|Bandicoot - Picture by Peter Sharp|
These are real frequent discussion points drawn from Sydney Wildlife Rescue’s long experience in advising the public about wildlife. It’s all about finding ways to live in harmony, protecting the wildlife and ourselves.
“What should I do if I find a bandicoot that has been injured on the road?”
First ensure your own safety if stopping on a road. Stress is a major killer for all marsupials, on top of the vehicle injury – keep this in mind when handling any injured animal. Cover it (at least its eyes) with a towel or blanket or any clothing you have available – that helps to lessen the stress. Beware of sharp claws and teeth. Pick up the bandicoot in the wrapping, carefully and firmly, and put it into a secure bag or box. Even a fabric shopping bag in your car will do, as long as you can tie it safely at the top. Take the bandicoot to your nearest Vet. Most Vets will not charge a fee for their services to wildlife. Be sure to tell the Vet exactly where you found it, so if it can recover, we can take it back to its territory. If you can’t go to a Vet, or pick up the bandicoot, ring Sydney Wildlife Rescue right away for assistance. Try to safely move the bandicoot from the road so it does not suffer more damage.
Sometimes there will be babies with an injured or dead female bandicoot. Pick them up together to take to the Vet. Try to keep them warm by holding close to your body or providing a gentle warm heat source like a wrapped plastic bottle with warm tap water.
Do not ever try to give food or water to any injured animal.
“My dog caught a bandicoot in our yard, and I think he has injured it. What should I do?”
Remove and secure the dog well away from the bandicoot! You can phone Sydney Wildlife immediately for advice and assistance. Try to reduce stress and further damage by covering the bandicoot and securing in a box or bag until our rescuer can get to you. Keep it quiet, in a warm place. Alternatively, you could take the bandicoot to a Vet right away. Tell the Vet what happened and where. Check for babies that may have been thrown from the pouch when the dog shook the bandicoot.
Incidentally, cats are a problem too. Cat bites may not be seen on a bandicoot but are lethal to the bandicoot (usually the joeys) if not treated. Please call Sydney Wildlife or take to a Vet.
“I don’t like my lawn being dug up by visiting bandicoots. What can I do to deter them from my back yard?”
Bandicoots do make small conical holes in gardens and lawns, looking for their food – worms, insects, bugs, spiders. We believe the hole ‘nuisance’ is far outweighed by the fact that they are, in fact, eating those damaging lawn worms and the ground spiders, including Funnelweb Spiders that no one wants around. In any case the lawn usually recovers from a few small holes
However, if you do want to keep bandicoots out of your property, the only way is to build a barrier fence around it – but remember bandicoots can dig under a regular fence, so you need to go underground approximately 50 cms with buried chicken wire or similar, under the fence.
We have heard that they don't like dynamic lifter. It keeps them away when on lawns, but we have never tested it. Maybe the dynamic lifter smell would be worse than the bandicoots to people!
Bandicoots, like all Australian native animals, are protected by law. You cannot remove them from their territory, or harm them in any way.
“I’m worried about the risk to my family and pets, getting ticks from bandicoots. Everyone says bandicoots carry ticks, so I don’t want them around my house”
Yes, bandicoots pick up ticks just like any animals close to the ground, including pets and humans of course. Ticks will attach to any animal. The reason bandicoots have ‘bad press’ on ticks is because people can actually see more on bandicoots than on themselves or their pets. This is because bandicoots are one of the few animals that have developed immunity to the tick toxin. They don’t bother to groom them off immediately like we do for ourselves or our pets. The ticks on the bandicoot are not a threat to us if they stay on the bandicoot. When the bandicoot does decide to groom them off, he actually eats them – so they are not lying in wait for us.