All About Groundhogs
Groundhog control is extremely important because these nuisance animals can remove 700 pounds of soil to complete a 20 to 25-foot-long burrow with multiple chambers which pose a serious threat to homes by damaging and undermining building foundations.
In your garden the groundhog seeks beans, peas, herbs, strawberries, pansies, and impatiens.
Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks or whistling pigs, are members of the squirrel family and are found in the great bulk of the central and eastern United States as well as Canada.
- Groundhogs usually live 2-3 years in the wild, but can live up to six.
- They have great eyesight and very sensitive hearing.
Groundhogs or woodchucks have heavy bodies with short and strong legs. Curved claws on their front paws make for easy burrowing. Groundhogs have four toes on the front foot and five on the back.
The closer it is to autumn the fatter a groundhog will become as it prepares for the coming winter.
Groundhogs weigh an average of eight pounds and can eat approximately 1/3 of their weight in vegetation each day!
A groundhog or woodchuck's diet consists of grasses, clover, garden vegetables, leaves, twigs, apples, berries, and dandelion. In your garden the groundhog seeks beans, peas, herbs, strawberries, pansies, and impatiens.
During hibernation a groundhog's temperature will drop from 99° F to 40°F, its heartbeat slows from 80 beats per minute to 5 per minute and its breathing reduced from 12 breaths a minute to about 4.
Weather has nothing to with a groundhog emerging from hibernation, they appear when the mating season begins.
Identify Groundhog Damage
If a groundhog or woodchuck has found a home in your landscape, you will know it!
Woodchucks or groundhogs can remove 700 pounds of soil to complete a 20 to 25-foot-long burrow with multiple chambers which pose a serious threat to agricultural and residential developments by damaging farm machinery and undermining building foundations.
In your garden, the groundhog seeks beans, peas, herbs, strawberries, pansies, and impatiens.
Groundhog Control Options
Groundhogs digging around your lawn or landscaped areas? Eating your beautiful flowers?
Havahart® recommends the following groundhog control options:
- Groundhog Exclusion - Fencing can be an effective option in thwarting groundhog damage. The fencing should be, at the very least, wire in strength and buried deep into the ground. Groundhogs are burrowers and as such may be able to dig below the barrier and still emerge where they are not wanted. Such is the risk with resorting to potentially expensive fencing tactics to thwart groundhog activity.
Suggested groundhog baits
Do you have a live groundhog trap and need to know what the best groundhog bait options are? Havahart® recommends the following baits to attract groundhogs:
- Fresh string beans
- Sweet corn
- Vanilla Extract
**In our field tests, Cantaloupe has always been a clear winner in attracting Groundhogs... The best way to bait a trap with Cantaloupe is to first cut up the cantaloupe into sizeable chunks (2" by 2"). Now take the trap outside about 3 ft from the burrow. Rub the cantaloupe rin and juices all over the trap, inside and outside. Set the trap and place some of the fruit on the inside of the trap, towards the back portion (after the trigger plate). Also, place the fruit under the trigger plate for added interaction. Next, take some of the cantaloupe and rub in on the grass making a path of cantaloupe juice from the trap to the burrow. Leave a couple pieces of cantaloupe at the top of the burrow. Give it 24 hrs. ... and you’ve caught yourself a groundhog. If you don’t catch one in 24 hours … no worries … leave the bait as it is … the more rotten the cantaloupe, the more enticing to the groundhog.
Article Courtesy of HAVAHART®