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Getting Rid of Groundhogs in Your Yard

Groundhog Day is a quirky, fun event that takes place every February 2. But there’s nothing fun about having these pesky, burrowing rodents on your property. Although groundhogs, a.k.a. “woodchucks,” may not actually chuck wood, they can remove 700 pounds of soil to construct a 20- to 25-foot-long burrow with multiple chambers. These types of tunnels can pose a serious threat to homes by damaging and undermining building foundations. Getting rid of groundhogs under deck structures is essential for the safety of your family.

How to Get Rid of Groundhog Pests Using Live Traps

Fortunately, there are ways to trap these nuisance varmints safely and humanely. By baiting groundhog traps, such as the Havahart® Large 1-Door Easy Set® Trap, you can capture one and then release it into the wild, without having to get too “up close and personal.” Place the trap about five to 10 feet away from the burrow hole so that even the most unmotivated critter is sure to stumble across it eventually. Camouflage the trap with canvas or vegetation for a more natural appearance.

Be Familiar with the Laws When Getting Rid of Groundhogs

Before you try using a trap for getting rid of groundhogs under the house, be sure to check with your local gaming commission on the trapping laws in your area.

Best Bait for Groundhogs

Despite their chubby appearance, groundhogs actually prefer salad over steak. The best bait for groundhogs is fresh string beans, sweet corn, lettuce, peas, strawberries, cucumbers, peaches and vanilla extract. But if you really want to find the way to a groundhog’s heart, try fresh cantaloupe. Groundhog baiting tips from professionals include cutting the cantaloupe into sizeable chunks and rubbing it all over the trap – inside and out – before placing it toward the back of the trap. You can also rub the cantaloupe in the grass leading from the burrow to the trap to create a tempting trail.

Have Groundhogs in the Garden? You Need Groundhog Repellent Tips

While trapping groundhogs can help solve your problem, it can be much easier to keep them away in the first place. When deciding how to repel groundhogs, one option is to make you own repellent by diluting hot pepper sauces with water and spraying it on plants. You can also use Epsom salts to get rid of groundhogs, although this tends to wash away easily when it rains.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Groundhogs & Keep Them Out

But if you’re really serious about wanting to deter groundhogs, using a groundhog repellent that works on both the groundhog’s taste and scent senses should do the trick. Use a granular repellent to keep groundhogs out of garden, lawn and landscaped areas during the winter because it can be used below freezing. Use a liquid repellent to get rid of groundhogs when you have large areas requiring protection as it can be easier to apply. Now you know how to properly deter groundhogs, whether it’s February 2 or any other day.

Image: Kingstongal

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3 Comments

  • C & W TOMASCAK

    GREAT TIPS & WE PLAN ON USING THEM,ASAP. WHEN YOU SEE A WOODCHUCK, YOUR THOUGHTS TURN TO A GARDEN DESTROYED BY THOSE VARMITS!!! TOO BAD THAT THEY DON’T LIKE BEING IN THE AREA WHERE DEER ARE.
    I LOVE TO SEE DEER AND THEIR FAWNS, BUT I DON’T WANT THEM CHEWING ON MY PLANTS THAT I WORK SO HARD ON!!!

    • 7:49 am - July 10, 2012

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  • Cindy

    When I had groundhogs eating my garden, a havahart trap baited with a romaine leaf and couple of drops of vanilla extract worked like a charm. Didn’t even get in the house and I had the first of many.

    • 6:40 pm - June 5, 2013

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  • Doreen Forbes

    If you leave them alone they will move out after they have their babies and go back to where they were. Trapping them is not good especially if you are leaving babies orphaned. Vinegar scented rags left around and noise will deter. Eventually when you know they are out after you put straw or something over the hole and see that it has not been disturbed for a few days you can cover the hole. Look up HSUS Wild Neighbors to see tips on dealing with all wildlife species. Wildlife will eat the plants because that is what the plants are there for. They are not there so we can see pretty plants contrary to human belief, everything is not there for our entertainment. I plant natives so the native wildlife will eat it. Plant exotics and most will be left alone and while they are pretty, they don’t feed the wildlife. I find it hard to believe that digging around a foundation will cause serious harm. Your house can stand without dirt around it so I think people are getting worked up needlessly about needing to control wildlife. They were living in your neighborhood before you were there. Articles by people trying to sell traps or services are suspicious so check out Wild Neighbors online. Come on people, share the land!

    • 10:02 pm - May 20, 2016

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