Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Scratchy has a tick problem

Poor little Scratchy. Not only does she seem to have to contend with that almost permanent itch, but recent photos have shown that she has a couple of nasty ticks attached to her back. Examining her last night, I decided to do something about it.

I picked her up gently using gardening gloves and took her indoors and popped her into a large cardboard box. I then identified two ticks on her back and applied a generous dose of olive oil to each. (Apparently you can also use vegetable oil, baby oil or diluted lavender oil*. I used olive oil because I had it to hand.) The oil suffocates the ticks and hopefully they should drop off soon afterwards. I didn't try pulling them off because their mouth parts can get left in the hedgehog's skin which can then turn septic. I chose to let Scratchy back outside again, where hopefully the ticks should fall off naturally as she goes about her business in the undergrowth.

After putting her back in the garden, she quickly ran away. However, within 20 minutes she was back on the patio eating mealworms as if nothing had happened to her, so thankfully it looks like she wasn't traumatised by the experience of me bringing her indoors.

I'll look out for her again tonight and see if those horrible ticks have fallen off.

* Please note: NEVER use tea tree oil which is poisonous to hedgehogs.


  1. She looks very relaxed!
    You didn't say what you did to the ticks?

  2. I put olive oil on the ticks which should suffocate them and cause them to fall off of their own accord. I didn't try pulling them off myself because I could have left the mouthparts of the ticks in the hedgehog's skin, which could then turn septic.

    I let Scratchy back into the garden and hope that the ticks will get brushed off naturally whilst she's moving around in the undergrowth.

  3. Well done G L. Let's hope the Olive Oil does the job. Little Scratchy really looked unperturbed by the whole thing.

  4. Thanks John. I'm already apprehensively awaiting her appearance tonight!

    GigiBird, I see what you mean now. I didn't explain it very well in the text of the post - you had to listen to me talking it through on the video, and admittedly the sound wasn't that great.

    I shall update the text of the post itself, and than way Google should get hold of the info too for those searching for such things!