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The Pros And Cons Of Badgers In Your Wildlife Garden

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 7 Jul 2018 | 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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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
I got a trailcam for Christmas and it has been great for watching badgers in my large, rural garden. I have been surprised at their speed. Most references say "...up to 25mph when frightened", but my latest footage shows one young one apparently racing around for fun, as he (?) rushes about in all directions. Any comments on how unusual this might be?
KeithL - 18-Feb-17 @ 10:46 AM
marky c - Your Question:
I have just taken possession of a piece of land. by squatting. I came across a dead badger. I haven't touched itt only covered. It. With a piece of tin.it looks unmarked. what would you suggest I. Do.

Our Response:
We're not really sure what your question is?
WildlifeGardener - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:51 AM
I have just taken possession of a piece of land . by squatting . I came across a dead badger . I haven't touched itt only covered. It.With a piece of tin .it looks unmarked . what would you suggest I. Do.
marky c - 13-Feb-17 @ 2:24 AM
Mike - Your Question:
I have moved into a house and found that it has a badger sett at the bottom of the garden. I don't have a problem with this as such, but wondered if there are legal/protection issues that I should be aware of? Couldn't find much through Google. They are out of the way and not digging near to anything in particular.

Our Response:
In general, you should just make sure you don't interfere with the sett (e.g. damage, destroy or block access to the entranceor allow your dog to enter it etc). If you feel you are likely to have to disturb the sett in any way or find that the badgers are causing serious damage to your property, you may have to apply for a "licence to interfere with a sett" from Natural England.
WildlifeGardener - 10-Jan-17 @ 12:11 PM
I have moved into a house and found that it has a badger sett at the bottom of the garden. I don't have a problem with this as such, but wondered if there are legal/protection issues that I should be aware of? Couldn't find much through Google. They are out of the way and not digging near to anything in particular.
Mike - 9-Jan-17 @ 12:17 PM
We have a fox in our garden that comes in with a hedgehog but recently a badger has been in tow too. Is this normal them all coming in together.It's not a very big garden
Kim - 14-Oct-16 @ 7:51 PM
A badger got into my rabbits very secure hutch and run last night. Fortunately I heard the commotion and scared him away. I would like to know the likely hood of it returning! I don't think he is hurt but seems very subdued!
Essie - 26-Aug-16 @ 3:27 PM
Tubbs - Your Question:
The other day I saw a young fox jump over the top of a badger in the garden is this usual behaviour

Our Response:
Yes it is very unusual, not something we've come across before.
WildlifeGardener - 5-Aug-16 @ 2:45 PM
The other day I saw a young fox jump over the top of a badger in the garden is this usual behaviour
Tubbs - 2-Aug-16 @ 10:14 PM
@triflepink. That may be the case, but as you have not actually seen an attack, it IS only an assumption.
WildlifeGardener - 5-May-15 @ 2:27 PM
I have a very friendly 4 year old female cat. One day she came running in and seemed scared. I could see she was not eating properly and discovered all her teeth had gone. They were in excellent condition. I then discovered we had a badger at the bottom of the garden which had practically destroyed an old tree truck by scratching it away. I now suppose it was the badger that attacked the cat and that is why she is frightened and will not go out or come near anyone. So they will attack animals.
Triflepink - 28-Apr-15 @ 11:09 AM
@cupcake. Foxes do use faeces to mark territory and you will most often see them in obvious places. This should not prevent problems as long as it's cleaned up before allowing children to play, just as you would any other animal excrement. Foxes and badgers will generally keep away from humans, but even so, it is not advisable to allow young children to play in your garden while the foxes are "sunbathing".Make sure young children are supervised at all times, as we're sure you do anyway. There is some more information about foxes in the garden here.
WildlifeGardener - 11-Mar-15 @ 12:28 PM
I moved into my property 18m ago in Redland, Bristol andwithin a month I had seen badgers in my garden. My next door neighbours had lived there for 30 years and never seen them ben though I saw them go into her garden too. I also have 2 foxes who like to sunbathe in my garden in the afternoon. I am a childminder and so have small kids in my garden quite a lot, is there anything I should be aware of or be careful of? Will they leave faeces in my garden? I haven't noticed any yet. Thanks for any advice.
Cupcake - 8-Mar-15 @ 9:22 AM
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