THE BADGER GUIDE

The rise of the urban badger, as humans develop on historical badger territories, brings with it some growing pains as humans and badgers learn to coexist peacefully. Badgers carry on going about their business and in doing so occasionally cause issues with their human neighbours. Many view badgers as a treat and are delighted by their presence, while others view them as night time pests.  Regardless of your view read our handy guide to living alongside your local badgers...

LAWN DAMAGE

Badgers find food where they can. Often unseen and unheard, they wander quietly into gardens at night feeding on the earthworms, grubs, snails and slugs they find in lawns and borders. They usually leave small visual signs, a snuffle hole, pieces of scratched turf, as visual evidence of their nighttime visit.  In dry or frosty conditions when natural food is hard to come by, they can damage flower beds and lawns in desperate search of food. 

If you are having issues with badgers digging up your lawns see here for further information on leatherjackets and chafer grubs. Controlling the food source can be the first deterrent if you are unhappy about your nighttime visitors.

DETERRENTS

Badgers can be discouraged or prevented from entering gardens by solid, effective fencing, locked gates and the use (not always 100 per cent effective) of ultrasonic deterrent devices. Members of Brockwatch, the badger group for Northampton and South West Northants, report success with a device called Animal-Away Plus. Another Group reports that a radio left on all night in a garden-at levels which didn't offend neighbours-successfully discouraged badgers from entering. However, where practical, electric fences are the most effective humane deterrents. There are no legal proven chemical deterrents for badgers. Recurring attempts by badgers to enter gardens are sometimes resolved only when badger-proof mesh is trenched in to a depth of around one metre to prevent them from digging under fences.

FEEDING BADGERS

The Badger Trust does not recommend feeding badgers. You may enjoy attracting badgers but this could be problematic for others in your neighbourhood. If you feel like you must feed them in severe weather when natural resources are in question a small handful of peanuts will suffice. Just like with dogs and cats, human foods are not healthy. 

TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

Thousands of badgers are killed on our roads every year. The Badger Trust collates road traffic accidents to identify hot spots where mitigation should be placed or identify new setts. Please report fatalities to the Badger Trust. Occasionally the prompt investigation of RTAs reveals the presence of orphaned cubs nearby that can be rescued.

INJURED BADGERS

Badgers injured in fights sometimes retreat to places where they can rest and recover in peace, free from the attentions of would-be aggressors. Barns, garden sheds, corners of gardens, spaces under patios are often chosen. Left alone badgers with ugly-looking bite wounds to their necks or rear quarters will often recover very quickly and wander off. Some are less fortunate, the wounds turn septic, and they, along with badgers seriously injured in traffic accidents need skilled care-from a vet, wildlife rescue centre, the local badger group or the RSPCA. Inevitably many are too seriously injured to be saved and they  have to be put down to save them further suffering; but there is an extraordinary number of badgers that survive, thanks to the expert care and skill they receive.

 

If you find a severely wounded, badly injured, or obviously sick badger, please take extreme care and get expert help as soon as possible. Always remember, that frightened animals bite in self-defence, often with surprising speed and little or no warning and badgers have immensely powerful jaws which can inflict deep wounds on adversaries and compassionate would-be rescuers alike. Trained wildlife rehabilitators, RSPCA inspectorate, and experienced members of badger groups have the skill and know how to approach, handle and make badgers safe in secure carrying cages so please wait until they arrive at the site.

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