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The Pros And Cons Of Badgers In Your Wildlife Garden

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 16 Apr 2021 | comments*Discuss
The Pros And Cons Of Badgers In Your Wildlife Garden

Badgers often produce a wide and varied response from gardeners. To some it can be a delight to watch badgers going about their business in your garden under the cover of darkness whilst for others, they can be perceived as a genuine pest. Indeed, they can cause a lot of damage to both your wildlife garden and to other creatures which live within it. However, if you do like the thought of badgers visiting your garden, here are some useful tips to achieving that and also things you should be aware of.

What Is A Badger's Habitat?

Badgers are unlikely to make their home in your garden. They live in social groups or 'families', although that does not necessarily mean that they work in co-operation with one and other. They will usually make their home or 'sett' in the countryside and then will establish territory around the sett which may include your garden. The size of this territory can vary tremendously depending on the size of a particular resident badger community.

What Do Badgers Eat?

Badgers are omnivorous creatures and their diet is very varied. Their staple diet is usually one of earthworms and insect larvae but they will also eat flower bulbs, vegetables, and fruit - which means they can be a terror in the garden - and are very keen on peanuts, raisins and bread and some specialists provide badger food which you can put out.

Are Badgers Dangerous?

Badgers don't really have any real predators, except for humans so they are extremely reluctant to come into contact with people and would not attack you under any circumstances usually and they'd simply scurry off if they detected human presence nearby in a wildlife garden. However, an injured or sick badger might take up refuge inside or underneath a garden shed and, if it is cornered, it could feasibly attack as a form of defence. Likewise, if a badger is trapped, it could lash out in a bid for freedom. Neither would a badger attack a pet such as a dog but if the dog was likely to attack or harass a badger, it would be better to keep your dog in overnight.

Why Do Some People See Badgers As Pests?

Many with a wildlife garden wish to deter badgers from entering their garden for a number of reasons. Firstly, they will kill and eat many other types of small mammals such as rabbits and hedgehogs which you might be trying to attract into your wildlife garden. On the plus side however, if you dislike mice and rats, badgers also eat them too. The other main reason that they are disliked by some is that they can cause a vast amount of destruction to your garden if they choose to build their sett within it. Your garden might end up being a maze of dug up tunnels and they'll often build a latrine in your garden into which they'll deposit their scat. They will also drag other things like grass, leaves and other material in your wildlife garden to where they are looking to build a nest for breeding purposes.

However, they are remarkable creatures to observe and, being nocturnal, if you have night vision binoculars and any suitable photographic equipment, they can be highly interesting to watch as they go about their business at night in your wildlife garden. Children, in particular, can learn a lot from observing badgers and as well as removing certain unwanted pests from the garden, to observe them can be highly educational as long as they are visitors and have not taken up residency in your garden and you don't mind a little bit of disruption. They are a protected species by law, however, so if you do encounter any problems with them, you should seek advice from your local badger conservation group or RSPCA before attempting to move them yourself.

