Because of their ravenous appetites and underground activities, groundhogs, also known as woodchucks and part of the squirrel family, are burrowing mammals that can cause problems for any property owner.
Groundhogs can weigh between 5 and 10 pounds and have a length that varies from 16 to 20 inches. It would help if you prevented this whistle pig from entering your yard since they might carry rabies. For most of their life, groundhogs nurture their young in the complex underground tunnel networks they build for themselves.
Groundhogs can survive for years in these tunnel networks, which may be up to sixty feet long and up to five feet deep. Groundhogs may wreak havoc by chewing through underground electrical wires and tearing up the turf, lawns, and other properties.
In our guide, you can learn more about stopping groundhog day and discouraging groundhogs from setting up a home in your yard. By the end, you’ll be armed with plenty of ways to get rid of groundhog under shed or other structures in your garden. One or two may be a temporary solution, and others a longer-lasting approach to stop a groundhog from living in your yard. (Learn How To Keep Ducks Out Of Pool)
What Are Groundhogs?
Groundhogs are large rodents and come with many names, such as ground squirrels, land beavers, woodchucks, or whistle pigs. They can grow 24 inches long and weigh as much as 13 pounds. They are the biggest member of the squirrel family.
Groundhogs are burrowing animals native to North America who like wooded regions close to open areas and dig enormous subterranean burrows.
During the warmer months, groundhogs spend more time feeding, improving their dwellings and burrow entrance, and napping in the sun. Groundhogs often feed on vegetation in the spring, summer, and fall as groundhogs hibernate throughout the winter.
Groundhogs primary food source is plants, grasses, and tree bark. As a result, they can find a homeowner’s garden a suitable location to set up a home. However, some pests are also consumed by groundhogs. A groundhog’s diet could include grubs, snails, and other insects.
In one way, they can be a pest, and in another, they can help by being your unwanted wildlife control partners.
What Do Groundhogs Hate?
There are numerous ways to get rid of groundhogs or other critters that are damaging your garden or digging tunnels beneath your deck, shed, or other structures. Yet, it’s helpful to understand what groundhogs eat. An adult groundhog consumes one to one and a half pounds of vegetation daily as a herbivore.
Groundhogs can seriously harm private gardens and rural areas as they consume even more food to get ready for hibernation. Commercial groundhog deterrents are not readily available, although some natural repellents some people swear by include:
- Spray, sprinkle, or drop coyote urine close to groundhog burrow entrances to frighten them into staying away.
- Because groundhogs typically run away from predators, the smell of the predator urine acts as a warning. If you don’t have dogs, cat litter, or, more specifically, used kitty litter scattered around burrows can work. However, used cat litter around the garden isn’t a clean solution.
- Groundhogs might become irritated by dog and human hair. You can get this when cutting your hair at home or the neighborhood barbershop. This can be hung around your vegetable plot to prevent groundhogs from going further.
- Placing an ammonia-soaked towel close to the groundhog’s hole’s entrance as these offensive smells will repel ground squirrels from your property.
- Because groundhogs hate pepper smells, you can deter them from your yard by scattering red pepper flakes around your yard.
- Loud noises can scare off groundhogs. Motion-activated is best, as they only spend 2 hours at a time outside their burrows.
Are Groundhog Burrows That Bad?
It is advisable to know that, unless you have significant groundhog property damage and they are digging underneath your lawn or plants, you could leave them alone before deciding how to get rid of a groundhog.
Groundhogs are crucial to the health of our ecology. Instead of digging new burrows, other animals like foxes and rabbits may use those already dug. Groundhogs can aerate your soil through digging, which can cause healthier lawns, trees, and shrubs.
If you are sure you want to exclude groundhogs from under your shed, the best time to get rid of groundhogs off your property is the spring mating season. (Read What To Put Under Inflatable Pool On Concrete)
Here are a few additional methods for controlling groundhogs.
Live trapping To Release Groundhogs
Set your live traps close to the burrow entrance without obstructing it.
Use produce, such as fruits or veggies, such as green beans, as bait.
It is advised that you release your trapped groundhog far from your property and away from rural areas and other densely inhabited regions.
Get the owner’s consent before releasing the groundhog on any private property. Verify the rules in your state regarding removing a trapped groundhog.
Check your state’s regulations on using a live trap for groundhogs. Body-grabbing may not be permitted, and cage-style traps are a more humane way to trap these animals.
Note that groundhog removal by trapping is not recommended. A humanely trapped woodchuck is put through a stressful ordeal that can lead to death when removed from its home.
There’s also a chance you’ll unintentionally trap other animals, or the groundhog you catch has rabies.
Targeting A Groundhogs Burrow
Making a groundhog’s home inhabitable through flooding or fumigation are two ways to get them to leave your property.
Because groundhogs dislike wet burrows, flooding causes them to leave their residence and search for a dry territory to construct their vast tunnel networks.
Your groundhogs with gas. Cartridges for fumigation are available in farm supply or home improvement stores. You’ll need to plug the burrow entrances so the gas cartridges can flood fatal levels of carbon monoxide into the extensive tunnel systems.
