Do hedgehogs eat snails?

Do hedgehogs eat snails?

Hedgehog sanctuaries in particular hear the question again and again - do hedgehogs eat snails? This question can be answered easily, because snails belong to the broad food spectrum of nocturnal hedgehogs. This shows quite clearly that hedgehogs are not vegetarians.

What snails eat the hedgehog?

If the hedgehog does not find worms, carrion or other insects, then he also eats snails. Since the hedgehog is not large, it can not eat large snails, and then rather eats the clutch of snail species native to us.

Slugs are not on the menu

What a hedgehog always avoids the snails are the unpleasant slugs, which are also very unpopular among amateur gardeners. However, this is not due to the size of the snails, but rather the bitter taste of their mucus. A slug would eat the hedgehog only in the greatest need, if he finds nothing else.

You may have heard that hedgehogs supposedly impale snails and co. on their spines to transport them to the burrow. This is complete nonsense. The spines serve solely as a defense against enemies. How should snail and co. also get onto the spines? The hedgehog would have to roll around on the grade or garden floor, which he definitely does not do.

When does the hedgehog find the most snails?

As you know, snails in the garden are only on the move when it is suitably wet and humid. In an extremely dry summer, the hedgehog will hardly find snails, because they would dry up due to the heat. Instead of snails, the hedgehog eats the various insects that are very active in your garden.

Milk is absolutely taboo for the hedgehog

If you want to help a hedgehog, then you must put him only water in a shallow dish. Milk would lead to the death of the animal. This is because hedgehogs cannot metabolize lactose. After drinking the milk, the hedgehog usually gets diarrhea and dies of it, usually in agony.

Does the hedgehog get sick from snails?

Unfortunately, yes, because both snails and worms serve as intermediate hosts for Parasites. These include the hairworm, the sucker worm, the tapeworm and the roundworm. Eats the hedgehog a snail infested with parasites, then these parasites spread in the organism of the hedgehog. In the long run, they can cause life-threatening damage there, especially to the hedgehog's internal organs.

If the hedgehog eats a dead snail, which came to death by slug pellets are dangerous for the hedgehog. He takes up with the snail the remains of the poison and is thus also poisoned. Therefore, you should avoid poisonous slug pellets in your garden if possible, because you also put the hedgehogs in danger.

Taste preferences for snails

Wrongly, the hedgehog is often called a snail-eating machine. As you now already know, the hedgehog is very choosy about this. About 10 % of his food consists of snails. Here he likes to eat the tiger snail, the ground keel snail and young specimens of the garden path snail. A delicacy for the hedgehog is the adult capuchin snail, also known as the Spanish way snail. However, before the hedgehog eats this snail, it takes up to half an hour to clean the slime from the creeping animal.


Garden animal
Garden animal
Garden animal - A life with nature

Welcome to my animal blog! My name is Dirk and I am happy to take you on my journey through the fascinating world of animals and gardening.

Born 54 years ago, I have had an insatiable curiosity for the animal world around me since childhood. Although I have moved professionally in other industries, my true passion has always been animals and nature. It is remarkable how a small garden has become such an important part of my life.

Many of my fondest memories are associated with the animals that share our home. Whether it's the curious squirrels that scurry across the trees in the morning, the colorful variety of birds that visit our feeders, or the busy bees and butterflies that pollinate our flowers, every moment with them is invaluable to me.

This blog is my contribution to share my experiences, discoveries and insights with like-minded people. Here I will share stories of unforgettable encounters with animals, give tips on gardening and creating wildlife-friendly habitats, and take you on my journeys through nature.

Thank you so much for being here!

Dirk aka garden animal
Last posts