Would A Hedgehog Eat Rat Poison? (Fact Checked)

✅ Fact Checked
Updated on January 16, 2023
Michael Colt, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
Written by
Michael Colt, Bachelor Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science.
Ella Williams
Fact Checked by
Ella Williams
Dr. Michael Colt is a highly qualified veterinarian and animal scientist. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the care and treatment of animals, and a deep understanding of the latest scientific research in the field. Dr. Colt is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of animals, and is committed to providing the highest level of care to his patients. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Veterinary Medicine from Middle Tennessee State University.

⭐ Fun Fact ⭐
Did you know that hedgehogs have the ability to roll into a tight ball when they feel threatened or scared? This is because their spines are tightly packed together and act as a natural defense mechanism to protect their vulnerable belly from predators. Pretty cool, right?
Hedgehogs are a common pet species kept in households, but their diet is often misunderstood. It is important to understand what a hedgehog can and cannot eat to keep them healthy and safe.

One question that often arises is whether hedgehogs would eat rat poison. Rat poison, also known as rodenticide, is a toxic substance used to kill rats and other rodents. It is commonly found in households and outdoor areas and poses a serious threat to pets and wildlife if ingested.

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It is highly discouraged to feed hedgehogs rat poison, as it can cause serious harm to their health and even result in death. Hedgehogs have a curious nature and may accidentally ingest rat poison while exploring their surroundings. Therefore, it is crucial to keep rat poison out of reach from hedgehogs and other pets.

In conclusion, it is important to be informed about the diet and habits of hedgehogs to keep them safe and healthy. Understanding what substances they should not be exposed to, such as rat poison, is crucial in ensuring their well-being.

Would a hedgehog eat rat poison?
No, hedgehogs should not be exposed to rat poison as it can cause serious harm to their health and even result in death.

1 Understanding Rat Poison and its Ingredients

Definition of Rat Poison:
Rat poison, also known as rodenticide, is a toxic substance used to kill rats and other rodents. It comes in different forms, including pellets, bait blocks, pastes, and liquids, and is commonly found in households and outdoor areas to control rat populations.

Active Ingredients in Rat Poison:
Rat poison contains a variety of toxic ingredients that target the digestive, nervous, and blood-clotting systems of rats and other rodents. The most commonly used active ingredients in rat poison include:
– Anticoagulants such as warfarin, bromadiolone, and brodifacoum, which prevent the blood from clotting and lead to death from internal bleeding.
– Bromethalin, which damages the central nervous system and causes brain swelling.
– Cholecalciferol, which raises blood calcium levels and causes kidney damage.
– Zinc phosphide, which produces deadly phosphine gas in the stomach.

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Hazards to Non-Target Animals and Humans:
While rat poison is intended to target rats and other rodents, it can also be harmful to non-target animals and humans if ingested. Ingesting rat poison can cause a range of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, internal bleeding, kidney damage, brain swelling, and death. Children, pets, and wildlife are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of rat poison and can easily be exposed to it if not properly stored.

It is important to use rat poison responsibly and follow label instructions to reduce the risk of harm to non-target animals and humans. If you suspect someone or an animal has ingested rat poison, it is important to seek medical or veterinary attention immediately.

In summary, rat poison is a toxic substance used to control rat populations and contains a variety of harmful ingredients. It poses a serious hazard to non-target animals and humans if not used responsibly, and it is important to follow label instructions and take precautions to reduce the risk of harm.

2 Hedgehogs and their Natural Diet

What do Hedgehogs Eat in the Wild

In their natural habitat, hedgehogs are omnivores, feeding on a variety of insects, snails, slugs, earthworms, fruits, and berries. They are opportunistic feeders, meaning they’ll eat whatever is available to them at the time. Their diet in the wild also includes eggs, small mammals, and reptiles. Hedgehogs have a long tongue that they use to capture insects, and their strong teeth allow them to crack open snail shells.

Domestic Hedgehogs and their Diet

When kept as pets, hedgehogs require a balanced diet that mimics their natural diet as closely as possible. Commercial hedgehog food, which is specially formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients, is the best option for domestic hedgehogs. However, it’s also possible to feed them a diet that includes lean protein, such as boiled chicken or lean beef, and a small amount of fruits and vegetables. It’s important to avoid feeding hedgehogs dairy products, as they are lactose intolerant, and sugary or fatty foods, as these can lead to obesity and other health problems.

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Hedgehogs also need access to fresh water at all times. It’s a good idea to provide a small dish or water bottle to ensure they stay hydrated. Additionally, some hedgehogs may benefit from occasional treats, such as mealworms or crickets, but these should be offered in moderation as they are high in fat.

As such, it’s important to understand what hedgehogs eat in the wild in order to provide them with the best diet possible when kept as pets. A balanced diet of commercial hedgehog food, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables, along with access to fresh water, will help keep your pet hedgehog healthy and happy.

3 Hedgehogs and Rat Poison

Can Hedgehogs Eat Rat Poison

Hedgehogs are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of foods, including insects, snails, slugs, earthworms, fruits, and berries. Unfortunately, this also means they may consume rat poison if it’s available to them. Rat poison is often formulated with ingredients that are toxic to hedgehogs and other wildlife, and even small amounts can be harmful or even deadly.

The Effects of Rat Poison on Hedgehogs

Rat poison can have a range of harmful effects on hedgehogs, depending on the type of poison and the amount consumed. Some types of rat poison contain anticoagulants, which prevent the blood from clotting properly and can lead to internal bleeding and death. Other types of rat poison contain toxins that damage the nervous system, causing seizures, paralysis, and death.