Most attempts to frighten groundhogs off your property will fail. Regularly moved scarecrows or scarecrow sprinklers can provide short-term solutions, although they don’t last long enough to scare groundhogs away, and they’ll end up digging someone else’s yard, such as your neighbor’s.
However, to get them from under your shed, you can scare groundhogs, moles, and other digging pests using ultrasonic sound and vibrations.
The ground vibrates because of solar stakes that emit ultrasonic pulses. These and other groundhogs and pests flee because they think there is an earthquake. (Read What To Put Under Above Ground Pool)
One method to prevent groundhogs from eating your plants is to sprinkle Epsom salt on the soil. Groundhogs won’t try to devour your plants since they don’t enjoy the taste of Epsom salt.
Groundhogs won’t be eliminated from your property by using this repellant; they will only be prevented from harming plants or veggies.
If you know they aren’t in the way, pouring castor oil into and around the burrow holes or den holes can be an effective deterrent to getting rid of groundhogs, but only if you’re sure they won’t return.
You’ll need to keep an eye out for them as they venture forth to find food.
Farmers’ Almanac readers often use this approach.
- Make a small pile of cayenne pepper by pouring it close to the groundhog’s holes and burrows.
- You will need to reapply if it rains or is windy, though.
To stop them from nibbling, you can also spray fragile plants with a solution made of 2 tablespoons of cayenne and 1 quart of water.
To prevent groundhogs from entering certain garden areas, crush garlic cloves and apply the paste. The strong smell is too strong for their sensitive noses.
Consider adding some lavender to your landscape. Although to us it smells wonderful, groundhogs find the pungent smell too much and stay away from the regions where it is. They don’t enjoy the smell of basil, chives, lemon balm, mint, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or any other herb, for that matter.
Stop Groundhogs Moving in
Once you’ve ended your groundhog problem, here’s how to stop them from coming back.
Build A Suitable Fence
Your best bet for preventing groundhogs from entering flowerbeds and food gardens is an underground barrier.
- A fence must be buried 12 inches deep and at least 3 feet high. Chicken wire or another strong wire fencing material is the best fencing to keep groundhogs, gophers, and raccoons out of your area. Just make sure it will curve outward to prevent digging.
- Place an electric wire 4 to 5 inches above the ground and at the same distance from the fence as an additional precaution to prevent climbing and digging.
- To stop groundhogs from digging under foundations and decks, you can use hardware cloth buried 1 foot underground.
- A helpful type is to ensure there are no occupied burrows nearby in your yard before erecting any fencing or barriers. Groundhogs should not be unintentionally trapped inside and deprived of food and water.
What is used to fill groundhog holes?
Because groundhogs dislike spicy food, like many people, you should either sprinkle red pepper flakes or spray a solution of water and chopped red peppers close to groundhog tunnels and holes. After a downpour, you’ll need to reapply your pepper flakes or pepper spray.
A groundhog hole: how do you seal it?
Cover openings in abandoned burrows to prevent groundhogs by installing wired fencing. Dig each one out to a depth of about one foot, then securely bury the wire fence in the hole after covering it with 3′ x 3′ of wire fencing. VERY IMPORTANT: make that there aren’t any groundhogs residing in the burrow before continuing.
A groundhog under a shed: how do you fill it?
Gas bombs, sometimes known as gas cartridges, can be purchased to fumigate their burrow and solve the issue. Once you are positive the groundhog is inside its burrow; you should block off all but one of the exits with dirt. The cartridges would next be lit, and they would be thrown into the final open door.
Can a groundhog hole be flooded?
Bring the mortars and bale to the groundhog hole, light one, and throw it as far as you can. Then, place the bale on top of the hole and sit on it. Any groundhogs present will be killed or, at the very least, critically injured by the blast’s concussion wave, which will travel the tunnel.
Can Epsom salt keep groundhogs at bay?
Epsom salt can be sprinkled on the soil to discourage groundhogs from consuming your plants. Epsom salt has an unpleasant flavor; therefore, groundhogs will be deterred from eating the plants.
Do groundhogs stay away from Irish spring soap?
To keep groundhogs away, use Irish Spring. To scare off groundhogs and prevent them from destroying the lawn or eating the plants, hang a bar of soap from a post or fence. (Read Under Sink Plumbing Diagram)
What are groundhogs most afraid of?
Garlic and pepper have an offensive smell to groundhogs. Crush some pepper and garlic to make a deterrent that you can throw into their burrows to keep them away from your garden. Continue doing this every day until they go. To spray your vegetables, you can also make a spray with pepper and garlic.
Can mothballs prevent groundhogs?
Mothballs don’t bother groundhogs for some reason. They dig them out after being poured into a hole and bury them in the dirt. Animals continue to consume vegetables adjacent to mothballs in a garden, so they just don’t care about them being used.
What is the most effective way to deter groundhogs?
Lavender: Consider sprinkling some lavender across the garden. Although it smells great when we apply it, groundhogs find it disgusting and avoid the areas where it is.
They don’t enjoy the smell of basil, chives, lemon balm, mint, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or any other herb.