Groundhogs & Woodchucks
The groundhog is also known as a woodchuck or gopher. They are commonly found across North America, usually in the northeastern United States and across Canada. Mating occurs from March until April. In the wild, groundhogs can live 2 to 6 years, and up to 14 years in captivity. As herbivores, groundhogs eat grasses, weeds, clover, fruit, berries, and vegetables. Anything sweet or juicy is appealing to the groundhog.
They love to dine on plants in flower and vegetable gardens, so your green thumb may be a little sore if these critters are roaming around your yard. Groundhogs also gnaw on power cables, causing electrical issues. Burrowing causes problems everywhere. It is possible to stumble into one of their holes if you live in an agricultural area. Cattle and horses are particularly at risk if they are grazing. In urban and suburban settings, driveways and parking lots may cave in. Building foundations can also be undermined.
It’s not uncommon to see adults laying out in the sun in a grassy area. Usually this indicates its burrow is near. They will emit a sharp whistling noise, signaling danger and leave a distinct odor around their burrows. The woodchuck will leave large mounds of dirt near the entrances to their dens.
Types of Groundhogs
The groundhog can measure 20 to 27 inches long with brown bodies that are yellowish to blackish-brown.
Common names for groundhogs are woodchuck, gopher, ground squirrel, marmot, prairie dog and varmint
Groundhog In The Yard & The Garden
If you live in a suburb, it’s more than possible your yard has seen a groundhog. They love to burrow under barns, sheds, porches, decks, stone walls, and woodpiles. If you have a wooded area, field, or park near by, this increases the likelihood of seeing a groundhog.
Frequently Asked Questions about Woodchucks
How do I keep groundhogs away?
To not experience your own “Groundhog Day” nightmare over and over again, excluding the groundhog is your best bet. Building fences that are high and deeply planted in the ground around your flowers and vegetables may discourage them from getting into your garden. Cutting tall grasses and keeping shrubs trimmed will reduce their shelter, as well as sources of food.
If they have denned under a building, install a one-way door that allows them to escape, but not to re-enter. After all groundhogs are out, screening areas with wire mesh will discourage them from getting back under a deck, porch, or other similar structure. Capturing and releasing them with traps is also an option. If you have a consistent problem, calling pest professionals may help, as they will have access to a wider variety of solutions to help relieve you of this troublesome pest.
Benefits of Professional Groundhog Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a groundhog problem. Finding and treating the groundhogs can be challenging, especially if they are loose in your yard. A wildlife and control professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the groundhog nuisance.