There are 12 ways to get rid of groundhogs as revealed in this extermination guide. Let’s find out.
Groundhogs are some of the most notorious garden pests.
A lot of gardeners face this challenge and seek for effective ways to tackle groundhog problem. Before going further, it will be necessary to state their (groundhogs) crime right?
Groundhogs are tunnel builders. This may sound harmless until you find your soil structure damaged. Burrows are made dug underneath the ground. As a result, your garden is ruined.
Not only that, foundations of your home may be affected too. So ignoring this problem for long will result in major damage. You’d have to do something fast about rodent problems.
Find here effective ways to get rid of groundhogs completely!
How to Differentiate Groundhogs From Other Rodents
Groundhogs are classified as rodents. They also belong the general family of squirrels.
This means there are lots of similarities between them and other types. But certain characteristics distinguish them. This makes them easy to identify.
They posses short strong legs as well as a stocky build. It has a brownish-grey fur, and also has a body length ranging from 16 to 27 inch (from nose to tail end).
A fully ground groundhog will weigh between 5 to 15 lbs.
They are good swimmers and climbers too. This makes them even more problematic as they can navigate difficult terrains.
Are these rodents called by other names? Of course they are. The most common include whistle-pig and woodchuck.
How to Get Rid of Groundhogs in Your Yard
This section is a melting pot for different groundhog removal strategies.
In other words, you’d find home remedies for groundhogs, as well as natural methods. On the other hand, calling a groundhog extermination company may be your thing.
Most substances that kill rats are strong enough to act as groundhog poison. You just need to go with an option you are comfortable with
Whichever you prefer, there’s something for everyone.
Before you freak out, these aren’t real snakes. They are sold at home improvement stores and look like the real deal. They act like scarecrows, but this time, they scare rodents including groundhogs.
These only need to be inflated and positioned at different points in your garden. Other family members need to know so they don’t panic.
Inflatable snakes are cost effective ways to drive away groundhogs. Scare is its purpose.
Apart from this, there are no negative impacts on your environment or loved ones. You also get to save your garden and yard from groundhog destruction.
Predators can be used effectively on groundhogs. While we mentioned inflatable snakes (non-living), these are live deterrents.
Unlike the former, they actually give groundhogs a chase. The most common predators you can use include cats and dogs. These are found in a lot of homes. You only need to release them into your yard more often.
You can even go further by introducing cat liter or urine. These should be poured into their burrows. For best results, this action should be repeated frequently.
Groundhogs will stay away because the smell alerts them to the presence of the predator.
Use a Fence to Keep them Out
Fencing creates a barrier between them and your yard. However, not every fence will do. You have to build one which fits and helps tackle the problem.
We recommend installing or building one at least 3 feet high. This must also penetrate the ground to a depth of at least 2 feet.
Your fence should be reinforced with chicken wires to make it even more difficult for them to burrow through. When they hit the mesh, they have no option than to turn back.
Cleanup Your Yard
One of the reasons groundhogs target your yard is due to the abundance of food. This may not be so abundant per say, but one there are fallen and ripened fruits on the ground, they will be attracted.
Other attractions include uncleared and untended vegetation. There are also overgrown weed. These should be mowed as low as possible. You can avoid their presence by clearing up the yard as best as you can.
Don’t ignore your trashcan either. Groundhogs are likely to find their way to these areas too. Start by keeping them tightly sealed. Also dispose trash as often as necessary to avoid decomposition or breakdown of organic matter. This results in odors.
Flood Their Tunnels
Groundhogs dig up networks of tunnels across your garden. This makes it even more difficult to know just where to focus your effort.
But flooding their entire tunnel structure may give you the edge you need. Simply find a hose and attach to a tap. This hose should be lowered into an opening and water pumped in.
This penetrates all angles and drives them out. You can repeat this as often as necessary. The more the better. They will eventually find your garden and yard unsuitable to live in.
There are different types of groundhog traps that are available in the market. You can choose humane ones if you don’t want to cause harm or injury to this pest.
The bigger your yard and garden, the more traps you will need. This also depends on the severity of infestation. Difficult infestations will require more traps.
Find their tunnel openings as well as their paths and position your traps.
One of the easiest ways to find openings are under thick brushes and shrubs. They use such places as cover. Trim overgrown shrubs and find those openings.
When trapped, groundhogs should be released as far as possible, away from residential areas so the problem isn’t transferred.