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Regards my post on 14/20 they have all been killed now thanks to local farmers and DEFRA How do we stop the culls
Micky - 25-Mar-21 @ 10:04 AM
This week our cat went missing for more than 3 days (never happened before).When she finally came home, she had a huge deep cut on her tummy which was infected.Clearly we took her to the vet to have this take care off.The vet thought she was attacked by an animal but couldn't say what.There were smaller grazes and puncture wounds around the cut.Any idea what animal could have done this?
KDC - 30-Oct-20 @ 1:40 PM
Since early in the year we have had a badger visit our garden on a nightly basis, we left out peanuts, cat food, brown bread, apples. However we have recently noticed that the badger doesn’t make an appearance. We hope he has t been a victim of any sort. We wondered if this behaviour was typical at this time of the year.
Lyndyloo - 28-Oct-20 @ 2:23 PM
A badger comes to my garden most nights and can open the waste food bin even if I lock it.I leave food in it for him and find that his favourites are bread and bananas.He leaves apples uneaten.Why?Does he have a dental problem?
badger friend - 22-Oct-20 @ 3:20 PM
We are moving to a house that already feeds Badgers but we have a Cockerpoo and I am frightened they may attack him he is very friendly and would not realise he was in danger. If I stop feeding them will they move on a wreck the garden?
Dotty - 19-Sep-20 @ 2:04 PM
I'm really torn, while it is amazing to see a badger in the garden, I used to have several hedgehogs visiting with a feeding station set up that was used several times every night. I woke up at 2am to panicked sound from the garden and saw the badger harassing our largest hedgehog. Ran down and scared it off, hedgehog seemed OK and trundled off after 20mins recovering in the feeding station. A couple of days later the same thing but off in a neighbour's garden where I couldn't help, it was heartbreaking hearing the screams :'(. Now it seems the hedgehogs are staying away, and I'm glad for their safety, but I miss them. I live in a rental with hedges instead of fencing so there is no way to keep the badgers out. I just hope they don't find anymore hedgehogs, I don't think I'll ever forget that sound :(
Fuzzypeg - 15-Sep-20 @ 11:00 AM
I have a badger using my garden as a latrine every night. We've tried everything to get rid of the big hole in my flower bed Any suggestions
Kath51 - 9-Sep-20 @ 10:20 AM
We have a badger sett nearby but I didn't know if it was always used and have only ever seen lone badgers before. Tonight I saw four badgers on my patio! Unfortunately I scared them off but it was a wonderful sight.
Badgergirl - 18-Jul-20 @ 11:34 PM
I have 2 foxes and 1 badger visiting my garden and I love to feed them and watch them on my wild cam but my neighbour whose garden the badgers have to come through to get to mine is not so keen, he has blocked the hole up with concrete slabs with little effect as the badger just moves it away, I'm worried that he will either report me for feeding them or harm the badger what can I do, I would be devasted if I had to stop feeding them
Lady - 18-Jul-20 @ 10:51 PM
Saw some badger poo 3 years ago at the top of my garden that is fenced off from the rest. So I started putting food out for them and put CCTV up to watch them various ones have been coming ever since. Mum comes every night betweeen 10pm and 3am and brings her cubs around June Last week what a surprise we had a visit Mum, Dad and three cubs.Mum comes every night and cubs every other night. They are costing me a furtune in Peanut Butter sandwitches every night but well worth it.
Micky - 14-Jun-20 @ 1:12 PM
I have had paving laid at end of garden for green house and shed. Unfortunately badgers have decided to make a sett underneath, now paving is starting to collapse.
Ned - 30-May-20 @ 7:14 AM
We started feeding badgers about two years ago. It started with just one, but now they come as a family. We give them peanut butter sandwiches and apples.
Rodders - 10-Oct-19 @ 7:53 PM
We're living in the wilds of France but have only recently noticed we have a family of badgers living around us, coming closer since they discovered our red squirrel supply of nuts and cat biscuits left in the courtyard.We have a number of rescue cats, one is an old siamese mix, abandoned many years ago and not touchable but he lives in a nest in the courtyard. He's lost one eye, presumably from a cat fight about 2 years ago. He's not a fighter, but he used to return to 'his' house in the village and was, we assume, attacked by a village male.He lost an eye. He is vulnerable and we're trying to encourage him to live in the house but no go. The other cats are shut in at night.With the badgers pinching any food they can find and coming into the courtyard at night, are they likely to be a danger to our old siamese boy? Its otherwise lovely to have badgers living beside us but they've made a first class mess of the lawn.
Catrick - 17-Apr-19 @ 1:21 AM
there's a den of badgers up by me. if you say they don't attack things your wrong. they will attack a dog and I have lost turkeys and lambs to them including seing 2 of them mall a sheep to death. if you have small pets I definitely won't be giving them a reason to be coming up to your house.
the doctor - 14-Mar-19 @ 7:59 AM
Hi I have a badger set at the end of my garden and the badgers visit my garden every night. They have dug a latrine under an apple tree and regularly lift wire fencing, dig holes, lift turf and eat tubers and bulbs. Whilst I am tolerant of their night activities I am now concerned that their presence could be harmful to my puppy of 8 weeks and not fully vaccinated. Could he pick up any infections from the badgers faeces or saliva? Foxes and red kites visit regularly too and the neighbours cat 'deposits ' twice daily! Any advice please.
Winnie - 25-Oct-18 @ 2:11 PM
Witchy - Your Question:
I have been leaving peanuts and fruit out for a visiting badger. Last night a rat was seen before the badger. I really don't know what to do for the best. I love the badger visits, but don't want rats running free. Somehow I hoped the badger would scare him off (eat him?)

