Long Nosed Bandicoot – Friend or Foe

We have had a lot of holes being dug around the garden and some of my plants have been pulled out of the ground.

I had also seen a lot of digging in the compost heap, so I set the night camera up to see who was responsible and sure enough we have a long nosed bandicoot.

A bandicoot could either be seen as a pest or a pest controller — depending on what it eats and where it eats it.

bandicoot at night

Bandicoots are designed to eat underground food, although they won’t go past insects and even berries found on the ground.

With a sensitive nose they can readily sniff out insects, worms, roots and even fungi. Once a food item is located, they scoop out a conical hole with the rake-like claws on their front feet.

The long, pointed face probes the bottom of the hole and any food is quickly pinched out between fine, needle-like teeth.

They have been using these skills to dig up and eat my sweet potatoes. To try to thwart them I had placed chicken wire over the ground and used tent pegs to hold it in place. However they have worked out how to get underneath. I will need to use longer pegs to provide more of a challenge.

Usually the bandicoots would be providing a useful service by eating the lawn grubs, however my vegetable garden seems to be far more attractive.

Northern brown and long-nosed bandicoots mainly give birth from late winter to the following autumn but will breed throughout the year. This would coincide with the times when scarab beetles and other insects are available in their underground larval stage.

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