Woodchucks

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Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, can be devastating to a garden and there are few remedies that work. 

How to Identify Woodchucks

The woodchuck or groundhog is a large furry rodent that is brown with a bushy tail, small ears, short legs, and curved claws. It looks a bit like a runaway fur coat as it waddles back to its burrow in fright.

This critter can grow to be about 3 feet long and can weigh up to 14 pounds. They eat everything from flowers to vegetables. Favorite foods include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lettuce, and cole crops.

See any deep tunnels in your yard, under your deck, or near your foundation? You may have a woodchuck or groundhog; they dig burrows to live in and the entrances are usually 10 to 12 inches wide with the excavated soil spread around the entrances. There are usually 2 or 3 entrances.

Woodchucks/groundhogs eat mostly during the early morning and afternoon, so try to see when your garden is receiving the most damage. These creatures will also gnaw and claw at fruit trees, so check your trees for any such marks.

How to Get Rid of Woodchucks

  • Get a big dog.
  • Plant a line of garlic near the woodchuck's entrance.
  • Sprinkle blood meal or talcum powder around the perimeter of your garden. You can try using hair clippings as well.
  • The best deterrant is a fence--a small mesh wire fence dug over a foot into the ground as the critters will try to burrow underneath it. Since woodchucks are agile, make sure the fence is at least 3 feet high.
  • Eliminate woodpiles and other places where groundhogs nest.
  • Unfortunately, one extension agent admits, "I don't know of a single remedy other than shooting, clubbing, or trapping.  Set humane traps and release them in a location far from home.

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Comments

The statement from the

By f

The statement from the extension agent refferred to above needs to get into a different line of business. That person is a like a teacher who hates kids. The compassion is gone for all nature as well as animals.
Pretty sad how we have progressed.

Apparently, you have never

By Tall Adventurer

Apparently, you have never watched enough nature shows to realize just how predatory nature really is.

In addition, "nature" is territorial, and even groundhogs will fight and even kill other groundhogs to protect their property. Groundhogs also will attack if cornered, which can happen by just startling them. When in my yard where my grandchildren play ... not acceptable.

So, I should capture them and dump them where someone else has the problem, or where they have to fight because they are intruding on another hogs territory?

Pretty sad how some think rodents have the same value as human beings.

U say fence,dogs,urine

By Donna L

U say fence,dogs,urine ect.Then y my dog have huge holes in her 30x30 dog pen and she just killed one in her pen?????.Now what can i do?ty

What can I use to repel

By Marie Knobel

What can I use to repel ground hogs that is safe for chickens to get into. We eat our hen eggs so I don't want us or the chickens to get sick. Our persistent groundhog found the new location of squash (all types). We do have a 4 foot fence but alas it is not buried.

It is my personal experience

By JAMES09

It is my personal experience that there are only 3 things you can do with ground hogs;

#1) you live with them

#2) you shoot them for food-ONLY for food(good eating too!! there is a "how to" in farmer's Almanac)

#3) fence them off.
============================
Fencing them off does not have to be expensive. In the farmer's almanac it says to put the fencing 10'' - 12'' in the ground...I say that is not enough...18" to 24" would be best, and if you are going to put fencing in the ground, it had better be a very strong type of fencing(IE:chain link is best).
Check around at fencing dealers & see if they have any chain link fencing they want to unload. Some times you can get this for free or super cheap.

My personal favorite way to deal with Ground Hogs is to have them for dinner. This keeps the Ground Hog population down, feeds the family & is good for the farm as a whole.

A mesh fence buried a foot

By Almanac Staff

A mesh fence buried a foot deep really is the best solution, but there are other options. Readers have told us that they've had luck with electric fencing. Have you tried the solutions above? Many of them are safe for chickens. Try planting a line of garlic near the entrance. Also, try spreading Grapefruit-sized clumps of dog and/or cat hair throughout planted areas. A dog or two would also help the situation. Best of luck!

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