This page is a general Groundhog pest control guide. Using the products and methods suggested you will get control of Groundhog. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee 100% control of Groundhogs. Consult your local and state guidelines to see if the Groundhog (or woodchuck) is a protected species in your location before applying control.
Groundhogs (also known as Woodchucks) are burrowing animals that can cause damage with their insatiable feeding habits and underground activity. They are especially a problem for farmers and are becoming an increasing issue for homes and neighborhoods with Groundhogs moving in where humans reside.
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Groundhogs are large animals and are members of the squirrel family. They can measure anywhere from 16 to 20 inches in length and can weigh up to 5 to 10 pounds. They have a chunky body and strong legs that are equipped with claws for digging tunnel systems.
Groundhogs are burrowing animals and their habitat consists of deep underground systems that they create and reside in and raise young in for the majority of their lives. These burrow systems can be as deep as five feet and can range anywhere from eight to 60 feet out. These tunnel systems could be inhabited by Groundhogs for several years.
Groundhogs are incredibly destructive to farms and homes. They can destroy gardens and crops extremely quickly, eating up to a pound of vegetation a day. Their extensive burrowing and tunneling can create large holes in turf, lawns, and lands that can damage farm equipment and or be potentially dangerous for riders on horseback. They have also been known on underground power cables and create power outages.
If you are encountering Groundhogs on your property, this guide can help. Follow along to learn more about Groundhogs and how to get rid of Groundhogs using our easy-to-follow expert techniques and professional Groundhog treatment recommendations.
It’s important to first properly identify the pest you are dealing with and confirm that they are indeed Groundhogs. There are many animals that burrow under the ground, and these can be confused with a Groundhog. Below you can find the characteristics that set Groundhogs apart from other burrowing rodents.
- Groundhogs (also called Woodchucks) are brownish-gray in color, but white and black colors have been observed.
- They have a large heavy body (16 to 20 inches long) and can weigh from 5 to 10 pounds.
- Tails could be anywhere from 4 to 7 inches.
- They move relatively quickly, but can’t run very fast.
- They have large front teeth.
- Their legs are strong and claws used for digging.
- Groundhogs spend most of the day feeding and basking in the sun, and sleep in their burrows at night.
- When they are alerted by danger or startled by something, they emit a cry which sounds like a cross between a whistle and a reverberated chucking noise.
- They forage for food about 100 to 200 feet from their burrow, feeding on anything from grass to flowering plants, squash, cucumbers, peas, tomatoes, and basically almost any kind of vegetation.
Use the description and image above to help you identify Groundhogs on your property. If you are not totally sure, contact us and we will help to correctly identify the pest in question.
After you have confirmed that you are dealing with Groundhogs you can then move on to performing an inspection. During the inspection, you will search these areas in your property inspecting for Groundhog activity.
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Where To Inspect
Groundhogs prefer to live in open lands that are surrounded by woody habitats. They can create burrows usually in meadows and fields that are wide open, but they can also create burrows close to properties, along fences, and inside farmland.
Inspect your yard or land, especially in fields, meadows, gardens, crops, vegetables, and open grassy areas close to dense or wooded habitats. Look in next to roads, close to buildings, and around trees, especially if close to open areas.
What To Look For
You’re looking for Groundhog activity and their burrows. Most Groundhog burrows will be found in wide-open grassy areas. Burrow entrances will have about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. There will be a large mound of dirt by the entrance. Burrows usually have more than one entrances, but these are well hidden and hard to find. The best form of identification is finding one large entrance, with freshly dug dirt.
Once you have confirmed the Groundhog’s main entrance, you’re ready for treatment. Remember to read all product labels, and follow the application instructions on these labels, and stay safe by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
The best options for Groundhog treatment is capturing the Groundhog with a live trap and using Nature’s Defense Repellent. The Solutions Humane Live Animal Trap will allow you to easily catch the Groundhog for relocation or to hand it over to animal control. Nature’s Defense will work to repel and drive away Groundhogs near your property. This product is a 100% organic and all-natural, however, results in its effectiveness may vary.
