Getting Rid Of Groundhogs – Groundhog Deterrents And Repellents
By: Nikki Tilley, Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden
Commonly found near wooded areas, open fields, and along roadsides, groundhogs are known for their extensive burrowing. These animals, which are also called woodchucks or whistle pigs, may be cute and cuddly looking but when they wander into our gardens, both their burrowing and feeding activity can quickly wreak havoc on plants and crops. It is for this reason that suitable control measures are often necessary. Let’s look at how to how to get rid of groundhogs.
Groundhog Deterrent and Control
Groundhogs are most active during early morning and late afternoon hours. While they feed on a variety of broad-leafed vegetation, in the garden they prefer legumes such as clover, alfalfa, peas, beans, and soybeans. When it comes to deterrents or groundhog repellent, there are none that are specifically known.
However, scarecrows and similar objects can occasionally provide temporary relief. The most effective types of control include the use of fences, traps, and fumigation.
Getting Rid of Groundhogs with Fencing
The use of fencing around gardens and other small areas can sometimes help reduce groundhog damage and act as a groundhog deterrent. However, they are excellent climbers, easily crawling over top of fences with ease. Therefore, any fencing that’s erected should be made from 2 x 4-inch mesh wire and at least 3 to 4 feet high with another foot or so buried in the ground. The underground portion should face away from the garden at a 90 degree angle to help discourage burrowing.
In addition, the fence should be topped with a strand of electric wire to deter climbing. Alternatively, electric fencing may be used entirely if no pets or children frequent the area.
How to Get Rid of Groundhogs by Trapping & Fumigation
Trapping groundhogs is often considered one of the best methods to use when getting rid of groundhogs. Wire mesh traps can be set near the entrance of burrows (within 5 to 10 feet) and baited with anything from apple slices to carrots. They are normally concealed with items such as grass as well.
When trapping groundhogs, check them regularly in the morning and evening hours, and either move the animals elsewhere or dispose of them humanely. The use of poisonous gas (fumigation) is also commonly utilized for groundhog control. Directions for their use are on the label and should be carefully followed. Fumigation is best performed on cool, rainy days.
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How Do You Get Rid Of A Groundhog (6 Great Home Remedies)
Groundhogs, also called woodchucks are cute furry animals who adorably waddle around while destroying your garden and even causing damage to buildings because they burrow underneath them.
"How do you get rid of a groundhog" and "how to get rid of woodchucks using home remedies" are often questions asked desperately by those who find these creatures in their yard.
Before getting trying to get rid of them, there are some signs of groundhogs that you should look out for as other animals eat some of the same things that they do which are mostly vegetables, fruit, and other plants.
Groundhogs also need to gnaw wood or chew on things like tree bark to maintain their teeth so look out for scrapes and gouges in the wood around your property. They dig burrows 2-5 feet deep that can extend horizontally up to 25 feet. Usually, there is a mound of dirt at the entrance.
To reduce the chances of attracting groundhogs, make depriving them of areas with tall grass, tall weeds such as Japanese knotweed, overgrown shrubs, and brush piles part of your landscape maintenance. These will only serve as hideouts for groundhogs. Better yet, clear such areas altogether and start a new garden. Groundhogs eat dandelions and clover, so keeping your grass free of these common lawn weeds reduces your chances of attracting groundhogs.
Fill in any old tunnels with crushed stone otherwise, you're rolling out the welcome mat for new pests. Since groundhogs are rodents, remove any tree stumps (rodents need a source of wood to grind their continually growing incisor teeth upon).
How to Prevent Groundhogs from Moving in
Once you’ve said goodbye to your groundhog problem, here’s how to keep them from returning:
An in-ground fence is your best option for keeping groundhogs away from vegetable gardens and flower beds. The PennState Extension suggests a fence at least 3 feet high and buried 12 inches underground.
“As an additional measure, place an electric wire 4 to 5 inches off the ground and the same distance outside the fence,” the extension office advises. “When connected to a fence charger, the electric wire will prevent climbing and burrowing.”
You can also use hardware cloth buried 1 foot into the ground to deter groundhogs from burrowing under decks, foundations, and the like.
Before installing any type of fencing or other barrier, make sure there aren’t any inhabited burrows nearby. You don’t want to accidentally trap groundhogs inside and cut them off from food and water.
2. Maintain your yard
Regularly trimming grasses, shrubs, and trees removes cover groundhogs use to evade predators. If sufficient cover no longer exists in an area, groundhogs may feel less safe and set out in search of a new home.
3. Plants as deterrents
Plants with strong fragrances, such as lavender, will keep groundhogs out of your garden. The Farmers’ Almanac says groundhogs also dislike the smell of these herbs: mint, sage, basil, lemon balm, rosemary, thyme, chives and oregano.
