Besides burrowing large dens in your yard, groundhogs/woodchucks (members of the squirrel family) are also notorious for consuming tasty greens from your garden and flower beds. Sure, you could use commercial poisons and deadly traps…But is it really worth that much trouble?
Why not try less lethal methods to dissuade groundhogs from setting up shop in your yard?
- Put up a fence around your garden. 1 – 3″ of chicken wire should do the job. The key is to bury it at least 12″ in the ground, and make sure it is at least 2′ above the surface. Groundhogs like to dig, so placing more fence under the ground will help to keep them out of your greens.
- Try some groundhog repellent. Critter-repellent.com has some alternatives to poison. Note: there is currently no supporting scientific evidence that repellent works, but you might have some luck (you like to gamble, right?).
- Live traps can work wonders. You can usually find these at your local conservation department. I have had success with live traps and getting rid of the groundhogs that lived under my deck: place the trap so that the entrance is facing the groundhog’s den entrance; bait the trap with fresh lettuce; if you bag the lil guy, load him up and take him to an empty field, away from your home. Better yet, take him to a pesky neighbor or enemy’s yard. Nothing like giving back to the community, right? Just make sure to check your trap on a regular basis, as there is no sense in letting the trapped critter roast in the sun.
Make sure to wash your hands with soap before handling the traps, as the groundhogs could get wary of your scent.
With a little perseverance, you can rid yourself of groundhogs safely.