Do Hedgehogs Make Holes in Lawns? Exploring the Truth Behind This Common Garden Myth

Do Hedgehogs Make Holes in Lawns?

Hedgehogs are harmless and spikey little mammals that live in our gardens.

Most homeowners may be delighted when they experience hedgehog sightings since who doesn’t like looking at wildlife in their gardens?

However, if holes in the garden accompany these hedgehog sightings, this can soon become a concern, leading you to ask, ‘Do hedgehogs make holes in lawns.’

Most homeowners may feel relieved to know that, in most cases, hedgehogs are not the perpetrators behind garden crimes.

Instead of digging holes, these animals usually look for hidden spaces like tall shrubs or underneath sheds to burrow. Hence, if holes accompany hedgehog sightings, the hedgehogs may not usually be at fault.

Let’s take a more detailed look at whether hedgehogs make holes in lawns and some of the most common queries homeowners may have concerning this topic.

Do Hedgehogs Make Holes in Lawns?

The simple answer is no. Although hedgehogs prefer hiding in lawns to protect themselves from dangerous predators, these animals are usually not the culprits behind lawn holes.

If you are concerned about deep burrows or complex tunnels in your lawn, another animal has likely taken refuge in your outdoor space.

One major reason hedgehogs don’t usually create deep holes in lawns is that they prefer making shallow nests in hidden spots in a garden where they can feel safe and rest during the day.

Hence, although they may not usually be to blame for such garden crimes, they can sometimes make your lawn look uneven by digging small holes.

Although it is unlikely, some of the key reasons why hedgehogs may be digging small holes in your garden include:

A Quest for Food

Like all animals, hedgehogs are always on the lookout for food. These creatures love feeding on worms, grubs, and other small insects, which are abundant in lawns.

Hence, one of the most obvious reasons hedgehogs create small holes or patchy spots in your lawn is that they might be looking for insects to munch on.

Moreover, you may find slightly larger burrows if you have more mature hedgehogs on your lawn.

This is because the more mature a hedgehog is, the more time it has had to master the digging technique, and the more its claws are suited to dig larger holes.

These creatures are also not gifted in visual senses. Therefore, they must rely on their olfactory and auditory abilities to locate food.

Hence, if a hedgehog detects insects burrowed within the grass, it can start digging or burrowing and cause around three-inch scrapes in your perfectly mowed lawn.

A Quest for Shelter

When hedgehogs are not looking for food, they may be out for a different purpose — usually to find shelter.

Although these animals have a great defense against large predators, thanks to the spiky quills on their backs, they can still fall prey to red foxes, tawny owls, and golden eagles.

Hence, hedgehogs usually seek hidden spots in gardens where they can feel safe.

In most cases, hedgehogs may seek refuge within tall bushes or underneath homes, anywhere that may not be easily visible to the naked eye.

Hence, you may find hedgehog burrow holes in some hidden spots if you have a well-kept lawn with abundant trees and bushes.

Furthermore, hedgehogs hibernate during wintertime. Hence, if the winter is approaching and you find burrow spots in your garden, it may likely be a hedgehog looking for a space to hibernate.

However, these burrow spots are less likely to be visible since hedgehogs usually look for hidden and narrow areas to burrow.

These spots may also be covered with bushes or leaf piles since that helps offer more protection and acts as a layer of winterproofing, shielding the animal from harsh weather conditions.

Will a Hedgehog Harm My Lawn?

As discussed above, hedgehogs don’t dig deep holes and tunnels in lawns. Hence, these animals cannot cause any significant damage to your lawn.

However, they may create a few brown patches or nibble on your grass during a quest to find food or shelter.

If you are a perfectionist and don’t like seeing brown patches or burrow holes in your lawn, you can take a few measures to keep hedgehogs from burrowing in your lawn.

How to Keep Hedgehogs from Burrowing Holes in Lawns

Since hedgehogs are usually not a nuisance and can be a good thing for your lawn — helping maintain a natural balance of insects and pests — you don’t want to take harsh steps to drive them away from your garden.

Instead, you can take measures to prevent these animals from burrowing in your garden.

Create Hedgehog-friendly Areas on Your Lawn

One of the best ways to invite hedgehogs to your garden while ensuring they don’t burrow holes in your lawn or destroy priced plants is to designate an area for these animals.

Offering hedgehogs real estate at the far end of your lawn that may be less visible to guests or onlookers is a great compromise.

This will help you ensure that hedgehogs don’t burrow holes in the visible spots of your garden where you or guests may hang out.

To ensure hedgehogs are attracted to these areas, you can let the grass grow tall and leave log piles on the ground.

This will create an irresistible spot for hedgehogs to keep them away from your priced plants.

Add Fencing to Sensitive Areas

If you are concerned about hedgehogs burrowing in specific spots in your garden, installing fencing in these areas is a great way to keep these small critters away.

When installing fencing to keep hedgehogs away, ensure the fencing has no large spaces in between since these small animals can easily squeeze through open spaces.

Install Hedgehog Nesting Spaces

Since hedgehogs usually burrow into lawns to find comfortable nesting spots, what better way to keep them from burrowing into your lawn than to provide them with designated nesting spots?

You can easily find hedgehog nests in your local stores online. Install these nesting spots in less visible areas of your garden to provide hedgehogs with safe spots to burrow and hibernate during wintertime. 

Important note! Avoid using harmful chemicals or pesticides in your garden in hopes of getting rid of hedgehogs. These harmful chemicals and pesticides can end up killing the animals and destroying the natural ecosystem of your lawn. They can also negatively impact the health of your plants. If you are dealing with a pest infestation, use organic pest control methods to avoid harming hedgehogs and other wildlife in your garden.

Bottom Line

Hedgehogs are remarkable creatures that are usually great animals in your garden due to their ability to contribute to a healthier ecosystem.

In most cases, these animals don’t dig holes in lawns and are not a cause of concern for homeowners.

If you are still concerned about hedgehogs burrowing holes in your garden, you can install fencing and nests or designate specific spots for these animals.

These measures will allow you to coexist with these fascinating animals while preserving the beauty of your outdoor space.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As we explore the topic of hedgehogs and their impact on lawns, it’s natural to have questions. Below, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about hedgehogs and lawn damage.

Do hedgehogs dig holes in lawns?

Despite their love for secluded areas, hedgehogs do not often dig holes in lawns.

Instead, they are more likely to seek out bushes and hidden spaces beneath homes to get comfortable.

If you are seeing holes appearing in your garden, it may not always be hedgehogs causing the damage.

What animals are more likely to dig holes in lawns?

Skunks and raccoons are known to dig holes in lawns and gardens, looking for grubs and other insects.

Their holes are typically cone-shaped and 3 to 4 inches wide, but the area disturbed may be as wide as 10 inches. Both of these animals have been known to peel back newly laid sod.

How can I tell if a hole in my lawn was made by a hedgehog or another animal?

One way to identify the culprit behind the hole is by examining the size and shape of the hole. Hedgehogs are unlikely to dig holes larger than 2-3 inches in diameter.

Skunks and raccoons, on the other hand, are more likely to leave cone-shaped holes that are 3-4 inches wide.

Can I prevent animals from digging holes in my lawn?

There are several ways to prevent animals from digging holes in your lawn. One option is to use animal-repellent sprays or granules that are specifically designed to deter skunks and raccoons.

Another option is to install a physical barrier, such as a fence or chicken wire, around your garden to keep animals out.

Additionally, keeping your lawn healthy and free of grubs can also help prevent animals from digging holes.

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