Badgers are tough diggers who hunt a wide variety of birds and small mammals. Although they can prey upon poultry, badgers often do the most damage with their extensive burrowing, warns naturalist Fred Lindzey. These burrows can range from a few inches deep to a few feet deep, says Ron McNeely of the Missouri Department of Conservation. University of California wildlife biologists Steven C. Minta and Rex E. Marsh recommend reducing the badgers' food source as the best long-term measure. Combine this with other methods to repel badgers successfully.
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Things you need
- Pest fumigant
- Size #3 foothold trap(s)
- 8-inch-diameter wooden fencepost, at least 6 feet long
- Baling wire
- Denim or other heavy fabric, approx. 5.5 by 7 inches (one for each trap)
Place pest-control fumigant cartridges into the burrows of the badgers' prey animals, such as ground squirrels or chipmunks, if this method is legal in your area. Follow manufacturer's directions.
Illuminate the area where badgers have burrowed with spotlights. Use tripods and extension cords, if necessary, to enable proper placement of the lights.
Dig a shallow trench at the entrance of a badger burrow. The trench should extend from the burrow hole outward about 3 feet.
Tie a trap to the middle of a fencepost with four strands of baling wire twisted together to make a cable at least 3 feet long. The heavy fencepost, called a "drag," acts like an anchor and prevents the trapped badger from escaping. McNeely recommends this heavy drag over anchoring the trap to a stationary pole or pin.
Lay the post below the dirt piled outside the burrow.
Cut a 3-inch slit in one edge of a piece of heavy fabric. Cover the trap pan with the fabric so that the slit frees the trigger, giving it room to operate.
Place the trap inside the mouth of the burrow, and cover it with approximately a quarter-inch of dirt.
Cover the twisted baling wire outside the burrow with dirt.
Repeat Steps 3 through 8 with other active badger burrows.
Tips and warnings
- If prey removal, lighting and trapping do not work, consult with your local agricultural extension office to learn whether other measures, such as shooting, are legal or advisable in your area.
- In some states, trapped badgers may be sold for fur.
- Badgers are considered nuisance animals in many states, but their prey animals may be protected by hunting or agricultural regulations. Check with your state's Department of Natural Resources or your local agriculture extension office to learn about local regulations concerning animal control.
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- Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management; Badgers; Fred Lindzey; 2005
- Missouri Department of Conservation; Damage Control: Badgers; Ron McNeeley; 1998
- University Nebraska-Lincoln Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings; Badgers (Taxidea Taxus) as Occasional Pests in Agriculture; Steven C. Minta and Rex E. Marsh; 1988
- University of California Integrated Pest Management Program; Ground Squirrel Management Guidelines; T. P. Salmon and W. P. Gorenzel; February 2010