How to Get Rid of a Groundhog

How to Get Rid of Groundhogs | 15 Ways to Get Rid of Woodchucks

The Groundhog is a rodent. It is also called a woodchuck, beaver, or whistle pig
The name whistle-pig comes from the fact that, when alarmed, a groundhog will emit a high-pitched whistle as a warning to the rest of his or her colony.  The name woodchuck has nothing to do with wood.
They have short, strong legs, coarse, grizzled, gray-brown fur; small ears, a short, bushy tail; and curved claws.
Groundhogs look a bit like runaway fur coats as they waddle back to their burrows. This critter can grow to be about 3 feet long. They have large, competent, chisel-like teeth that make them efficient, but not quite endearing.
It belongs to the group of ground squirrels. Those squirrels are also known as marmots.
Getting rid of Groundhogs require an integrated approach and plan that includes trapping, repelling and excluding them from your yard, garden, buildings, under the shed, deck, porch and more.

Best Ways to Get Rid of GroundHogs (Woodchucks)**

Identify the Problem and become familiar with your groundhog’s habits and where it spends most of its time will help you target a control method. You can identify from the following symptoms if groundhogs are in your yard/garden.

  • Eating grasses and clover
  • Damaging crops like peas, beans, melons.
  • Gnawing/clawing on wood or woody vegetation.
  • Chewing through electrical wires.
  • Digging holes and burrowing under lawn or structures.

How to Get Rid of Pesky Groundhogs Under the Shed ~ Remedies Here

How to Get Rid of Groundhogs Under Deck/Barn/Farms  ~ Tips Here

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Groundhogs

1. Eliminate Food Source and Attractants

Their main food sources for groundhogs are vegetation, grass, nuts, and small insects, like grubs. They will also eat smaller animals occasionally.

If Groundhogs find food and a safe place to burrow they will keep visiting your yard. It’s important that you take some steps to minimize damage and make your yard less attractive.

  • Groundhogs prefer burrowing in areas that provide ample cover. Try to remove piles of debris, rocks              and/ or wood where groundhogs may take shelter.
  • Harvest crops like beans, peas, and melons as early as possible.
  • Remove tree trunks or other sources of wood that groundhogs can gnaw or grind their teeth on.

2. Deter Groundhogs with Ammonia Solution

(a) 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 woodchucks go away.

(b) Get lots of mud, mix it with ammonia and apply it in each hole. Keep repeating the process every few days until it drives the woodchucks away. Keep checking regularly whether the woodchucks are being driven away.

(c) Make a mixture of castor oil, black or cayenne pepper, and ammonium and sprinkle it in burrows or in a few locations around the house where the woodchucks are active. For this, there is some effort needed to observe their habits and where they are most active.

P.S: Always wear gloves and goggles when handling ammonia because it can burn your skin and highly irritate your eyes.

3. Garlic

Crush some garlic cloves and spread the paste around areas of the garden you want groundhogs to avoid. Their sensitive noses strongly detest the pungent smell and hence leave the areas where garlic paste or powder is sprayed.

4. Cayenne Pepper

The Farmers’ Almanac readers swear by this method to be very effective: Simply pour cayenne pepper close to the groundhog’s holes. The strong heat and smell are not bearable for the Groundhogs.

Buy a large container (bulk size) so you can create a small pile. When it rains or is windy, you’ll have to reapply.

You can also spray tender plants with a mixture of 2 teaspoons cayenne with 1-quart water to deter them from nibbling.

5. Castor Oil

Castor oil is a repellant that is used to deter groundhogs as well.

  • You could also take ½ cup of castor oil and mix it with at least 2 cups of water.
  • Place the mixture inside of a spray bottle.
  • Spray this mixture all around your garden and lawn to keep the woodchucks from nibbling on anything.
  • Repeat and apply this solution every 2-3 weeks, to keep the woodchucks away.

The problem with this is that you have to keep dishing out the dough for a solution that is not guaranteed and offers no permanent results.

6. Predators

Dogs and cats will scare off groundhogs because they are naturally inclined to chase things that move and may even attack the groundhogs. The presence of your pet might just be what keeps the groundhogs away.

Tip: Soiled kitty litter poured around one of the den holes (but not the other) is also effective as it smells like a predator. Leaving one exit hole scent free allows them to escape rather than stay burrowed.

7. Sprinkle Human Hair Around the Garden/Yard

Humans are also threatening to the woodchuck, so spoiling their natural habit with the scent humans will scare them away for good. Sprinkle clippings around areas where the groundhog frequents.

  • Take some clippings of your hair and secure in small mesh bags.
  • Stake the bag into the ground around your garden to prevent them from entering.
  • Place some of the hair clippings into their burrows.
  • This will drive them mad with paranoia.

