on building a nest when the time comes.
It’s not advised to continue to provide hedgehogs with food to lure them into their new home.
A hedgehog does not like eating in the same place it sleeps since the food can attract predators. If you have the option, build a different hedgehog feeding station.