Hannah Carver has solved the mystery of the regular nightly raids on her kitchen.
For a while, she suspected a fox might be popping in for a midnight feast, but after setting up a video camera to catch the culprit she discovered her nightly visitor was a badger with a taste for ice lollies.
The black and white bandit has a soft spot for bubblegum flavour ice creams, wolfing them down one after another. It has also eaten its way through Twister ice lollies, mashed potato, crumpets and Chinese style pork chops – but it won’t just eat anything – the furry raider drew the line at scallops.
As well as the cost of feeding the uninvited guest, Hannah has a major clearing-up job to do every morning. The stripy intruder is quite a messy eater.
Barmaid Hannah, 29, asked her local council and various animal charities for help, but said she’s been told there is little she can do because the species is protected.
Hannah, who has a six-year-old son, had to install child locks on the freezer.
But it hasn’t stopped the hungry badger creeping in and rifling through her bins, and trying to break into a cupboard containing treats.
She said: “I’ve got to do something about it.
“I don’t want my son coming downstairs and coming face to face with a badger.
“And the mess it’s making, and the amount of food it’s eating – it’s unreal.
“The council told me to ring this animal charity. He laughed. He thought it was a hoax call.
“I tried turning around the freezer to face the wall so that it would stop eating the food. But it’s still coming in.
“It’s eaten a whole pack of wraps, crumpets and it loves ice lollies.
“It’s had chicken, Chinese style pork chops and – you won’t believe it – mashed potato.
“Nothing is safe from this badger – apart from scallops. It took those out and then just dumped them on the floor.
“What am I supposed to do? Grab a man off the street and get him to wee up against my front door?”
“It loves all the good stuff which now we don’t get to eat. You’ve got to get in their quick before the badger.
“I need to stop it. I can’t keep replacing the food just for a badger to eat.
“It is trying to get into a cupboard where I have another freezer and snacks. It’s tried to rip the grate off the door. It must have massive claws.
“I went to do a food shop yesterday. I didn’t get any frozen food for the pure fact it can’t by kept away from the badger.”
Hannah from Gosport, Hants, said she discovered a creature was raiding her home around two weeks ago, when she found the bin contents all over the floor one morning.
The freezer door was open, and there was food from it all over the room.
Initially she thought foxes were causing the midnight mess in the kitchen – but couldn’t work out how they were opening the freezer door.
But a few days later she was having a drink in her kitchen after work at around 1am, and saw it creep in before scampering off.
“At first I thought someone had been in the house. I woke up and the kitchen was in a total state,” she said.
“I thought someone had been in the house.
“The bin was everywhere. The freezer drawers were all open and broken. There was stuff all over the floor.
“I thought maybe it was a fox because you always hear about them trashing bins. But I couldn’t get my head around how it was getting into my freezer.
“No one believed me.
“I mean I can’t blame them. It’s not something you hear about. I thought ‘I’ve got to get this on camera’.”
But with only a two-hour recording capacity on her phone, it was a few more nights before she caught it on camera.
During a 50-minute feast, it ate its way through several dinners and ice creams.
“You could see it walking around, and then sitting down and tucking into the ice creams, ripping the wrapper off and just sitting there chomping it,” she said.
She said she spoke to Environmental Health at Gosport Borough Council who she said referred her to an animal charity.
“He thought it was a hoax,” she said.
“I mean I was telling him I had a badger coming in my house and raiding my freezer and eating all my food in the middle of the night.
“All he could advise was making my house badger proof, but they are little tanks.
“He said even if I block up the cat flap, once they know there is food and a way in, they will just try and break through.
“I’ve had a search online and apparently;y they don’t like male urine.
“So what am I supposed to do? Grab a man off the street and get him to wee up against my front door?
“I’ve got two cats and a child. If it comes through door when the cats are around, I don’t want to find them injured, or worse, dead. I don’t want my little boy coming down either.”
Hannah installed child locks on the freezer but it didn’t stop the badger coming in and attacking the freezer.
So she went to show her letting agent her CCTV, and they blocked the flap up with wood on Saturday.
“It looks awful but it seems to have stopped him,” she said.
“You can see scratches on the wood though where he has tried to come in.
“And he was coming back every night until this was put up Saturday.”