It is animal instinct to go for animals and attack them by creeping up behind them. Some animals find an appropriate time to attack others, especially when most vulnerable. But do rats attack hibernating hedgehogs?
Yes, rats attack hibernating hedgehogs. If a rat comes across a sleeping hedgehog, it will attack and chew its legs or, worse, bite their throats. Rats are not common predators but rather occasional predators of hedgehogs.
In this article, we will take a look at the reasons why rats attack hibernating hedgehogs and what can be done to prevent this.
Do Rats Affect Hedgehogs?
Rats are little animals that can squeeze into little places as well. They are capable of killing hedgehogs on their own. They can also chew the leg of a hedgehog in a severe attack.
That is why hedgehogs keep an eye out for rats and prefer to stay away from them.
Moreover, a hedgehog tries to defend itself fully by using its spikes. Still, some rats can get to them and harm them.
Do Hedgehogs Attract Rats?
It is not the hedgehogs. Specifically, that attracts the rats. But a place can be made rat-friendly if you bring in food for the hedgehogs. This gives rats a reason to be near the hedgehogs.
During this time, the hedgehogs find the perfect opportunity to creep up on hibernating hedgehogs and harm them in a way that they die due to their complex wounds
Do Hedgehog Houses Attract Rats?
It is not only the hedgehogs but also their houses that attract the rats. A rat builds nests, burrows under the walls, and gets into a shelter under the shrubs.
Despite all this, there is a possibility that a rat will reside in a hedgehog house.
The possibility is enhanced by the availability of water and food in the hedgehog houses.
If the house is easily accessible and provides good sustainable sources, then it will definitely attract rats.
Will Feeding Hedgehogs Attract Rats?
Yes, indeed. Rats have a perfect sense of smell and can smell a hedgehog feeding on food particles from far away.
Moreover, the rats can come near the hedgehogs and not only consume their food but also attack the hedgehogs in turn as well.
Do Rats Take Over Hedgehog Houses?
Yes, if many rats are present and they have enough things to look for, like food and water, rats can take over hedgehog houses.
If you take measures to keep rats out of the hedgehog houses, then it is possible that hedgehogs can be saved from rat attacks.
Moreover, a rate may not directly kill a hedgehog but will harm him enough that it will succumb to its wounds.
By taking over, a rat resides in a hedgehog’s house or any other place that provides shelter to the rats in the meantime.
How Do I Keep Rats Away From My Hedgehogs Food?
Here are a few ways by which you can keep rats away from the food that is meant for the hedgehogs:
- By planting peppermint in your gardens. Both of these items act as rat repellents.
- Avoid using rat poison as it can also poison hedgehogs, pets, and other wildlife animals.
Why Have Hedgehogs Stopped Coming To My Garden?
Hedgehogs usually stop coming to places where there are predators present. For instance, the presence of rats can drive the hedgehogs away.
Hedgehogs do not prefer tiny gardens; instead, they tend to go out to the log piles and wild grass areas to feed and nest in.
These spiky little animals hibernate from October/ November to March/ April. Research has made it clear that hedgehogs tend to move their nesting areas at least once during this season.
Hedgehogs do not hibernate fully; instead, they can be spotted out and about.
The mild winters keep hedgehogs active through November and December.
Rats do come across hedgehogs, and when they find the opportunity to attack hedgehogs, they do not hesitate.
How Do You Know If Your Hedgehog Is Hibernating?
A hibernating hedgehog curls up into a tight ball. Its face is not visible. One can differentiate between a dead and an alive hedgehog by simply poking it. It ripples when it is touched gently.
Hedgehogs can sense the presence of predators and will keep themselves curled up to avoid being attacked.
Do Rats Kill Hedgehogs?
Yes, they can kill hedgehogs. If rats come across hibernating hedgehogs, they attack them and chew their legs off.
Rats attack very fiercely. They do not kill hedgehogs initially but instead, attack them enough that they cannot recover from their wounds.
Will A Hedgehog Go In A Rat Trap?
Yes, the hedgehogs can get inside the traps if they are not in a prominent location. Though the bait boxes do not harm hedgehogs, they can still be lethal to a hedgehog.
Once trapped, the hedgehogs can get inside the traps and consume the poison left out. This way, they self-poison themselves.
Are Rat Bait Boxes Safe For Hedgehogs?
The rat bait boxes can be lethal for the hedgehogs. Once the hedgehogs get inside, they can feed on the poison.
They usually end up poisoning themselves. The small hedgehogs are of the same size as the rats.
That is the main issue when it comes to installing rat traps around the garden. The small hedgehogs will get trapped in them too and will die by feeding on the toxic rat bait.
Do Rats And Hedgehogs Get Along?
It is preferred that hedgehogs should not be kept with mammals like rats, guinea pigs, etc.
There is a chance that they might get along only if a rat is domesticated, caged, and not a wild type one.
However, such animals are easier to keep apart, and they rarely come across one another except in the wild.
Hedgehog Vs. Rat
It is primarily a rat that initiates an attack on the rats. Moreover, if a hedgehog tries to escape, rats are adept at catching up to them due to their efficient speed and agility.
The hedgehogs try to defend themselves by showcasing their spikes. They also do this to scare the rats away.
But if a rat has made up its mind about attacking a hedgehog, it becomes hard for the hedgehog to pull away.
Do Hedgehogs Avoid Rats?
A hedgehog and a rat will rarely co-exist in the same environment. However, this is more commonly observed in the wild.
As wild rats are known for attacking tiny hedgehogs, hedgehogs try their best to stay away from giant wild rodents.
How To Get Rid Of Rats Without Harming Hedgehogs?
What repels the rats away does not work for hedgehogs. That is why the use of flashing lights, peppermint spray, or oil is extensively used for getting rid of the rats only.
However, in such a scenario, you cannot use rat poison as it will kill a hedgehog as well.
One thing you can do is, aim for targeted killing. This way you can trap a rat and then kill it by shooting it with a shotgun later on.
What Can I Feed Hedgehogs That Won’t Attract Rats?
There are foods that can be only for hedgehogs and not meant to be for rats.
This way only a hedgehog will be able to consume them and they will not act as invitation cards for the rats to come and attack the rats.
Such foods include cat food. the rats won’t be able to eat but a hedgehog will feed on it gladly.
Another measure you can adopt is to supervise the hedgehogs while they are eating. However, you cannot do this all day.
You should also make sure that there are no leftovers in your garden that attract rats. Once you clear away the remnants, you should also store the leftover food properly.
The food must also be stored properly so that the rats cannot access it.
Are Hedgehogs Scared Of Rats?
Yes, hedgehogs fear attack by rats. They like to keep a low profile and not initiate an attack on their own unless they have been provoked and are left with no other option than to attack in return.
When hedgehogs are attacked, they curl up into small spikes. This deters most predators, even rats.
The hedgehogs usually sleep in this position during the day to keep themselves protected.
Like rats, hedgehogs come out at night to look for food, and that is when the rats find the chance to attack them.
Wrapping It Up
Rats are predators of hedgehogs and attack them while they are hibernating. Both are nocturnal animals and come out at night to look for food.
However, hedgehogs can escape rat attacks by defending themselves against potential rat attacks.
They can change their location of resting. Moreover, they can avoid feeding in open areas where rats are out and about. However, it is best that both remain apart to ensure survival.