‘My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.’ - Thomas Helm
If you are finding conical pits in your garden and hearing soft snuffing and snorting sounds between 1am and 4am, the chances are you have a visiting bandicoot.
These animals have been on the endangered list for many years with three species of the bandicoot having already become extinct.
They are an important part of healthy bushland ecology so it is great that they are making a slow comeback in parts of Sydney.
Bandicoots are also good pest controllers in suburban gardens. They eat the grubs that kill grass roots and defoliate trees as well as keeping beetle and bug populations under control.
The best news is one of their favourite meals is the deadly funnel web spider (They are immune to its venom).
While the holes they make in lawns can become unsightly, the best way to deal with them is to have a bucket of garden soil on hand to fill the holes up as soon as you see them.
This process will gradually aerate your lawn. However, if you’d like to keep bandicoots away from certain parts of the garden such as the vegetable patch, you can use a fence of chicken wire dug 15 centimetres into the ground or use strong smelling organic substances such as cow manure to deter them.
Sensor lights also work. Bandicoots are nocturnal and sleep in ground nests or hollow logs during the day. Like all marsupials they carry their young in a pouch.
To help bandicoots, keep your cats and dogs indoors at night, use non-toxic products in the garden, a ramp in the pool so that any wildlife including sugar gliders can climb out, and drive carefully in leafy and bushland areas at night.
For further information on how to help our wildlife, check out the WIRES website on www.wires.org.au
Sydney Carton’s deep spiritual courage at the end ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens deeply affected me as a teenager. The final scene of Carton approaching the guillotine has always stayed with me. Which characters from novels have most influenced or moved you?
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