Step 1: Strategic Placement of the Groundhog Trap
The Solutions Humane Live Animal trap is easy to use and place. You will need to strategically place the trap where you have noted Groundhog activity and burrows during the inspection. If you were not able to find a burrow, place the trap in an area you have seen Groundhogs or noticed damage.
Once you have found a good area to place the Groundhog trap, you will need to try to disguise the trap by covering it with natural elements like dirt, leaves, twigs and other such items to make Groundhogs more likely to explore the trap.
Step 2: Bait and Set The Trap
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Next, bait the trap with food, making sure to first use gloves to prevent Groundhogs from smelling your scent. For Groundhogs, we recommend using apple slices, carrots, or lettuce. A combination of all these might prove better results.
When baiting your trap it’s important to place the bait on the far end of the trap behind the trigger plate to make it so the Groundhog will have to come in contact with the trigger to get to the bait. The bait can be either in a cup, placed directly on the trigger plate, or freely placed behind the trigger plate depending on the bait being used.
After positioning the bait inside the trap, set the trap door open by pushing on the door lock and lifting the door plate. Keep the door plate lifted while pulling the trigger arm forward to set it. You will know the trap is set when the trigger arm’s hook catches the door.
Be sure to check the trap twice daily to see if the Groundhog has been trapped. When they are trapped, consult local wildlife agencies to see where you may release the animal. Some states require that only trained professionals relocate wild animals, while other states only dictate where they may be released.
Step 3: Apply Nature’s Defense Repellent
Nature’s Defense is a repellent that is easy to use by either shaking the product out from the container or using a hand spreader. Simply place next Groundhog damage, in fields, crops, gardens, and where vegetables are planted.
Place as a perimeter barrier around the crops you want to protect. You can also place it next to its main burrow entrances. Make sure to apply (in all the places you decided to apply) 2 times per week for 2 weeks. Each 22-ounce bottle should cover 3,500 square feet.
After you have treated your property to ward off Groundhogs, you don’t want them to make a return. To prevent groundhogs from frequenting your property and messing with your vegetation, you can continue using Nature’s Defense as a preventative treatment to keep them away.
You can also use ammonia, a versatile substance with a strong smell that can repel groundhogs.
Below we have listed multiple ways you can prevent Groundhog return invasions.
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- Make changes to the environment like adding fences to the crops, vegetables, and fields you want to protect. These fences should 3 feet long and made of heavy wire mesh (of 2 inches) and should be buried at least 10 to 12 inches under the ground to prevent them from burrowing underneath. These fences work best in home gardens, and small fields you want to protect.
- Another thing you can do is eliminate the plants and crops that Groundhogs enjoy the most, like broccoli, plantains, lettuce, etc. With their food source gone, they will be forced to move to a new location that provides them with food.
- Mix ammonia with washing detergent, vinegar, hot pepper and soap and pour the mixture down each hole. This may have to be repeated for a few days until the groundhogs go away. Always wear gloves before handling the mixture as it may cause an allergic reaction, itchiness or skins rash.
- Spray ammonia mixture on the fence. Try getting a fence on the perimeter of your garden or landscape that is at least a foot high and also goes a foot deep into the ground to prevent rodents from digging underneath and getting into your garden. Apply ammonium mixture around the fence to prevent groundhogs from coming in. This may have to be repeated if it gets washed off.
- And finally, use Nature’s Defense regularly around your property to protect structures and vegetation.
What Are Groundhogs?
- Also known as Woodchucks, Groundhogs are large rodents that are known for burrowing holes on landscapes and causing damage to sidewalks, driveways, and foundations.
- If uncontrolled, groundhogs could wipe out your precious garden within days. The soft soil and vegetation in gardens attract Groundhogs to set up their runways.
How To Get Rid of Groundhogs in Your Yard
- To get rid of Groundhogs, we recommend a combination of Live Trapping and Nature’s Defense Repellent applications.
- Set up a Solutions Humane live trap with some apples or vegetables as bait and wait a few days to see if the Groundhog will be captured.
Preventing Groundhog Reinfestation
- Prevent Groundhog activity by building fences and setting up other environmental modifications to make your property less appealing for Groundhog harborage.
- Make periodic applications of Nature’s Defense. Form a band of repellent granules around your garden or crops to keep Groundhogs away.
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