A groundhog belongs to the rodent family, and it is commonly known as a woodchuck or whistle pig. They are also known by different names like a red monk, monax, thick wood badgers, ground-pig, wood-shock, Canada mormot and more, in different parts of the world. It is very commonly found in Canada, North America and most parts of the United States of America. These groundhogs have fairly large bodies that can grow up to 80 cm and very short tails. They are known for their thick body that is covered with two layers of fur to suit the climatic conditions of their habitats. These woodchucks are also known for their powerful limbs and super-sharp claws, with which they can dig very well. Groundhog traps of various types are used to catch these animals when they cause problems to one’s home, gardens, yard, etc.
Though they belong to the rodent family, groundhogs are considered to be distant cousins of squirrels. They are just like giant squirrels, and there are lots of similar feature between both these species. Their burrows are deep and extensive; therefore, if you are wondering about how to get rid of a groundhog, you should spend considerable time and effort in setting up a perfect groundhog trap.
Do they attack homes and are they associated with any risks?
Due to their professional and extensive tunnelling skills, groundhogs make impressive burrows. However, if you have set up a beautiful garden around your home, you have lots of reason to worry. Groundhogs love to dig burrows deep into the soil and settle down in your gardens, causing immense problems to your home and plants. They eat all kinds of flowers and vegetables. Clover, peas, beans and lettuce are some of their favourite foods. While setting up traps, ensure that you choose a proper groundhog bait to woo them. These are believed to carry some diseases like roundworm and leptospirosis; hence, it is highly recommended that you choose efficient groundhog traps and get rid of them instantly. They can also bring upon severe damage to your property and pets if they are not trapped as soon as you spot them.
Natural remedies to get rid of groundhogs
Wondering how to get rid of a groundhog? Yes, investing in traps is a good idea; however, you can also try these simple and cost-effective natural remedies. Groundhog trapping becomes hassle free when you adopt these simple techniques.
- Pouring sudsy ammonia into the burrow brings the groundhogs out automatically
- Placing attractive baits inside live traps
- Keeping garden free of garbage, woodpiles, fallen leaves and the like
- The smell of pepper spray and garlic drives groundhogs away
- Refilling the burrows of groundhogs with mud repeatedly
- Groundhogs are scared of dogs; therefore, ensure that your pet barks and pees near its burrow
- Sprinkling talcum powder inside the burrows
Types of groundhog traps
A good groundhog trap can help you eliminate the problem of these woodchucks and protect your garden. The main types of traps are live traps and killing traps. If you have been thinking about how to catch a groundhog in the most humane way possible, you can use live cage traps. On the other hand, if you have been thinking about how to get rid of a groundhog permanently, you can use killing traps that use spring mechanisms to kill the animals instantly. These kill traps are not legal in most of the places. Live traps can further be classified into two types – one-door traps and two-door traps. Trapping groundhogs are almost similar in both of these types. The only difference is that in the 2-door traps, there are two doors through which animals enter into whereas, in the first, there is only door.
How to get rid of a groundhog
Once you have chosen a good groundhog trap and decided on the best bait for groundhogs, you have to set it up well if you want to master the art of how to trap a groundhog. Here are some tips that will help you in this process:
- Set up groundhog traps quite close; about 5 to 10 feet from the burrows is close enough
- Always set traps on a level surface on the ground
- Ensure that your trap is nicely concealed using elements like grass, leaves, twigs, branches, etc.
- Choose the best bait for groundhogs; cantaloupe is considered to be a great choice
- Place the bait well inside the trap and leave one or both the doors while setting the trap
- Keep tracking the trap to see if you have caught anything; if yes, relocate it immediately
- Wear protection like gloves while removing the animal from the trap and releasing it in a safer location (at least 5 miles away from your home is a good idea)
Some generic tips for effective groundhog trapping
- The size of the trap should be at least 32 to 42 inches in length
- When you are unable to locate burrows, place the trap in the area where the groundhog visits often
- Groundhogs are commonly visible in the morning and afternoon hours; hence, set up traps during these times
- Want to know how to trap a groundhog successfully? Remove traces of your scent from the trap while cleaning and wear gloves always while handling traps. You can also use a mild odourless soap to wash the traps to remove traces of human scent from it.
- Trap the groundhogs during spring as that is the time when these animals are quite active, and the babies haven’t come yet
- Place a brick at the back of the trap so that it doesn’t shudder when the animal is captured
- If you cannot find cantaloupe, you can try fresh string beans, lettuce, peas, vanilla extract, peaches, leaches, sweet corn or strawberries as effective groundhog baits
- When you are relocating the animal, remember to use a cloth to cover the trap. This will help to calm down the animal at the time of release
- Never get too close to the trap at the time of release; you may suffer from Groundhog
- Check with your local law officers before releasing the groundhogs in a particular area
Best groundhog traps
It is very difficult to identify one trap and name it as the best trap for catching groundhogs. Therefore, few impressive traps are listed below. You can choose one of them for efficient and effective groundhog trapping.
