Does the site of big burrows, claw marks on fruit trees and ripped plantations in your garden or yard bother you? The reason behind all this chaos is the groundhog. Groundhogs (woodchucks) nibble vegetables and green plants of your garden and destroy months of your hard work. Groundhogs can be easily identified by their distinctive features like brown color, curved claws, furry body, and bushy tail. They look like overgrown squirrels, but cause damage similar to moles and gophers. These garden intruders are most active during morning and afternoon. They dig approx one foot wide and deep pits making a complete mess of your garden. If you have a groundhog infestation, then try our natural home remedies to get rid of groundhogs.
1. Sudsy Ammonia
On a sunny day, take 2½ cups of sudsy ammonia and pour it in the groundhog burrow. The fumes will force the groundhogs out of their lair. If they continue to stay hidden, then repeat the process the next day.
- Alternatively, if sudsy ammonia isn’t available, you can mix a quarter glass of water, 2 spoons of detergent and 2 cups of regular ammonia, and pour it in the hole.
Note – Wear gloves while using this remedy.
2. Havahart Trap
Groundhogs are attracted to lettuce leaves and fruits such as apples. The fruit and soft veg can be used as bait. Put a piece of the mentioned food items in a Havahart and keep it at a distance from the burrow. Soon you will have a trapped groundhog.
Note: In some parts, it may be illegal to trap animals this way. Hence, it is advised to check the local laws first.
3. Eliminates the Attractants
As prevention is better than cure, so remove things like fallen trees, rock piles and woodpiles from your garden. Bushes and small plants also attract the groundhogs; therefore, trim the bushes, especially near the ground. This will remove the potential cover for the groundhog to hide.
4. Get a Dog
Taming a dog is one of the easiest ways to get rid of groundhogs. Groundhogs are terrified of dogs for good reason. Dogs will sniff out and attack these rodents. Keeping a dog in the yard or garden will deter the groundhog from ever entering your property.
It is another good groundhog deterrent home remedy. All you have to do is refill the burrow with mud again and again. It may be a tiring and slow process, but, in the end, the woodchuck will get exhausted and leave the area.
Woodchucks get irritated by weird and pungent smells. If the smells persists, they will vacate their burrows in search of fresher habitats. Crush some garlic cloves and spread the paste on the affected area. Refresh the garlic on a daily basis and soon the groundhogs will leave.
- Alternatively, you can sprinkle some garlic powder on the area.
Fencing can protect your garden from further trespassing of groundhogs. Once these rodents leave your garden, secure it by fencing to prevent their return.
8. Plant a Food Source Outside
Planting some of their favorite food source plants outside or in a separate area will help you get rid of them easily. They’ll be attracted towards those and will not damage your garden.
9. Talcum Powder
Sprinkle talcum powder on the boundary of the garden and in the holes of the groundhogs, to get rid of them.
You can use hot pepper spray keeping the groundhogs from your backyard. Spray it in their burrows and around your prized vegetables.
Fumigation is another best anti-rodent remedy. It is performed with the help of a gas cartridge usually filled up with carbon monoxide. Try this in the summer on the burrow if pungent smells such as ammonia or pepper spray do not work.
Note: It may be illegal in some states, so check your local laws first.
12. Human Hair
Groundhogs hate the smell of humans. Using human hair is a simple but also one the easiest ways to get rid of groundhogs. Take some human hair and sprinkle them around your garden and especially near the burrow entrances. They will be weary of the smell and soon leave. Combining this approach with other pungetnt smells such as pepper or ammonia works best.
13. Cat Litter
As with dogs, groundhogs are terrified of cats. Put used clay cat litter into the hole of the groundhog. Make it muddy by adding water. Cover it with dirt and sticks.
- Check with the local laws first before using any of the mentioned remedies.
- Find out the favorite food of the groundhogs and use them as bait.
- Do regular cleaning and maintenance of the lawn.
- After catching the groundhog, do not kill it, instead leave it on the outskirts of the town or far away.