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How To Control Woodchuckswoodchuck

While on February 2nd (also known as groundhog day), the woodchuck is the center of attention since everyone is waiting for the animal to stick it’s head out of the ground to signal whether spring will soon arrive or if the winter season will persist longer. Outside of this date, and especially if they appear on your property or turf for some reason or another, the woodchuck is a frustrating presence. The woodchuck is a burrowing animal that can cause damage from their insatiable feeding habits and underground activity.

They are especially a problem for farmers and are becoming an increasing issue for homes and neighborhoods with woodchucks moving in where humans reside. The pest control experts here at Solutions Pest and Lawn can help you learn how to control woodchucks with the right tools and techniques to keep them away.

Woodchuck Background Information

The woodchuck, also commonly known as the groundhog, is a member of the Sciuridae and is basically an oversized squirrel. This large rodent is usually brown with a frosted appearance and when mature weighs between 5 to 15 pounds. They are stocky creatures, roughly a foot and a half long. They have small ears, a short fluffy tail, and sharp, chisel like front teeth as well as strong limbs and curved, thick claws which make them skilled diggers.

Groundhogs are burrowing animals and their habitat consists of deep, expansive underground systems which they create and reside in and raise young in for majority of their lives. These burrow systems can be as deep as five feet and can range anywhere from eight to 60 feet out. These tunnel systems could be inhabited by woodchucks for several years.

There will be a main entrance hole that widens as the woodchuck grows which can reach up to about a foot across. This main hole will have mound of dirt which surrounds it while a secondary entrance hole is generally obscured by vegetation. Woodchucks prefer to build their tunnels in woodsy areas as opposed to grasslands, and have an affinity for slopes and banks. They can be found anywhere from farms to golf courses to even your backyard if the conditions are ideal.

Woodchucks are not nocturnal. They spend most of the day feeding and basking in the sun, and sleep in their burrows at night. When they are alerted by danger or startled by something, they emit a cry which sounds like a cross between a whistle and a reverberated chucking noise. They forage for food about 100 to 200 feet from their burrow, feeding on anything from grass to flowering plants, squash, cucumbers, peas, tomatoes, and basically almost any kind of vegetation. They also enjoy young tree bark and insects. They can quickly clear a backyard garden.

Like other rodents, they are chronic gnawers and their gnawing can cause a lot of damage, not only to plants but also to power cables located underground. Their mounds and entrance holes can cause damage to farm equipment and livestock, and the mounds can disrupt and damage sidewalks, driveways, and foundations.

Solutions Recommended Products To Get Rid of Woodchucks

Woodchucks are not usually a problem on home lawns compared to rodents like the gopher and moles, but when they do venture onto your property or farmland, it’s best to act quickly to get rid of the pest. Here are the following methods of control we recommend:

  • Live trapping is probably the best solution to eliminating woodchucks from creating further damage to your yard. Most of the time, the woodchuck is on your property because there is a source of food readily available. We carry Havahart Live Trap for this kind of pest problem.

    When placing the trap, you need to be strategic. Inspect the burrows the woodchuck made closely to see where they have established their entrance hole. Set the trap directly in front of the woodchuck burrow entrance/exit. Make sure to bait the trap by placing fruits or vegetables inside such as berries, apples, lettuce, carrots. Another good ideas it to lay sticks, twigs or rocks down to make a "runway" which can better lure the animal into the trap.  

    Be sure to check the trap twice daily to see if the woodchuck has been trapped.  When they are trapped, consult local wildlife agencies to see where you may release the animal. Some states require that only trained professionals relocate wild animals, while other states only dictate where they may be released.

Browse our Woodchuck products below and if you have any questions regarding how to approach woodchuck control or any other pest control question or concern, we’ll be happy to speak to you online or over the phone.

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