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Badger problem

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I have a badger visiting my driveway on a regular basis. It occasionally leaves a smelly little present but apart from that it's not a problem. Until last night. The whole family were woken at 4:30 by our dog. First thought was that we were being burgled. After a thorough search we could find nothing amiss. We all returned to bed. A few minutes later the dog was barking and we heard our side gate rattling. I rushed downstairs and clambered onto the kitchen work surface to get a better view of the gate. There was the badger digging a hole in the gate! I banged the window and he ran away. The relatively new gate is a mess. I know that this can be territory marking but how can I deter the badger without causing it harm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Hope that someone can give me a suggestion or two. Thanks
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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,781 Forumite
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    You could try fixing a mirror to the gate at badger height.
    This could make it better - or worse but someone did that near me and, no badgers.
    Male urine or citronella oil seems to be recommended. Perhaps both?
    Wonder why it suddenly decided to do this. My guess is that it had been scent marked by another badger so you could start by scrubbing both gate and path under it then a load of citronella.
    With it being quieter at night this year we had foxes patroling the streets and 'barking' which was unnerving but it's temporary during the mating season. It's that time for badgers so maybe this is something you only need to deal with temporarily over the next month or so and next year it will be busier at night again so hopefully won't happen.

    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • [Deleted User]
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    Oh, god they're a bl@@dy nuisance and a half  😡😡😡
    2p has said what i thought re: scent marking, and yes, highly pungent smells like citronella, tea-tree, et al other foul smelling oils is the best bet - bar the bored method - sadly illegal ...... 😬🙄😣🤐 
  • Apodemus
    Apodemus Posts: 3,384 Forumite
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    I guess it's not as simple as just leaving the gate open, is it?  When I repaired my fence, the badger broke through on the first night, but at least it did it fairly neatly, breaking off a single plank at the cross-piece to leave a badger gate.   

    I had a dunging area for a while, which is probably a sign that I am on the boundary of a couple of territories (the "experts" tell me that badgers don't do this and only have a single dunging area near their den) but the dunging only happened for a couple of months and then it stopped. 

    I also had them trying to dig under my oil tank, which I stopped by leaving a few bricks in the hole.

    Since you've got a dog, can you encourage it to pee on your gate?  Or take it out on a lead whenever it hears the badger?


  • mandy47
    mandy47 Posts: 322 Forumite
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll defiantly try the citronella.
    I have scrubbed the path and gate.
    Unfortunately my dog is a wimp. Let's us know when somethings amiss but stays in her bed.
     I don't want to leave the gate open for security reasons.
     My badger is defiantly leaving it's dung behind so may well be scent marking.
    Thanks again. I'm off to order citronella. 
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Thank you so much for not wanting to harm the badger, as I know many people do want to. They are just doing what they are supposed to do and we humans are really encroaching on their environment. In fact, humans have ruined the environment for many species.  We live in the country and get a lot of wild animals around our property but we really don't care. I'd rather see them than have a gorgeous garden. The garden's not a mess but it will never be part of any garden show! Especially when the moles have been active. (I don't mind them, either).

    A friend of mine recently had a badger trying to get through her garden gate. Being quite wealthy and a big animal lover, to solve the problem she actually removed her wrought iron gate and installed another one that the badger could comfortably walk under (I know, that's a tad extreme! but as I say, she could well afford it). That did stop her problems and she's happy for the badger to potter around in her (large because again, she's wealthy) garden. 

    I wouldn't call your dog a wimp, she's entitled to look after herself, just like the rest of us. Besides, a scared badger may attack her and that isn't what you want, she is much better off tucked up in her bed.

    As well as citronella, scotch bonnet peppers can also be chopped up and left around, apparently they're a good deterrent.  
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Newbie
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    edited 26 February 2021 at 5:26PM
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    I've lived rurally, aswell as semi rurally, all my life and i still don't like them.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,781 Forumite
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    They do like a curry and spicy stuff. Not sure how far their taste has got re the scotch bonnet.
    I have a fenced off part of my garden that is a badger run but they did try to dig another set in my neighbours foundations. Haven't seen one here for some time. I think it may have been the tennis courts floodlights right by their set.
    Perhaps try a cheap motion detection led light aimed sideways to shine in their eyes. Cheap as a fiver. From above it would just show them the way.

    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • greyteam1959
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    Mix anything smelly up in a garden sprayer & give the whole area a good spray.
    Fabric conditioner etc will do the job.

  • Apodemus
    Apodemus Posts: 3,384 Forumite
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    mandy47 said:
     I don't want to leave the gate open for security reasons.

    Mandy, I think that is your problem. Badgers create well-used tracks that they follow every night and will do everything they can to remove a barrier. They are nature's bulldozers and will push on through eventually if at all possible.

     They will also ignore any temporary risks in their path, which is why so many get killed crossing roads. Your citronella will be a very minor disincentive by comparison - he wants through that gate.

     If you absolutely have to have a closed gate for security reasons, you could look at creating an opening at the bottom so that the badger can get under the closed gate - it doesn't need to be very large as they will squeeze through.
  • mandy47
    mandy47 Posts: 322 Forumite
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    We are used to seeing badgers on a bank behind our house and have even had a fox and her litter under our shed, but we've never seen any signs of the badgers entering our garden. The garden is enclosed with six foot fencing, the rear fencing having a metal fence behind our wooden one. This particular badger is trying to get from our front garden to the rear. We have noticed our neighbours front lawn was turned over late last year but ours in untouched. We live in a built up area and do occasionally see a poor unfortunate road kill badger. I've ordered citronella oil (not at all expensive) and will try that first.
    Thank you everyone, defiantly a number of ideas to keep in mind.  
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