How to Stop Bandicoots in Your Garden



You’ve cared for your garden and it’s now full of beautiful plants, only to discover some unfamiliar visitors have moved in. Bandicoots, which are small animals from Australia that are active at night and usually live alone, might be the ones responsible. Some types of bandicoots, like the Southern Brown Bandicoot, are in danger of disappearing in NSW, so these animals are more than just unwelcome guests in our gardens; they’re an important part of the environment.

Their searching for food can be helpful by controlling pests and improving the soil, their presence in our gardens isn’t always peaceful. The challenge is to find ways to live with these furry gardeners without using harmful methods. It’s important to use humane and legal ways to keep bandicoots away, as they are protected in many places. This sets the stage for a discussion about how to balance taking care of our green spaces and respecting the wildlife that comes into them, so we can be responsible caretakers of our shared environment.

Understanding Bandicoot Behavior

Bandicoots, with their pointed snouts and hunched backs, are more than just quirky additions to your backyard ecosystem; they’re nature’s little tillers. These marsupials are drawn to gardens not to wreak havoc, but to feast on insects and other invertebrates that can be detrimental to your plants. As they forage for these critters, they inadvertently aerate the soil, which is a boon for your garden’s health. Their digging habits can leave your lawn looking like a patchwork of holes and mounds of earth, which, let’s face it, might not be the aesthetic you’re going for.

Bandicoots are actually quite transient. They operate on a ‘hit-and-run’ basis, sticking around only as long as there’s a buffet of bugs to munch on. Once the food supply dwindles, they’ll pack up and move on, leaving behind a garden that’s been naturally pest-controlled and aerated. So, while their presence might be a bit startling at first, understanding that bandicoots are temporary visitors can help homeowners see these animals in a different light.

Non-lethal Deterrents

When it comes to keeping bandicoots out of your garden without causing them harm, creativity and a little know-how go a long way. A simple yet effective method is to use lights and dynamic lifter or chicken manure. The combination of the bright lights and the strong odor can be quite off-putting to these nocturnal creatures, encouraging them to find dining spots elsewhere. For those seeking a more high-tech solution, electric fencing, set just above the ground and using a humane voltage, offers a temporary but effective barrier. It’s important that the voltage is low enough to be safe for the bandicoots and any other wildlife that might come into contact with the fence.

If you’re not keen on the idea of fencing, consider other deterrents like applying substances with a potent ammonia smell or installing large floodlights to disrupt the bandicoots’ nightly activities. Additionally, making the soil more compact can deter digging, as it makes the ground less inviting for bandicoots looking to forage. These strategies can help ensure that your garden remains a serene sanctuary for you, while still being a safe passageway for our furry friends.

Physical Barriers

If you’re grappling with the idea of bandicoots turning your garden into their playground, physical barriers might just be the solution you’re looking for. A sturdy 1.2-meter fence with a 300-millimeter underground barrier has been the garden’s first line of defense, keeping out these nocturnal diggers. But even the most fortified gardens can have their weak spots, as evidenced by the recent addition of a critter-proof gate to secure an unprotected back entrance. It’s a reminder that vigilance is key when it comes to wildlife-proofing our green spaces.

However, the thought of erecting a towering 1.8-meter fence looms large for many gardeners. It’s a significant investment not just in terms of materials, but also in the energy and time required to build it. That’s why many are on the lookout for simpler, less demanding solutions before committing to such a construction project. The quest for balance continues, as we seek barriers that are both effective against bandicoot incursions and reasonable in their demands on our resources.

Eliminating Attraction Factors

Making your garden a no-go zone for bandicoots doesn’t have to involve harsh measures. Instead, focus on eliminating what draws them in the first place: their food. Insecticides can be used to reduce the number of insects, but choose your products carefully.

Opt for pet-friendly and environmentally safe options to avoid harming other wildlife or your furry companions. Sometimes the solution is as simple as rethinking your plant choices. Bandicoots are adept climbers and may use taller plants like geraniums or lemon grass as ladders to scale fences. Consider replacing these with lower-growing varieties that don’t offer the same leverage.

Lastly, addressing other pests like rats can indirectly impact bandicoot activity. By placing rat poison safely within PVC pipes, you eliminate the risk of rats without inadvertently harming bandicoots, who may also be attracted to your vegetable patch. These strategic changes can make your garden less appealing to bandicoots while maintaining its integrity as a safe haven for all creatures.

Legal Considerations and Ethics

Navigating the delicate balance between protecting your garden and respecting wildlife takes more than just a green thumb; it requires a keen awareness of the law and a strong ethical compass. Bandicoots, with their distinctive long snouts and endearing scurrying, are not only a charming part of Australia’s natural tapestry but also a protected species in many regions. This status means that any actions taken to deter them from your garden must be both humane and legal.

In places like NSW, using poison as a means of control is not only often ineffective but can also land you on the wrong side of the law. The ethical implications of such actions are just as significant. These creatures, while perhaps inconvenient, play a vital role in the ecosystem and deserve our compassion and consideration. Should you come how-do-i-stop-bandicoots-in-my-garden-2across a bandicoot that is sick, injured, or orphaned, the humane response is to reach out to organizations like WIRES Rescue Office for guidance. They can direct you on how to safely transport the animal to a vet, ensuring that your encounter with these unique animals is both legally sound and ethically responsible.


As we’ve navigated the intricate dance of cohabitation with bandicoots, it’s become clear that the key to a harmonious garden is not in overpowering nature, but in understanding and working with it. Through the strategies discussed, from employing non-lethal deterrents to erecting thoughtful physical barriers, we’ve seen that it’s entirely possible to protect our cherished green spaces without causing harm to these fascinating creatures.

It’s a delicate balance, indeed, to preserve your garden’s beauty while also safeguarding the wildlife that inadvertently stumbles upon it. Remember that the importance of preserving wildlife and adhering to legal requirements cannot be overstated. If ever in doubt about how to proceed with deterring bandicoots in a manner that’s safe for both the environment and the animals, seeking professional advice is always the wisest course of action.

Let’s continue to nurture our gardens with a sense of responsibility and a heart for the wild, ensuring that our actions today contribute to a thriving ecosystem for generations to come.