Catching a Marmot on the Tomten Farm
When a large marmot moved in on the Tomten Farm, a call for aid reached the ears of Havahart® employees, who wasted no time in offering a solution. After all, these ravenous rodents can hurt farmers severely by devouring or trampling the produce that is their livelihood.
What Is a Marmot?
Marmots are rodents in the squirrel family, and some marmot species, such as Washington’s Olympic marmot and the hoary marmot of Alaska and western Canada, can weigh in at an impressive 15 pounds! They typically feast on vegetation, but will also eat any bird eggs or insects that they come across. Between September and May they hibernate, emerging in the spring to find a mate. \You may not recognize the name, but you may have already seen a marmot and assumed it was a large groundhog—which would make sense, since the groundhog is a type of marmot. But it is the yellow-bellied marmot that we refer to simply as “marmot” in the U.S. Normally found in the Rocky Mountain region, the yellow-bellied marmot can grow to be two feet long and weight up to 11 pounds.
Intruder on the Tomten Farm
One marmot (so far!) took up residence in a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse on the Tomten Farm and began its reign of destruction. Within the greenhouse, what it didn’t trample it ate, decimating the crop of chard that grew there. It also chewed grape leaves, lettuce and other greens – including entire comfrey plants.
Another potential danger was addressed by Tomten Farm’s Kris Holstrom: “I believe it was also damaging the integrity of some of our buildings, tunneling under or through foundations.”
Havahart® received word of this dilemma at the beginning of August 2016 and instantly responded by sending the beleaguered farmer an extra-large trap that would contain the oversized rodent.
The trap was set in the greenhouse, baited with some remaining chard and a bowl of salted oatmeal that was soaked overnight. As Kris Holstrom reports, “I was amazed as it worked on the very first night we set it up!”
Suspecting that more of these rodents may turn up again on their or a neighbor’s farm, Kris has made the trap available for use to anyone in her town that is visited by this creature’s brethren.
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Remember to check with your local wildlife commission to ensure that you follow the regulations for your area if you plan to relocate your capture. Visit us on Facebook to share your trapping adventures and photos, or to further discuss the marmot!