Allotments 4 All

General => News => Topic started by: Borlotti on May 15, 2018, 20:45:09

Title: Dead hedgehog found near my allotment
Post by: Borlotti on May 15, 2018, 20:45:09
A lot of discussion about hedgehogs and the use of slug pellets.  Not sure what killed the poor hedgehog, but I am not guilty this year, but must admit I do use pellets.  Maybe I should save the egg shells which has been suggested.  Any ideas anyone.  Apart from that had a good day today in the sunshine, and my new pair of shears, so cut down a lot of the long grass.  :sunny: :sunny:  Apparently all the allotments are taken, apart from two, but looking around loads of them are overgrown, mine is too, but getting better, hopefully.
Title: Re: Dead hedgehog found near my allotment
Post by: galina on May 16, 2018, 07:23:22
So sad when hedgehogs die.  Our solitary garden hedgie died at the vets (old age and disease) and we haven't seen any now for over ten years.  Their numbers are declining.   Slugs can be defeated with bottle cloches, bell cloches, and rings of copper around sensitive plants, as they don't like crossing copper. 

Collecting them manually and putting in a bucket with strong salt brine solution will kill them instantly.  A not-so-squeamish gardener kills them with scissors - halves them with one deft snip.  During the day they shelter from the heat under a piece of wood and can be collected up. 

If plants are planted out when they are a little bigger, they often survive a bad slug attack.  They get half eaten rather than killed.  Red lettuce is less attractive to slugs than green lettuce. 

There are organic slug pellets.  Wilko has some that are quite affordable, if all else fails.  :wave:
Title: Re: Dead hedgehog found near my allotment
Post by: PondDragon on May 16, 2018, 08:28:36
I don't think there's actually a great deal of evidence that metaldehyde slug pellets are particularly dangerous to hedgehogs, since the added bitrex should deter them from eating the pellets directly and the risk from eating poisoned slugs seems to be pretty low.

Organic pellets with iron phosphate EDTA are potentially worse, since they don't contain bitrex and the presence of EDTA makes them highly toxic to mammals (since EDTA is classified as an inert ingredient, the safety tests were carried out on straight iron phosphate which isn't actually very toxic (including to slugs)).

I'm not trying to promote slug pellets - I personally don't like them and don't use them - but as a danger to hedgehogs I think they're quite a long way down the list.
Title: Re: Dead hedgehog found near my allotment
Post by: Plot 18 on May 16, 2018, 11:18:07
I only use them around my brassicas and salad, both grown under pegged down netting, so hopefully the hedgehogs here are safe.
Title: Re: Dead hedgehog found near my allotment
Post by: ancellsfarmer on May 16, 2018, 19:36:57
I found this report interesting and worth reading:
which states that an adult hedgehog would need to ingest 490 pellets to die; alternatively that one found to have eaten 200 slugs with pellets was not affected.
If you need to use them, as I do, then distribute them sparingly not tip out heaps in one place as I have frequently seen done.
The fall in population numbers is more likely due to badger predation, although all they leave to evidence  is an empty skin. They hedgehog is the victim of several viral infections, and many suffer life draining tick damage.