Why Has My Hedgehog Stopped Coming

Why Has My Hedgehog Stopped Coming?

“Hey there, fellow hedgehog enthusiast! If you’re scratching your head, wondering, ‘Why has my hedgehog stopped coming out? You’re in the right place.

When our little quilled companions have a knack for keeping us on our toes, and they decide to play hide-and-seek indefinitely, it can leave us feeling a bit perplexed. 

Here are some reasons:

However, if your hedgehog pals aren’t showing up in your garden anymore, it could be because of changes in their paths, winter hibernation, or they found food elsewhere. They might be taking a break or facing some challenges. Keep your garden cozy, and they might return when they’re ready. Because nature has its own way of doing things.

Why Has Hedgehog Stopped Coming: Top Reason

Why Has Hedgehog Stopped Coming

Pathway Roadblocks:

Sometimes hedgehog doorways – those special gaps in fences that let them come and go – get unintentionally closed off by neighbors who aren’t keen on hosting wildlife. When they can’t get into your garden, they’ll start searching elsewhere for food. These little foragers don’t give up easily and will explore until they find another spot with plenty of treats and water. 

Winter Nap Time:

Moreover, they like to take a long snooze during winter to save up energy when food is scarce. If they’re in the middle of this hibernation nap on their way to or from your garden, their visits might take a pause. But don’t worry, they’ll likely be back once the winter chill eases up, and they wake up from their cozy nap.

Foodie Hangouts Elsewhere:

Your garden can lose its hedgehog guests if they stumble upon other spots with tasty offerings. It could be a neighboring garden or a bit farther away. If other folks are also setting up hedgehog-friendly spots with yummy snacks and cool features like ponds, well, they might just decide to check out those places instead.

Nighttime Threats:

Furthermore, your yard may not be the only place guests linger out at night. They are prey for predators such as foxes, ferrets, and large birds. Even though they narrowly avoided a near-accident, they may decide to avoid your garden if they see any danger.

Health Hurdles:

Lastly, they might be taking a break from your garden because they’re not feeling too well. Sickness can slow them down, making it hard to roam around in search of food and water. 

Sadly, if they’re not able to overcome their health issues, they might not return. It’s a bit tough to know exactly what happened, but at least you can remember the good times you shared with these spiky visitors.

How Do You Attract Hedgehogs?

Attracting hedgehogs to your garden can be a delightful experience. Here are some tips on how to make your outdoor space hedgehog-friendly:

Provide Hedgehog-Friendly Habitat:

Create a welcoming environment by offering hedgehogs suitable hiding spots. Piles of leaves, log piles, and dense shrubs can serve as cozy shelters. Hedgehogs appreciate quiet, undisturbed areas where they can retreat and feel safe.

Install Hedgehog Houses:

Place hedgehog houses or shelters in quiet corners of your garden. These can be simple structures made of wood or specially designed hedgehog houses available in stores. Ensure the entrance is wide enough for a hedgehog to enter but not too large to attract predators.

Water Source:

They need access to fresh water. Provide a shallow dish with water in a secure location. Ensure the dish has sloping sides to allow them to enter and exit easily. Regularly refill the water to keep it fresh.

Food Stations:

In addition, they are primarily insectivores, and their diet includes beetles, worms, slugs, and caterpillars. You can encourage them by leaving out suitable food. Special hedgehog food is available, but you can also offer cat or dog food (wet or dry), mealworms, or unsalted peanuts. Avoid giving them milk as they are lactose intolerant.

Create Hedgehog Highways:

They roam across multiple gardens in search of food and mates. Make sure there are hedgehog-sized gaps in fences or boundaries to allow them to move freely. Coordinate with neighbors to create a connected network of hedgehog-friendly spaces.

Avoid Chemicals:

Minimize the use of pesticides and chemicals in your garden, as these can be harmful to them. Opt for natural methods of pest control to maintain a safe environment for these spiky visitors.