Our Response:
Most badgers are able to find their own food especially at this time of year. If you're unsure, the best thing to do is not to leave anything out.
WildlifeGardener - 18-Sep-18 @ 2:37 PM
I have been leaving peanuts and fruit out for a visiting badger. Last night a rat was seen before the badger. I really don't know what to do for the best. I love the badger visits, but don't want rats running free. Somehow I hoped the badger would scare him off (eat him?)
Witchy - 18-Sep-18 @ 7:53 AM
For the last six months I noticed a hole at the back of my garden didn't really think much then my lawn was being dug up little patches thought it was a rat but it is a badger saw it last night a massive one don't know really what to do about it
Deera - 29-Aug-18 @ 2:52 PM
I live near Ross on Wye and just over last few nights have confirmed badgers entering inner garden. The latrine is on ground in outer garden which is fenced off. Tonight Adult came under hole in fence by apple tree and within 18 feet of me I then watched for good 10 minutes as he foraged eating fallen apples and the masses of fallen berries as I have two berry trees. Deciding I wanted to move him or I suspect now her on I stood and ushered the badger towards hole in fence as I did that I was god smacked ....to see two youngsters coming into garden. In was a fantastic thing to see I am shaking but also keen gardener and we have hedgehogs some times. I now have lots of thinking as to what to do to square this circle ......but it's a night I will never forget ever magical .....especially with moon bats and a fox thrown in ....
Ross man - 26-Jul-18 @ 11:08 PM
Hi. I had my German shepherd out for a walk early one morning at about 5:15am and saw a badger - thankfully my dog didn't see it. It scurried into a field we would normally walk round. I was heading to the woods just past the field but decided against it. I was worried if my dog chased the badger that she would be attacked. We did walk nearer to the spot and my dog did pick up the badgers scent so i turned back. Should I be wary if taking my dog to the same area? Should I inform anyone there are badgers in the area? It was amazing to see but it has affected where I walk my dog in future.
Sheesh - 7-Jul-18 @ 6:16 PM
My dogs were on lead, small badger appeared on path. I couldnt hold onto dogs and one actually shook the poor little thing I tried and tried to help. It did waddle off but in my opinion was shocked. I am very upset with my dogs, but I suppose its instinct. There could be internal damage neither dog had blood on them I really hope it is ok
Pippin - 14-Jun-18 @ 10:25 PM
I run a boarding kennels and have 2 roaming Alsatian guard dogs and want to extend the kennels but have been denied planning permission because the council have taken some fur from my land and have said that it’s badger fur. I have never seen any evidence of a badger but there are rabbit holes in the immediate area where the council have told me there was a sett, which are occupied by families of rabbits. Could it be possible that I have badgers on the property in your opinion or do I have to get a 2nd opinion
Ministeve - 8-Jun-18 @ 11:17 PM
BARNY - Your Question:
Something is digging small shallow holes all over my lawn. How can I identify which creature is causing this? What can I do about it? Help please.

Our Response:
It could well be a badger, they love to dig for earth worms and insect larvae. If you want to stop it from digging, there are a few deterrent suggestions but remember badgers are protected which means you can't interfere with their setts (or deliberately kill them). Electric fencing can work but you need to follow the relevant safety precautions and regulations.Folklore suggests that human urine (male apparently is best), sprayed around the areas frequented by the badger will work!
WildlifeGardener - 21-May-18 @ 2:57 PM
Something is digging small shallow holes all over my lawn.How can I identify which creature is causing this?What can I do about it?Help please.
BARNY - 20-May-18 @ 2:36 PM
Hiya , On a dog walk today out in the farmers field my dog found a dead badger laying just in the entrance to it's home . .. No major injuries just a few scars on the face. Nothing that would have killed it . Does this seem like someone's killed it ? Or would it be a fight with another badger
Cay89 - 30-Apr-18 @ 11:34 PM
Hi I witnessed a badger pushing his way through our gate this morning at 6am. He seen me and ran away. Our gate latch was pushed off a few weeks ago so seems likely this is our culprit. Do you think he is just visiting or could he be living under our decking? My little dog has been going crazy the last few months, sniffing like mad all round the decking. Thank you
Suki - 14-Mar-18 @ 9:45 AM
I've 2 badgers who come to eat every evening & have done for past 2yrs. Last night a rat appeared just before I fed them. I didn't because I detest rats. If I get a Pest Controller to lay a trap for rat will it endanger the badgers & the squirrels (only grey but I like them too)
Inky - 13-Mar-18 @ 5:19 PM
Barbee - Your Question:
Is it normal for a badger to kill a rabbit and leave it? One of my rabbits was killed Tuesday night, but she was just left in my backyard. I don't do well with seeing dead animals, but I had to bury her as I have a dog as well, and he's already losing his mind trying to dig her up. Also, is it normal for a baby rabbit to not want to leave a secure area after losing it's mom?

Our Response:
It's more likely to have been a fox and yes it would be common for a baby rabbit to be afraid to leave its home/bed if it had seen its mother killed or didn't know where she was.
WildlifeGardener - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:14 AM
Is it normal for a badger to kill a rabbit and leave it? One of my rabbits was killed Tuesday night, but she was just left in my backyard. I don't do well with seeing dead animals, but I had to bury her as I have a dog as well, and he's already losing his mind trying to dig her up. Also, is it normal for a baby rabbit to not want to leave a secure area after losing it's mom?
Barbee - 9-Mar-17 @ 8:09 AM
@KeithL. We too have seen young ones dashing about. It seems all young animals just love to play! We have terrrible problems with them though as they like to dig up lawns..mostly our nieghbour's though.
Mrs Tiggywinkle - 20-Feb-17 @ 2:39 PM
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