Badgers eat a variety of foods but prefer earthworms. Badgers consume earthworms in large quantities, with an adult easily consuming several hundred each day. To catch worms, badgers rely on a keen sense of smell provided by their sensitive noses and mouths.
Badgers, as with most small mammals, prefer to forage and feed alone. They live relatively solitary lives and may join in pairs for the mating and breeding seasons before dispersing once again into their solo habitats. In times of scarcity when food and water supplies are limited, badgers may congregate in small groups to forage and hunt. Although earthworms comprise the majority of badgers' diets, they will eat other sources of food when worm supplies are limited. This is particularly true for badgers living close to urban centers that feast on food scrap remains from compost piles and garbage cans. Urban badgers may eat cereals, oats and grains, and occasionally make their way into crop fields, where they consume fruits like strawberries, apples, pears and blueberries. Badgers will also eat smaller rodents such as mice, rats, moles, voles and shrews. Larger species may attack hedgehogs and even small foxes and raccoons. Badgers may also snatch bird eggs and raid beetle compounds and wasp nests for sustenance too.