Badgers in gardens

Domestic gardens provide an important source of food and cover for many wild birds and animals, including badgers. Most people welcome visiting badgers to their gardens but for others it may be a problem. Hungry badgers may damage lawns digging for worms and grubs or disturb flowerbeds looking for bulbs to eat. This is most likely to occur during late autumn or early spring when food is scarce. Badgers may also start to frequent gardens if their usual territory has been disturbed.

Badgers do not pose any greater threat to humans or pets than any other wild animal or bird, despite scaremongering claims made by those who seek to demonise badgers.

Badgers and their homes (setts) are protected by law, but lawful actions can usually be taken to resolve, or at least minimise problems, without harm to badgers or other animals.

There are currently no chemical deterrents that are specifically approved to deter badgers. Renardine is no longer approved and it is an offence to advertise, sell, store or use it.

There is no foolproof way to prevent badgers coming into your garden but we offer the following suggestions:

A sturdy fence may exclude badgers. However they are strong climbers and it may take a chain-link or electric fence to deter them.

Use of a vermicide (poison) to kill worms and grubs is not recommended and may be ineffective. Grubs such as leatherjackets tend to be laid in patches on the ground (rather than throughout the lawn), which is probably why badgers target specific spots. It may be worth pegging wire or semi-rigid plastic mesh (from garden centres) over these areas will protect the grass and cause the badgers to lose interest.

Another option is to give the badgers an alternative by offering them supplementary food. Your garden will be a small part of the badger's foraging ground and some of your neighbours might be enthusiastic about feeding visiting badgers. Badgers are omnivores so peanuts, carrots, cooked potatoes and dog food (always add water to dried dog food) are all suitable. Avoid sweet foods (the badgers like them but they're very bad for their teeth) and bread and milk as this can cause digestive upset. Proprietary badger foods are available for the enthusiast.

Please click here for information about watching badgers

For more information and advice download Badgers in gardens or contact us