The Risk of Secondary Poisoning

In addition to the direct effects of rat poison on hedgehogs, there is also a risk of secondary poisoning. This occurs when hedgehogs eat poisoned rodents or other animals that have consumed rat poison. The poison accumulates in the body of the poisoned animal, and when the hedgehog eats the poisoned animal, it also ingests the poison. Secondary poisoning can be just as harmful as primary poisoning and can lead to serious health problems or death.

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So basically, it’s important to be aware of the risk of rat poison to hedgehogs and other wildlife. If you’re using rat poison, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to keep the poison out of reach of animals and children. If you suspect your hedgehog has consumed rat poison, it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately, as prompt treatment may be life-saving.

4 Preventing Hedgehogs from Eating Rat Poison

Tips to Keep Hedgehogs Safe from Rat Poison

Preventing hedgehogs from consuming rat poison is important for their health and survival. Here are some tips to help you keep hedgehogs safe from rat poison:

– Store rat poison securely and out of reach of hedgehogs and other wildlife. Make sure to keep the poison in a locked cupboard or pantry and to keep the key out of reach of children and animals.

– Use alternative methods of pest control whenever possible. For example, instead of using poison to control rodents, consider using traps or deterrents like ultrasonic devices or peppermint oil.

– If you do use rat poison, place it in a location where hedgehogs are unlikely to come into contact with it. For example, place the poison in a bait station that is designed to keep non-target animals out.

– Keep your yard and garden free of debris, piles of leaves, and other hiding places that could attract hedgehogs and rodents. Keeping the area tidy will reduce the number of rodents in the area and reduce the risk of hedgehogs coming into contact with poison.

Storing Rat Poison Safely

Storing rat poison safely is essential to prevent accidental poisoning of hedgehogs and other wildlife. Here are some tips to help you store rat poison safely:

– Store rat poison in a locked cupboard or pantry, away from children and pets. Make sure the key is kept out of reach.

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– Label the rat poison clearly with the name of the product and the manufacturer’s contact information.

– Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, including the recommended storage temperature and conditions.

– Keep the rat poison in its original container, with the label intact and legible.

Alternative Methods for Pest Control

Using alternative methods of pest control can help reduce the risk of hedgehogs and other wildlife coming into contact with rat poison. Here are some alternative methods to consider:

– Trapping: Traps can be an effective way to control rodents, without the risk of poisoning hedgehogs and other wildlife.

– Deterrents: Ultrasonic devices and peppermint oil can be used to deter rodents from entering your yard or garden.

– Habitat modification: Reducing the number of hiding places in your yard and garden can reduce the number of rodents in the area and reduce the risk of hedgehogs coming into contact with poison.

So essentially, taking steps to prevent hedgehogs from coming into contact with rat poison is essential for their health and survival. By using alternative methods of pest control, storing rat poison securely, and keeping your yard and garden free of debris, you can help protect hedgehogs from accidental poisoning.


Do hedgehogs eat poison?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat poison. They have been known to consume rat poison, which can be fatal to them. It is important to keep hedgehogs away from poison and choose alternative methods for pest control. Keeping hedgehogs safe from harmful substances is crucial for their survival and well-being.

Would a rat kill a hedgehog?

Yes, it is possible for a rat to kill a hedgehog. Rats are known to be territorial and can attack hedgehogs if they feel threatened. Additionally, rats are also known to carry diseases that can be harmful to hedgehogs. To minimize the risk of rat attacks, it is important to take measures to control the rat population in a humane and environmentally safe manner, such as using humane traps or sealing off potential entry points.
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Would a hedgehog eat a rat?

Yes, hedgehogs are known to eat small mammals such as rats as a part of their natural diet. Hedgehogs are insectivores and will also consume other small animals like birds, lizards, and amphibians, but small mammals make up a significant portion of their diet. Hedgehogs have a specialized digestive system that enables them to consume and digest a wide variety of small prey. It is essential to provide hedgehogs with a balanced diet in captive environments to ensure their overall health and well-being.

How do you get rid of hedgehogs?

Getting rid of hedgehogs can be a complex and delicate process, as these animals are protected by law in many countries. Here are some humane and effective methods to consider:

Exclusion – One of the best ways to keep hedgehogs away is to prevent them from entering your property in the first place. This can be achieved by securing all potential entry points, such as holes in fences, with wire mesh or hardware cloth.

Habitat modification – Making changes to the environment can make your property less attractive to hedgehogs. This can involve removing piles of leaves, logs, and other debris, as well as trimming back overgrown vegetation.

Repellents – There are several commercial products available that can be used to repel hedgehogs, including sprays and granules. These products typically contain natural ingredients that are unpleasant to the animals but safe for people and other wildlife.

If you encounter a hedgehog in your garden and you do not wish to have them there, it is best to move the animal a safe distance away and release it. Remember, hedgehogs play an important role in the ecosystem and should not be harmed.

It is also important to note that if you believe that a hedgehog is sick or injured, it is best to contact a wildlife rehabilitation center for assistance.

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6 Conclusion

To sum it up, it is critical to understand the dangers that rat poison presents to hedgehogs. The consumption of rat poison by hedgehogs can be fatal and should be prevented at all costs. It is essential to store rat poison safely and choose alternative methods for pest control. Keeping hedgehogs away from rat poison is crucial for their survival and well-being. By being proactive and informed, we can ensure that hedgehogs thrive in their natural habitats, free from harm. Let’s all do our part in creating a safe and healthy environment for these adorable creatures.
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