Talcum or Baby Powder
Groundhogs dislike the smell of baby or talcum powders. This can be used against them.
Sprinkle these around your garden and see them keep their distance. The same applies to plants. These won’t kill your plants but will prevent them from being devoured.
But there’s a downside. That is, the fact that these rodents move underneath. This strategy will only be effective whenever groundhogs come out to feed.
Looking for what will keep groundhogs away naturally? Here is a good one.
Pepper as a Groundhog Repellent
Pepper is a strong repellent for groundhog control. This can be used in several ways depending on your choice.
One of these is sprinkling some around your garden. This should include openings to burrows as well as around plants.
Another alternative is by making a mixture in hot water. This is allowed to cool off and emptied into a spray bottle. The contents are sprayed around your garden.
You need to be careful when using this because your pets may end up getting irritated. Hence, you’ll either need to isolate them during treatment or use other strategies considered less harmful.
The strong smell given off by garlic irritates groundhogs. Thus, a solution should be made and applied using a spray bottle. The other option will be to use or sprinkle either garlic powder or crushed garlic.
Any of these achieves the similar results.
Have you tried using this for pest control before? You should! Because ammonia will get the job done in no time.
However, don’t expect to see results from your first application. Don’t get me wrong. This is effective yes, but one-time application won’t get the job done. You’d need to repeat this for a few days to get the best results.
Application is simple. Simply get this repellent and pour down the openings of groundhog tunnels. The more openings you find the better. These rodents won’t stay within breathing range as it irritates them severely.
Groundhogs are likely to tunnel their way to new territory. You must make sure that such new territory isn’t still within your compound. To prevent this, apply wide enough.
i. Safety First
Ammonia will irritate eyes and skin. It doesn’t have to touch your eyes before it irritates. Its fumes alone is enough and this is harmful.
To prevent this, use safety goggles as well as gloves. Kids and pets should be kept away from areas where it’s applied.
Also follow all safety instructions as written on the label.
ii. Making the Solution
Making this groundhog repellent is easy.
Water, ammonia and liquid dish soap are required. 3 parts of water is required for 1 part ammonia. You can apply the liquid dish soap to make the solution just soapy enough. If you want a stronger and more potent solution, you’d need some castor oil and pepper.
Applying this for a few days (at least 4) should show decent results.
Create Some Vibrations
Vibrations make groundhogs distressed. There are lots of ways this can be created. One of such ways includes the use of sonic vibrators. Others are wind chimes and lawn wind mills.
They continually disrupt the peace these rodents crave for. Find as many of these and place at strategic points around your yard and garden.
Before long, your yard will be considered unsuitable by these pests.
Hire a Groundhog Exterminator
An exterminator takes away the stress associated with pest control. Such persons are experts in their field and are experienced in groundhog behavior.
They inspect and trace rodent origins as well as what attracts them. As a result, an exterminator will deal with the problem by addressing the whole picture.
This will cost you a fee depending on existing national pest control average cost.
Gas Them Out
This is where fumigation comes into play. A variety of fumigation products are gas-based. These require professional application. Nevertheless, there are others you can apply yourself.
Gas bombs are among those you can use. You need to first identify groundhog tunnel outlets. This is followed by sealing up all except one. This point is where the gas bomb(s) will go in.
First find out if the rodents are inside the tunnel (they must be). The gas cartridge is lighted and thrown in. Don’t forget to quickly cover the opening after throwing in the cartridge.
This penetrates all the tunnels and kills them.
Preventing Groundhogs From Yard: What You Should Do
After ridding your home of groundhogs, the best thing to do is to take practical measures to prevent them from coming back. Without doing anything about that, you can be sure they will come back, eat up more plants in your garden and create more holes all over your yard.
To keep them away permanently, here are a few things to do.
- Fill in the holes and tunnels the groundhogs that lived in your yard created. Leaving them will make it easier for any groundhog that makes it around your yard to have a comfortable place to settle.
- Erect a fence around the yard. This should be at least 3 ft tall and about 2 ft inside the ground. That will prevent them from jumping over the fence to get into your yard or digging their way under the fence.
- Get rid of piles of dirt from your yard and trim any overgrown grass or plants in your yard.
- Always spray the ammonia or garlic solution we discussed above every now and then in your yard.
There you have them, effective control methods to get rid of groundhogs and to keep them away for good.