5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Groundhogs & Woodchucks
A quick summary on getting rid of groundhogs and woodchucks.
- Set up a cage trap
- Build a fence around your garden or backyard
- Deter the rodents with scent and odor
- Flush them out with water
- Eliminate things that attract the rodents
How to Get Rid of Groundhogs & Woodchucks
The level of success is not going to be the same for each gardener so it’s important to test a variety of methods to find out which is most effective for getting rid of groundhogs in your area. Here are five natural methods for you to try out.
1. Set up a Trap
Unless you are dealing with a large population of groundhogs, the most effective way of getting rid of groundhogs is to simply catch them by using a trap. There are a number of baits you can use to trap the groundhogs. Examples include fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe, strawberries, string beans, and lettuce. Get a cage trap that’s large enough to capture the groundhog and position the bait near the end of the cage. The trap itself should be positioned close to the entrance of the groundhog tunnels. If you are able to identify the primary entrance then this will work even better.
2. Build a Fence
In some cases, you may have to just accept defeat that the groundhogs are here to stay. In such a scenario, the best thing you can do is to simply prevent them from accessing the valuable areas of your garden. When you set up a fence around the perimeter of the garden, it’s important that they are deep enough to prevent the groundhogs from burrowing underneath it. Our recommendation is to set the depth of the fence to around one foot.
3. Deter the Rodents with Scent
There are certain smells that groundhogs absolutely hate. One way of deterring groundhogs is by making sure these smell are present around the garden. Examples include: cayenne pepper, garlic, and castor oil. Try applying these scents around your garden to see if that keeps the rodents away. Groundhogs also hate the scent of predators so if you are a cat owner then you may want to apply cat litter around your garden as well.
4. Flush out the Rodents
This could work hand-in-hand with method #1. First, identify all the groundhog entrances in your backyard. Next, set up cages right outside of their secondary entrances (aka escape routes). When your setup is established, start flushing water into the primary entrance. Eventually, the groundhogs should start appearing from their escape holes and with luck run straight into the trap.
5. Eliminate Attractants
Prevention is an important step to dealing with any sort of pest and rodent infestations. If the groundhogs weren’t always present in your garden the past couple of years then there could be something that’s attracting them to your backyard. Identify what these attractants are and get rid of them so there’s no reason for the groundhog to stay. Common attractants include: fruits, vegetables, and pretty much any open litter.
Groundhogs, also referred to as woodchucks in some parts of the world, are rodents that can do a great deal of damage to your lawn. They are ground-dwelling animals that like to dig complex, interconnecting burrows. Groundhogs do have a voracious appetite but the main problem for gardeners really comes from their digging activity. The underground tunnels they build can destabilize the soil, which can be problematic for not just the garden bed itself but for structures as well. Therefore, it is in your best interest to get rid of these groundhogs as soon as possible.
Common Groundhog & Woodchuck Behaviors
Before we discuss the methods of controlling groundhogs, it’s important to know how these rodents typically live. Typically, mating season for groundhogs starts in early spring and that’s when most gardeners will start to see signs of the rodent. Prior to spring, they will be hibernating over the winter. The exact time period for when these rodents emerge will depend on where you live. As far as when they are most active, don’t be too surprised to see them roaming around during the day. They aren’t nocturnal animals.
There you have it. Hopefully, some of these methods will work and get rid of your groundhog problems. If you have any tips to share with the rest of the readers then feel free to contact us.
Published on November 30, 2016 by Sam Choan.