Maintain a Wild Corner:

Designate a wild corner in your garden where grass and plants are allowed to grow freely. This area can attract insects, providing a natural food source for them.

Nighttime Observations:

In the end, they are nocturnal creatures, so consider spending some time in your garden during the evening to observe their activities. Use dim lighting or infrared cameras to avoid disturbing them.

Crafting a Hedgehog-Friendly Environment: A Comprehensive Guide

Creating a haven for hedgehogs in your garden not only enhances their well-being but also serves as a foolproof ‘cat-proof’ feeding station. Dive into our step-by-step guide to fashioning the perfect hedgehog home while steering clear of potential hazards.

1. Selecting the Optimal Location:

Place your hedgehog abode strategically under a shrub, hedge, or near a compost heap – a quiet, secluded spot where these nocturnal creatures can thrive undisturbed.

2. Food and Water Placement:

If you’re providing sustenance, keep it well away from the nest to avoid attracting unwanted attention. They relish fallen leaves, offering both bedding options and a buffet of insects and beetles for their dietary needs.

3. Bedding Bliss:

Create a cozy retreat with soft hay or dried grass as bedding, ensuring comfort and warmth for your spiky companions.

4. Structural Considerations:

Offer a diverse environment with climbing opportunities, tunnels, and hiding spots. Keep in mind that hedgehogs love to explore, so make their home engaging and secure.

5. Nourishing Diet:

Balance their diet with high-quality commercial hedgehog food supplemented by fresh fruits, vegetables, and live insects. Make sure a shallow dish for water and a sturdy food bowl.

6. Temperature Control:

Maintain a comfortable temperature between 72-80°F (22-27°C) within the enclosure. Provide a heat source to guarantee a consistent environment for your hedgehogs.

7. Illumination Matters:

Though nocturnal, they benefit from a natural light cycle. Place their abode in a room with some natural light during the day or use a low-wattage, indirect light source.

8. Regular Maintenance:

Keep their living space clean by regularly removing soiled bedding, washing dishes, and spot-cleaning the enclosure. A tidy environment promotes a healthy, thriving habitat.

9. Play Area Extravaganza:

Consider setting up a hedgehog-safe play area outside the enclosure for supervised exploration. Stimulating toys can add an extra layer of engagement.

10. Hazards Awareness:

From road traffic accidents to pesticides, be vigilant about potential dangers. Ensure drains are covered, and watch out for netting, string, and garden chemicals that could harm your hedgehogs.

How Do You Know If A Hedgehog Needs Help?

Recognizing whether a hedgehog needs help involves observing its behavior and physical condition. Here are signs that a hedgehog may be in distress and requires assistance:

Daytime Activity:

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so if you spot one out and about during daylight hours, it could be a sign of trouble. Healthy ones typically rest during the day and become active at night.

Unusual Movement:

Limping, wobbling, or unsteady movement may indicate injury or illness. They are generally agile, so any noticeable difficulty in their mobility is cause for concern.

Weight Loss:

If you notice a hedgehog that appears significantly underweight, with visible ribs or spine, it may be suffering from malnutrition or illness.


A lethargic hedgehog that doesn’t respond to external stimuli or appears unusually slow may be unwell. Healthy ones are typically alert and responsive.

Visible Injury:

Obvious injuries, such as cuts, abrasions, or bleeding, should be addressed promptly. These injuries may have been caused by accidents, encounters with predators, or other hazards.

Nocturnal Activity Disturbance:

Hedgehogs are active at night, so disturbances in their nocturnal routine, such as frequent daytime activity or unusual vocalizations, may indicate a problem.

Visible Parasites:

The presence of ticks, fleas, or other parasites on it may suggest that it is in need of attention. Parasites can contribute to health issues and discomfort.

Abnormal Posture:

If a hedgehog is consistently hunched, curled up tightly, or displaying abnormal postures, it may be a sign of pain, discomfort, or injury.

Unresponsive to External Stimuli:

Healthy ones react to stimuli in their environment. If it doesn’t respond to gentle prodding or seems uninterested in its surroundings, it may be unwell.