- Woodstream 1079 32-Inch Live Animal Cage Trap
This is one of the most sturdy traps as it comes with a wire mesh made from galvanized steel. Spring-loaded mechanism and quick door action ensure that the groundhogs are trapped immediately when they enter into this cage. If you were thinking for long on how to get rid of a groundhog that was disturbing your garden, your search ends here. The mesh openings in this trap are quite small when compared to other live traps, thereby making trapping more efficient and result oriented. This rap comes with a solid and durable door that serves two benefits – it doesn’t cause injury to the animals when they are trapped, and it makes it easy for you while transporting the cage to a different place.
- eXtreme Products Professional Folding Trap (32x12x14) for Armadillos Feral Cats, Groundhogs, Mink, Opossums, Racoons, Rabbits, Skunks and other small to medium pests
This multi-purpose trap is an ideal choice for you if you have been thinking of an easy way of how to catch groundhogs. The trap is made from high-quality of steel and ensures that it acts immediately on the animals that are captured, thanks to its quick-door system. Though this trap is very durable, it is also soft on the animals. In spite of being captured immediately upon entry, groundhogs or any other pests are not injured in a harmful or painful way. Once you combine the best bait for groundhogs with these groundhog traps, they give fantastic results. You can carry this trap easily to any place that you want, thanks to the carrying handles and hand guard. This trap can be assembled within minutes and is such a breeze to operate!
- Live Animal Trap for Racoon, Stray Cat, Opossum, Groundhog and Woodchucks – Foldable
If you are looking for ways on how to get rid of a groundhog that has been giving you immense trouble, investing in this trap is a wise decision. This trap, as the name suggests is multi-functional. You can use it for other pests like cats, possums and rodents as well. The mesh in these groundhog traps is made from galvanized, powder-coated steel that is resistant to rust and dirt. They also come with a black, anti-glare coating that helps you conceal these trap during the night. You can fold them when they are not in use. These traps are durable, portable and highly efficient, thereby making you a master in the art of how to catch a groundhog.
A groundhog repellent is used in tandem with groundhog traps to get rid of these animals forever. Mostly people use traps for capturing the animals when they spot them first and then resort to repellents to prevent further infestations. A groundhog repellent comes in three main forms – liquid form, granular form and electric solution.
A liquid groundhog repellent is mostly used when you want to protect your garden from the groundhogs. A granular repellent is used to prevent groundhogs from entering into certain areas. An electric solution is used to create panic among the groundhogs and to deter them from entering into larger areas forever. Choose a groundhog repellent from the options below:
- The Giant Destroyer, four tubes, 2oz
This is a gasser that is highly effective for groundhogs, rats, squirrels, skunks and other pests. This cartridge gasser can be extinguished with water instantly. The highlight of this groundhog repellent is that it can be used to kill groundhogs that are hiding in the deepest and most intensive burrows as well. These are easy to use and give you an instant solution to a problem that you have been suffering from, for a long time.
- Shake-Aways All Natural Small Critter Repellent for Rabbits, Gophers, Groundhogs, Possum, Porcupines, Woodchucks and other small animals (Fox Urine Granules)
This is a natural repellent which is safe to be used even when you have kids at home. It doesn’t emit any toxic gas or chemicals, and it doesn’t have a filthy smell. It is very easy to use. You need to sprinkle this groundhog repellent in the areas that are visited by groundhogs mostly to see immediate results. Groundhogs and other small animals are naturally scared of fox urine. Therefore, this groundhog repellent uses fox urine granules to rekindle that natural fear among pests to keep them away. An impressive factor about this repellent is that it is equally effective on the small critters. So you can use this single solution for all damages caused by these critters.
Before we proceed to know about Groundhog poison, we have to be aware of an important point. Poisoning and killing groundhogs are not legal, and it should never be your first course of action. You can resort to live traps and release the animal safely into the woods instead of using groundhog poison. Having said that, let us now understand some basic points about poisoning groundhogs. The only authorized poisons for pets in the world are that of rat and rodent poison. Hence, there is no legal product such as groundhog poison.
Some of the ways in which groundhogs can be poisoned and killed are:
Fumigation – This is a method where groundhogs are allowed to suffocate due to the pesticides spread in the area surrounding their burrows and frequented places. They eventually die due to suffocation.
Yellow fly bait crystals – This is a commonly used type of groundhog poison. Once these crystals are sprinkled on the areas where the groundhogs visit or inside the burrows, the animals are killed instantly. Some groundhogs may also suffer from serious health complications due to these crystals.
Strychnine – This is a chemical which is used to suffocate groundhogs and cause death in them. This is originally a rodent poison, but it works reasonably for groundhogs as well.
When you use groundhog poison, you should be careful to keep your kids and pets away from these infected areas, as it causes severe health issues for them. You can try this product as well if you want to poison groundhogs in your property:
- Farnam Just One Bite II Bar, 16-Oz, Quantity 1
Rat poison works reasonably well on groundhogs, too. This poison is no exception to this rule. When you get your groundhogs to bite one piece of this poison, you can be assured of their instant death. This product contains a toxic chemical called bromadiolone, which is poisonous enough to kill rats, rodents, mice, groundhogs, squirrels and gophers.