If you have experienced groundhogs in your property, you know how annoying these creatures can get. These large rodents go by a couple of names such as woodchucks, whistle pigs, land beavers or marmots. They are extremely common in the northern and southern half of the United States. They feed on plants, so your garden is in deep trouble; they are down for anything green like peas, grass, beans, corn, fruits, vegetables or even tasty snacks. Groundhogs have also perfected the art of tunnel digging. It is estimated that they can move to up to a distance of 35 cubic feet into the soil while digging. These burrowers hibernate and rear their young ones in the ground.
You might have a period of rest during which they experience true hibernation. If your region is warm enough, the hibernation period will be much shorter and if your region is cold, then they will hibernate for longer periods. In a bid to sustain themselves during the winter period, groundhogs tend to over eat to bulk up. They take well to areas with good sightings. Another reason why you have probably been having a hard time keeping them out of your fence is that they are amazing climbers. Surprisingly, they make excellent swimmers too. Unfortunately, they can climb over your fence and tunnel under it too.
Apart from your plants, they are known to gnaw at wood or trees and shrubs, chew on electrical wires and tubings, etc. This will make your home and yard unsightly as they go about their business unbothered. The presence of holes in your garden and even under your property structures is a common sign that you are harboring these little animals. Sometimes the holes may not even be seen in plain sight as they can be quite smart too and hide the holes by covering them loosely with sticks or burrowing under some vegetation.
It is no doubt that their damage is quite extensive and maybe you are seeking a solution to get rid of them for the long-term. To understand an effective method, you need to know certain things about them. Their feeding habits and behavioral characteristics is a good place to start. This helps you make an informed decision to the groundhogs repellent suitable for this nuisance. They are available in granular, liquid, ultrasonic or electronic solutions form. The more modes of repellants you apply, the greater the probability of success in eliminating the groundhogs.
The best repellents target more than one sense such as the taste and smell.
The setup should strongly consider the location of the repellent. The most commonly used electric repellents are motion sensors and sprinkler systems. The motion sensors work by turning on the lights each time they spot groundhogs leaving their burrows; hopefully scaring them away for good. Sprinklers and sensors should always face the direction which the groundhogs are coming from.These are audio repellents that emit irritating sounds out of the ordinary human hearing range but within that of animals. This makes the groundhogs uncomfortable, and they will eventually leave. However, the downside is that this may not always work if they already have established burrows and an adequate food source.
These are safe and completely environmentally friendly. You can choose to go the natural way using;Groundhogs absolutely hate some scents, and this is a sure bet of driving them away. You can opt to leave these scents around their burrows or in the garden.
2. Hair ScareAs expected, they don’t like the scent in people. Clippings from human hair extensions in areas where they frequent can do you a lot of good. You can firmly secure it inside a mesh to avoid it being blown away by the wind.
3. Epsom SaltsPour this near and around the holes’ entrances and exits. For your garden, you could try placing a tin filled with these salts around the plants. Replace the content regularly especially after rainfall.
One practical example is castor oil. Apply around their habitat areas when they are not around. This will keep them from coming back rather than staying in the burrows.
The scent of soiled litter from cats smells like predators to them. This will get them out. However, you should always leave at least one hole scent free, to allow them to have an exit point. If you pour the litter over all the holes, the groundhog will remain trapped under those burrows. Some people even attest to male human urine.
Other recommended remedies include;
• Pouring 2 ½ cups of sudsy ammonia. This can be replaced by mixing a quarter glass of water, two spoons of regular ammonia and two spoons of detergent.
• Havahart traps with fruits or lettuce leafs as bait. It is prohibited to move groundhogs in some states so check with your local laws first.
• Pushing mothballs inside the holes. They can be quite territorial so you should proceed with caution.
• A sprinkling of talcum powder around the holes.
• Getting a dog.
One other thing you can try is trapping them and relocating. To trap them you will need to know what baits work best and a sufficient live trap.
First, The Bait and Live Trap: (Most of these are available year round in your local grocery store and the others are available fresh most of the summer.)
String Beans (Needs to be fresh)
To lure the groundhog into your live trap, you have to literally make him follow a scent or follow a dropping of food.
First, find the hole they are using and try not to disturb the area around it too much so as not to make them too nervous by your scent.
Set your live trap on level ground or as level as possible within 3 -5 feet of the hole opening.
Place a small piece your bait in the mouth or opening of the hope. (It is better to wear gloves when handling the bait.)
Next, place a piece of bait every six to 12 inches right to your live trap with a couple of piece of bait in the trap.
The last piece of bait needs to be in the very back of the trap.
Be mindful and relocate your trapped groundhog.
If you don’t know where to take it, call your local county extension office and they should be able to give you some idea.
If you need help catching these varmints, you can call a Professional Pest Exterminator and they can give you a hand in this area.
Remember, if all else fails, you can get in touch with one of your Professional Pest Exterminator. The quotes are FREE without any obligations whatsoever. They are highly trained and certified which shows in their work’s output and result. They get the job done faster saving you a lot of time and effort. They will also give you sound advice on long-term solutions to avoid a recurrence of the pest problem.
It is crucial that the user follow the instructions as indicated. This ensures that the repellant is 100% effective to rid you of your problem. Some of the repellents may need you to wear gloves as a protective measure. Some repellents repel by taste, so caution is advised to avoid spraying them directly on food items like fruits and vegetables intended for your consumption. Instead, spray the stems and leaves of the plants in question along with the adjacent plants.
• When you first spot a groundhog, use a repellent (preferably a granular repellent) around your house to keep them from interfering with the foundation of your house
• Harvest your crops as soon as you can
• Ensure that your surrounding areas are clean as groundhogs tend to seek cover in holes with close proximity to food sources. Clean up all piles of wood or debris
• Also, make sure to remove tree trunks and other wood sources
• Before you cover a hole up, make sure that it is completely abandoned. You can use gravel for this. Another alternative is burying wired fencing at least a foot below the ground
Be sure to check out the video below so you will see it is not as difficult as it may seem to trap a Groundhog. After trapping them you have to have a plan to remove them.
Don’t forget to check out our other articles on Rodents and how to trap or prevent them.
We have tried to be very thorough in this article on Groundhog Repellents so that all your bases are covered! If we have missed something or you feel we have left something out, please leave us a comment in the field below or you can get in touch with us through our Contact Us link.
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