What Time In The Evening Do Hedgehogs Come Out?

What Time In The Evening Do Hedgehogs Come Out

Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the night. They typically begin to emerge from their nests and start their foraging activities after sunset. The exact time can vary depending on factors such as the time of year, local climate, and individual hedgehog behavior.

Furthermore, During the summer months, they may come out earlier in the evening when it gets dark. In contrast, during the colder months or in areas with less ambient light, they might delay their activities until later in the night.

If you want to observe hedgehogs in your garden, it’s a good idea to be patient and stay vigilant during the evening hours. Using low-intensity or infrared lighting can help you observe their activities without causing them distress, as bright lights can startle them. 

Remember that they are wild animals, and it’s essential to minimize your impact on their natural behavior by maintaining a respectful distance and avoiding any unnecessary disturbances.

Are Hedgehogs Always Viewed at Night?

Yes, Hedgehogs are generally active at night, traveling around 2-3 km in search of food, especially during mating season. If your hedgehogs usually come out at night but suddenly stop, it could be a sign of a problem.

Factors like illness or disturbances may be affecting them. If you’re concerned, it’s a good idea to seek advice from wildlife experts or a veterinarian to ensure the well-being of the hedgehogs.


1. Why have the hedgehogs stopped coming?

The decline in hedgehog sightings could be due to habitat loss caused by urbanization, intensive farming, and the removal of hedgerows. Pesticides also play a role by reducing their insect and worm food supply.

2. Where have all my hedgehogs gone?

The primary reason for the decrease in hedgehog numbers is habitat loss, particularly the reduction in hedgerows, and their natural homes. Pesticides further contribute by diminishing their insect and worm food sources.

3. Will hedgehogs come back?

Yes, Hedgehogs are likely to reappear from early March to early May. Keeping an eye out and providing support during this period can help them thrive.

4. Why is my hedgehog not coming out at night?

Hedgehogs spend 95% of the day and night sleeping, especially in the beginning. They may not come out during the night initially but will adjust to their surroundings over time.

5. What is the biggest problem for hedgehogs?

Netting, road traffic accidents, and pesticides pose significant threats to hedgehogs. Barbed wire, bonfires, and drains also contribute to hedgehog injuries.

6. How do you revive a hedgehog?

Keep the hedgehog in a quiet, warm place. A hot water bottle wrapped in a towel provides gentle heat. Offer fresh water and meaty cat or dog food without attempting to feed it directly.

7. What to do when a hedgehog dies?

Options include burying it on your property or contacting a local vet, who may offer cremation services.

8. Do hedgehogs run away?

No, Hedgehogs do not have a ‘fight or flight’ response. Instead, they curl into a ball as a self-defense mechanism when faced with danger.

9. Do hedgehogs stop eating?

Yes, Hedgehogs may wake from hibernation, and if biscuits are taken or mild weather occurs, feeding can resume. A shallow dish of clean water is advisable.

10. What smell do hedgehogs hate?

Hedgehogs are sensitive to certain essential oils considered “hot,” such as Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, and Peppermint.

11. How long will my hedgehog live?

With proper care, hedgehogs can live about five years, with some even reaching eight years or more.

12. Can you touch a hedgehog’s back?

Yes, Hedgehogs’ quills lie flat along their back, and as long as you avoid pushing against the sharp tips, holding them is not problematic.

13. How do I know if a hedgehog is dead or hibernating?

Disturbing a hibernating hedgehog can deplete its body fats. If accidentally disturbed, cover the nest with dry leaves and provide food and water nearby.


The mystery behind why your hedgehog friends have stopped coming to your garden can have various simple explanations. Changes in their usual paths, winter hibernation, or the discovery of alternative food sources could be the culprits.

In addition, while it’s natural to miss their charming visits, maintaining a welcoming environment may encourage them to return when the timing is right. Nature operates on its own schedule, and sometimes, a little patience is all it takes to see those spiky visitors again.

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