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Updated 17 June 2021 4:28pm

Why are hedgehogs a problem?

Hedgehogs are abundant throughout New Zealand, and pose a significant threat to many of our native species.

They are most active at night, eating the eggs of ground nesting birds, invertebrate, and small reptiles. They also carry diseases that affect people, birds, pets and agricultural animals.

The impact hedgehogs have on New Zealand environment is only recently beginning to be understood in any detail. 

Hedgehog attacking dotterel nest and eating eggs

More about hedgehogs

Controlling hedgehogs

We control hedgehogs within the region's Key Native Ecosystem (KNEs) sites to protect native animals.

Things you can do:

Trapping tips n’ tricks

  • Location: Place the tunnel trap where the animals must either enter the tunnel or turn back. Good places for traps are along fences, a stream edge, in bush among tree roots, beside fallen logs, or in dry culverts. Add a ramp leading to the Goodnature A24. Keep the area clear of leaves and weeds
  • Timing: The best times to lay traps for hedgehogs are:
    • In spring at the beginning of the bird breeding season
    • In autumn when adult females can be targeted
  • Bait: A well-placed trap can catch hedgehogs without bait but baiting traps is more effective. Use fishy cat food or freshly killed rabbit or chicken as bait. A longer-lasting option is using one or two eggs. These can be left whole or broken, or if using two then make a small hole in one egg and leave the second egg whole

If cats are present, avoid meat bait or add a small block of wood inside the entrance so a cat can’t reach the trap with its paw.

More information

Tunnel trapping tips n’ tricks

Bionet - information about pests and disease in New Zealand