Or, you can use I Must Garden Groundhog Repellent
If the thought of saving your own, ahem, repellent is, well, repugnant, consider using I Must Garden’s groundhog repellent. It is a non-toxic and pleasant repellent that will keep groundhogs and woodchucks out of your garden. You simply re-apply once a month or so, and your garden will remain woodchuck-free.
We want you to be satisfied with every purchase from I Must Garden, if you have any questions or concerns please contact us
Groundhog / Woodchuck Information
Woodchuck Appearance: A woodchuck, also known as a groundhog, is a small rodent weighing approximately eight pounds and growing to be close to three feet in length. These animals appear in a variety of brown hues, with their fur divided into two distinct layers. The undercoat is generally darker and consists of thick fur, while the outer layer is longer, coarser hair made to deflect water and fine debris. Woodchucks have long bodies supported by powerful legs, and are capable of impressive digging and short bursts of speed. Scissor-like teeth aid the animal in breakdown of vegetation.
Woodchuck Habitat and Behavior: Preferring open, rocky landscapes, the woodchuck is able to live in almost any region in the northern United States and Canada. Open spaces such as fields provide the groundhog with the ability to sit at the opening of a burrow and scan the landscape for any signs of danger. Burrows are usually very large, going as deep into the ground as five feet and sprawling outward for close to forty. Despite the large network of tunnels, woodchucks tend to be solitary mammals, though they will occasionally live in communities of no more than four adults. Communication through whistles informs other members of the community if danger approaches.
Duration of hibernation for woodchucks depends on the geographical location of the animal and can last from three to five months. These animals are one of the few mammals to enter into true hibernation, and it is not uncommon for their core temperatures to reach thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit. Prior to hibernation, the woodchuck will spend as much time eating as possible, building up a large fat store for the upcoming winter. Fatality during hibernation is common, and it is widely though that survival hinges on the nutritional health of the animal as well as the duration of slumber. Young woodchucks are more likely to die than woodchucks that have already been through at least two hibernation cycles.
Groundhogs mate once a year, with the male staying with the female only until she gives birth. After birth, the male will leave the burrow permanently and the female will raise the babies until they are six weeks of age. After six weeks, the offspring will be pushed out to find their own dens. Young woodchucks are extremely prone to attacks by snakes. The serpents can easily enter a burrow without fear of much resistance from an infant woodchuck.
Woodchuck Diet: Omnivorous, these animals lean toward more vegetation and less toward meat, though a hungry woodchuck will eat worms, insects, and amphibians. Crop fields are the ideal place for burrows. Nearby crops such as corn, legumes, and alfalfa are considered prime food sources for a woodchuck. The woodchuck has little need of a standing water supply most hydration is gained through consuming vegetation.
Woodchuck Nuisance Concerns: Because of the extensive tunnel network a woodchuck can create, one of these animals living under or near a building is often cause for concern. Foundations can be compromised by a widespread burrow maze. In addition to the building concerns, woodchucks are very territorial, and will not hesitate to defend their claims from pets or people. Farmers also find the burrow systems of woodchucks intrusive. Farm equipment can take heavy damage from tunnel collapse, and acres of crops can be lost due to a woodchuck community.
Woodchuck Diseases: Depending on the area of the country, groundhogs may be considered a prime suspect for rabies. Beyond that serious disease, secondary infections through external and internal parasites are the most common concerns. Woodchucks generally harbor a large number of ticks, so tick-borne illnesses should be of some worry.
You are here to learn how to get rid of groundhogs or woodchucks in garden or yard. This site is intended to provide groundhog education and information, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a groundhog problem. This site provides many groundhog control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of groundhog removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance groundhog.
I have many educational articles to help you with your groundhog problem. Find out more about the The Trouble with Groundhogs . Here are some ways you can kill a groundhog in the yard, or learn about the best bait to trap a groundhog and where to relocate a trapped groundhog. Learn about the The Soundless Barrier and whether groundhog prefer living in Urban or Wild Areas. Learn more about what wildlife rehabilitators do with groundhogs and whether or not a groundhog active in the daytime means it is potentially rabid.
Learn more about groundhogs and how to take care of your groundhog problem with my educational articles. Learn what you should do if you find a nest of baby groundhogs, and some humane ways to kill a groundhog in a cage. Find out if the City or County Animal Services will help with a groundhog issue, and why groundhogs dig. Learn about teh groundhog Diet and the Diseases groundhogs carry. Read more to find out if you really Need Professional Groundhog Control Services and if a Pest Control Company will help with a groundhog issue. Learn about the Mating Habits of Groundhogs, if groundhogs make good pets, and how do you know if you have a Groundhog Digging. Learn about some of the problems caused by groundhog digging and how to get groundhogs out from Under a Shed or Porch.