Groundhogs, also known as Woodchucks, are burrowing animals that can cause problems because of their voracious appetites and underground activities.
Groundhogs are a particular problem for farmers, and they are increasingly becoming a problem for homes and neighborhoods as they move into areas where humans live.
Groundhogs are large animals that are related to squirrels. They can range in length from 16 to 20 inches and weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. It is also possible for these animals to carry rabies, so you need to keep these large rodents out of your yard.
Groundhogs live in deep underground tunnel systems they develop, live in, and raise their young for most of their lives. Groundhogs can live for years in these tunnel systems, which can be as deep as five feet and range from eight to sixty feet.
Groundhogs are very destructive, digging through turf, lawns, and lands to make large holes and chew through underground power cables. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Pokeweed)
In our guide, you can learn what do groundhogs like to eat so you can reduce exposure. You’ll also find the best ways to get rid of a groundhog and many animals treated in the same way.
By the end, you’ll notice the telltale signs instead of waiting until you see the entrance hole and a pile of excavated soil.
What Do Groundhogs Hate the Most?
If groundhogs or other critters are tearing up your garden or tunneling underneath your foundation, deck, or shed, you can find many methods to get rid of them.
However, it is good to know what do groundhogs eat. An adult groundhog is an herbivore who eats 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of vegetation per day.
The following plants and crops are what groundhogs enjoy from your garden.
- Alfalfa, Apples, Berries
- Carrots, Clover, Corn
- Dandelions, and lettuce among others
Groundhogs can cause significant damage to backyard gardens and rural regions as they prepare for hibernation by consuming even more food.
Groundhog repellents aren’t available commercially, although pesticides for other rodents placed at the entrance of a groundhog’s hole are said to work.
To scare groundhogs into not returning, spray, sprinkle, or dump coyote urine near the entrances of the groundhog burrow entrances.
Because groundhogs are afraid of predators, smelling predator urine serves as a warning to keep away. If you can’t get dog urine, you could leave used cat litter around, but you’d want to do so in a wooded area rather than having lots of used kitty litter smelling around your home.
People and dog fur or hair irritate groundhogs. This is something you can get from a barbershop and hang about your vegetable garden to prevent groundhogs from venturing further into your garden.
Ground squirrels can be deterred by placing a rag soaked in ammonia near the entrance of the groundhog’s hole. Talcum powder and garlic are two more odors that groundhogs dislike.
Spices: Because groundhogs despise red pepper, scatter red pepper flakes or spray a mixture of water and chopped peppers near groundhog tunnels and holes to repel groundhogs from your yard. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Roaches Without An Exterminator)
Besides trying human hair, you can add blood meal into the mix, although some methods are more effective than others.
Is It Bad To Have a Groundhog in Your Yard?
Before deciding how to get rid of a groundhog and end your land beaver problem, it is best to know that unless you have extensive groundhog damage and they are digging underneath your lawn or plants, you could leave them be.
- Groundhogs play an essential part in our ecosystem. Other wildlife, such as foxes and rabbits, can use abandoned burrows rather than digging their own.
- Besides this, predators depend on them as food, such as hawks, owls, coyotes, and other larger animals.
- Groundhogs can aerate your soil from their digging and leading to healthy fruit trees.
Groundhogs, in the same way as squirrel or chipmunk relatives, don’t reproduce quickly. The females carry young for about a month and give birth to two to six pups. Most of the time, they don’t socialize until the mating season, which is in the spring, and the best time to get rid of groundhogs.
Here are a few more ways of dealing with your groundhog pest control.
According to pest control services, a live trap is the best form of animal control and groundhog removal.
- Place your trap near, but not in front of, the burrow entrance.
- Use a slice of fresh fruit as bait.
- Check your state’s regulations on groundhog traps as you could find restrictions on foothold traps.
It is better to use a live trap where you can take the trapped groundhog and release it away from your home using the trap door. Many experts say trapping isn’t ideal as it can make the animal suffer or contract rabies.
It could be best to frighten them away rather than trying to catch them.
Hit Their Homes
To induce the groundhogs to leave inhabited burrows, you need to make their home not a nice place to live. Flooding in early spring can be one option as groundhogs don’t the wet. As groundhogs spend most of their time underground, they will quickly want a new home to make their nest.
Another way to frighten groundhogs away is through fumigation. You can get gas that kills them and can be easy before spring as groundhogs hibernate during the winter.
Here, you will find no commercial chemical repellents you can use, so a regular gas cartridge is the only option. You should know if you try to scare groundhogs or get rid of your whistle pigs, many efforts fail miserably.
Will Epsom Salts Deter Groundhogs?
Sprinkling Epsom salt on the soil is one way to keep groundhogs away from your plants. Because groundhogs dislike the taste of Epsom salt, they will be put off from trying to eat your plants.
This animal repellent won’t remove groundhogs; it just stops them from causing any damage.
The critters live 3-4 years in the wild and have an average life expectancy of 6-8 years, and venture little further than 150 feet from their burrow, making a resident groundhog a long-term tenant. (Learn How To Seal A Chipmunk Hole)
If your issue is away from your home, you could be keeping groundhogs with no issues. Being part of the squirrel family, you’ll find they can also climb trees.
Groundhogs prefer a wooded area or burning underneath large grassy areas. The burrowing creatures make extensive systems that have multiple escape routes.
Groundhog burrows can easily be spotted by the large mound of dirt around their entrance.
A groundhog will begin burrowing beneath anything at an angle of around five feet to construct the primary entrance, then back up two feet to prevent flooding.
The living burrow proper is built and comprises a 30-foot tunnel, two side rooms, and a handful of escape tunnels.
The bedchamber is lined with grass, replaced with fresh grass in the spring if young are expected. The other chamber is used as a bathroom.
The groundhog plugs the entrance and digs a new bathroom chamber once the toilet is full.
If you wish to stop groundhogs coming over your fence, they need to be around 4 feet high and topped with chicken wire. However, you could find them or other groundhogs burrowing underneath your fence, thus adding to your groundhog problem.