Amazing creatures, they are a rare sight and some say they would consider themselves privileged to have them visit their garden. Someone even made a comment in a forum saying that he was opportune to have seen a badger very close one night, pulling out worms out of the lawn after a heavy rain. It looked like it was eating spaghetti!
Despite being amazing and a rare creature to lay eyes on, they are wild animals and can be quite destructive as well. Badgers tend to come to your garden at night in search for food, and in the process, they dig up lawns and hunt to get earthworms, insect larvae, vegetables, flower bulbs, rabbits, mice, fruits, frog, and moles. In the end, they leave your garden in a mess for you to clean up the next day. Badgers are habitual and seasonal creatures, therefore minimizing damage or keeping them out completely from your garden will be very difficult.
Their damage can be an eyesore and really annoying, but they are also not permanent. If you’re allowed to trap them in your location, ensure you do so with the help of a professional trapper. They might look harmless and all, but do not try to remove a badger on your own as they could hurt you with their claws and razor-sharp teeth in a means to defend themselves. Employ the services of a wildlife specialist for this job to avoid getting hurt. Badgers and their homes (setts) are protected in Britain which totally limits your actions to stopping badgers. You can look through the badger law on the RSPCA website to get a good understanding of it. In order words, before taking necessary measures to get rid of them, endeavor to consult your local wildlife agency for appropriate control measures.
Why Badgers Come to Your Garden
Badgers are creatures of habit (which means they have a specific path they follow every night) and are stronger than they look. They are very determined and can break through fences or any other boundary that has been set for them just to get into your garden. They are nocturnal creatures so they visit your garden at night searching for food. Badgers are omnivorous by nature and will eat just about anything. However, in attempt to reach their major food (earthworm), they dig up lawns. They also eat snails, slugs, wasps nests, leather jacket, fruits, etc. Sometimes, they might feed on mice or rabbits.
To Make Setts
Badgers are very good diggers, they dig setts, a place to live and raise young badgers. They can often weigh 12kg and reach up to 1 metre in length. Badgers will dig tunnels up to 25cm in diameter for their sett.
To Dig a Toilet in Your Garden
Badgers do not like their home untidy. When they feel the need to go, they come out of their sett and dig up a hole of about 15cm square away from their home which will serve as a toilet for their dungs. To identify their dung, it’s usually muddy and dark with insects and fruit stones in them.
To Mark Territory
It is unlikely to find a single badger, they live in family groups within a territory which might be your neighbours garden or yours. They defend their territory and prevent other badgers from gaining entrance by making a mark with their dungs and urine. The markings they make varies, and will also stop other badgers from visiting your garden.
How to Deter Badgers from My Garden
Badgers are protected by law, so it is advisable to seek advice from a local badger group before taking steps to rid them.
Take Away Their Food
These wild creatures love hunting in open spaces. They come into your garden in search of mice, rabbits, etc. to feed on. Searching for ways to get rid of these little animals will prevent them from continuously causing damage to your garden. For garden owners that feed birds or other animals, badgers can easily smell nuts or fruits from afar. Leaving those feeds on the floor without clearing them out will only cause them to pay your garden a nice little visit. To prevent this from happening make sure the ground is clear and free from nuts before dark so they don’t have anything to attract them to your garden. Also, avoid leaving your trash can wide open or loosely open. Make sure it’s tightly closed and can’t be easily opened by a badger in case of a visit. Doing this will decrease damage done to your lawn.
Construct a Heavy Grade Fence
Constructing just any kind of fence as a way of deterring badgers is just as good as nothing. You should always remember that they are determined animals and regardless of how they look, they are very strong. Construct a fence with heavy wire mesh with a 60cm extension below ground level at least and 120cm high. They are very good climbers, so leave the wire mesh fencing sticking, it should be at least 30cm directed away from the garden.
Your Lawn Should Be in Good Shape
Keeping a healthy lawn can also deter badgers from trooping into your garden at night. Watering your garden is a must do, however, too much of it will only cause the grassroots to remain shallow rather than growing deeper. This might also have an advert effect as it causes the lawn to become wet and makes it easy for the Badgers to find the worms. More so, a well-drained and efficiently aerated lawn is ideal for keeping off insect larvae that bring badgers to your garden.
Protect Raised Beds from Digging
Using a solid wire grid also known as weldmesh will prevent badgers from digging or finding their way into raised beds. All you need to do is to cut a sheet of the grid wire into a size that’ll conveniently fit the raised beds underneath the surface of the soil and place it there. I’m sure by now you’re wondering why all this when you have plants that need to grow. Not to worry, this is just a way to keep the badgers from digging through it. Your plants will grow through the grid, and you’ll also have access to weed or harvest when the time comes by simply removing them.
Another effective and reasonable way to keep badgers out of the garden is by installing an electric fence around your yard. The best thing about electric fencing is that it can be powered by a battery or mains electric source. They can also be removed whenever they are not in use, which means during badger free periods you can simply remove them. It can as well serve as a permanent fence if you prefer that option. For ease of use, you can control the fence with the use of a time clock which automatically turns on current at night-time and turns it off in the morning. This will help prevent badgers from entering your garden. To successfully install an electric fence, you’ll need to seek the advice of a specialist.
Using Male Urine
Some gardeners have described that using urine (male urine precisely) can easily deter badgers. The male urine delivers a certain odor interpreted by animals as territorial dominance. In order words, the odor of the male urine screams “keep off” to these creatures when they smell it. Be careful when doing this so you don’t make your neighbors uncomfortable. You can collect male urine in a sprayer and spray around your boundary.
If you would prefer not to deter them and enjoy having them – Feed Them
For those that consider themselves privileged to have badgers as visitors, or you simply love to sit out quietly and watch them eat at night. You can leave out food for them to eat whenever they come to your garden, this way they’ll only eat the food that was kept for them without causing any damage to your garden. However, once you start feeding them, you’ll have to stick to it until summer ends or they will resume hunting for food in the area and dig up your lawn.
We have highlighted a few reasons badgers come to your garden and ways to deter them. If you’re patient, you can co-exist with them since their presence is seasonal and not permanent. Remember to speak with a badger consultant or your local badger group before taking action as they remain a protected species and you are not allowed to cause them or their home any harm.