8. Smoke Them Out

Fumigation kills the groundhog while it is inside the burrow. The easiest way is to buy gas cartridges (also known as gas bombs).

  • Make sure the groundhog is inside the hole before fumigating.
  • This may take a bit of time for observation.
  • Once you’re sure the groundhog is inside, fill all of the entrances except one.
  • Then light the gas cartridge, throw it into the open entrance, and quickly fill it up with dirt to trap the              groundhog and the carbon monoxide inside.

9. Ultrasonic Devices

You may want to try an ultrasonic device. These devices are said to release sound waves to deter them away. The sound waves can be so intolerable that it causes them to run away.

If you do not have electricity in your garden, yard or lawn, then get one battery powered one. It’s advisable that you place these devices near the burrows, because the waves may be short range.

Check out Groundhog Repellent Devices here on Amazon!

10. Set a Trap to Catch Groundhogs

You will need to check the laws regarding trapping, killing, and relocating groundhogs in your state, but the most effective way to get rid of these pesky groundhogs is to use traps.

You can use traps that don’t kill them (live traps) but there are traps that can kill them too, those are called body-gripping traps.

You will need to identify where the burrow is, if there is more than one burrow entry/exit, you will need more traps.

The best way to do this is to set the trap near the burrows. Setting up a temporary fence or wall using tall planks can guide the groundhog to the traps.

When choosing bait, remember that groundhogs are herbivores creatures. Place corn, apples, peas or one of their favorites, cantaloupe, just outside the trap, and some deep enough inside for them to fully enter the trap.

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11. Fencing and Chicken Wire to Prevent Groundhogs

Once you have gotten rid of your groundhogs, fencing is one of the best groundhog repellents. Groundhogs can climb, so you will need to do it right to prevent their entry in your property.

  • The fence around your yard or vegetable garden will need to go at least 2 feet deep if not a little deeper and be at least 4 feet high.
  • The last foot of the trap should not be supported by the stakes. It should be unstable and bent away from your yard or garden.
  • You can even bend the bottom foot or so of the fence away from your garden too though this can be        hard to do in the ground.
  • You may need to place what’s called an exclusion barrier around your shed or porch if you have one.
  • This is simply installing a fence about 2 feet deep in the ground along the wall of the shed or the porch.

12. Animal Repellants

Animal repellent may work for discouraging groundhogs from eating your vegetables, it is not strong enough to get rid of groundhogs.

You will need to keeping spraying repellent in your garden regularly to prevent them away from your garden.

Some More Popular Tips to Get Rid of Groundhogs

  • Epsom Salts sprinkled near or around the burrow entrances or exits will keep the groundhog away. If your plants are being eaten, try placing a tin plate filled with the salts near the plants.
  • Talcum Powder will easily steer clear of Woodchucks because they hate the smell, so it is effective in preventing groundhogs from eating your garden. You can also spread lime around plants you’d like to prevent from being eaten.
  • Agricultural Lime spread near the hole’s entrance and burrows will be effective to deter them away as, it will burn the animal’s feet, and it will go someplace else.

Tips for Getting Rid of Groundhogs & Woodchucks in Your Yard, Garden & Lawn (Video Tutorial)

Common FAQ’s for Getting Rid of Groundhogs

Q1. How to Get Rid of Groundhogs with Mothballs?

A1. Groundhogs strongly detest the smell of mothballs, but the truth is, they are just not strong enough to scare these rodents away.

Some people report mild levels of success, but most people say mothballs don’t work at all.

In brief, mothballs are not a strong deterrence against groundhogs, and you would be wise to use more effective methods, such as trapping or spraying ammonia.

Q2. Does ammonia work on getting rid of groundhogs if you don’t mix it in with dirt? Can I just spray the dirt with it?

A2. Yes, just so you spray it in the area where the groundhog will enter or exit.

Q3. How to catch a Groundhog?

A3. Set the trap with some of the fruit in the position indicated above. For best results, create a bait trail with cantaloupe leading to the trap. If you are able to identify your groundhog’s burrow, place some bait at the entrance, and then position your baited trap about 3 feet from the burrow.

Q4. Can you eat catch and eat Groundhog?

A4. Ways to Eat Groundhog. … “The simple fact is, groundhogs are eminently edible and delicious,” writes Everett J. Castro in Mother Earth News. “Like rabbits and squirrels (both of which are valued food animals), whistle-pigs are vegetarians. Thus, their meat, when properly prepared, is quite tasty and tender.”

**P.S: Always check with your state wildlife agency before relocating any animals from your property. There may be laws in your area prohibiting you from doing so.

Relocating groundhogs is illegal in some states due, in part, to fears of spreading rabies. You might want to check with them about what a safe distance is, depending on where you live.

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