Badgers can cause real destruction. Once they’ve found a spot they like, they may come back every night, leaving lawns ruined and crops beyond repair. We recently talked to a large vineyard who were experiencing a badger problem. The badgers were very motivated because they had to cross the vineyard to get to their food source, and on their way back through the vineyard to their sets they liked to finish their evening meal be eating the ripe grapes. Obviously this was a huge problem for the vineyard. Through a combination of electric fencing and creating an attractive ‘alternate path’ through the vineyard for the badgers, with peanut butter treats, the badgers left the grapes alone.
Electric fencing can help deter badgers. For ‘unmotivated badgers’ electric fencing by itself might be enough. For motivated badgers (perhaps badgers who are after a particular food source), you will need to use a combination of electric fencing and wire dug into the ground to prevent the badgers from digging underneath the electric fence. For the electric fence, we recommend running 4 lines of stranded steel wire at 10 cm, 20 cm, 30 cm and 40 cm above ground. The wire can be on 3ft electric fence plastic polyposts, or on any other type of fencing so long as an appropriate insulator is used to ensure the wire does not get grounded. You will want each line of wire to be ‘live’ so you connect each line together with a piece of the wire.
You will also need an energiser to send the electrical impulses around the fence. Energisers can be powered by the mains, or by 9 volt and 12 volt batteries. The length of your fence and your intended power source will help determine the right energiser for your space. You will also need an earth stake for your energiser. Please note that some energisers come with an earth stake, but most do not.
Finally, if you are new to electric fencing, it is a good idea to get a fence tester. This will help you trouble shoot, should you have any problems.
If you do have a determined badger, you will need to put wire mesh 60 cm deep into the ground underneath the fence, with a 20 cm ‘shelf’ at the bottom of the fence, bending away from the fence. This prevents the badger from digging underneath the fence. If you know where the badger is getting in, you could try putting the wire mesh in just this location.
The electric fence will not hurt the badger, nor humans. It simply gives them a good jolt which is unpleasant. We have heard of some customers putting aluminum foil coated in peanut butter on the electric fence to ensure the badger gets their wet nose touching the fence for a really good shock – we haven’t tried this trick ourselves!
Rumour has it that a new revolutionary electric fence badger system is currently in testing phases and may be available on the mass market in 2018. Stay tuned!
If you have any questions about electric fences, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are always happy to help.
Clipper and Electric Fencing Specialist