Commonly referred to as groundhogs, woodchucks are the most widespread species of marmot in the United States and Canada. The rodents are closely related to squirrels and can be found living underground in open areas of vegetation. Their hibernation habits gave rise to Groundhog Day, a popular American holiday celebrated every February to coincide with the imminent change in seasons from winter to spring.
Woodchucks can have enough of a negative impact on yards, gardens, and crops to warrant removal. Property owners should never risk trapping and removing groundhogs without the help of a trained wildlife professional, as the pest could be diseased or evasive. Wildlife specialists from Critter Control have the knowledge, training, and tools necessary for humane and efficient woodchuck removal.
Control and Safety
Exclusion tends to be the most effective method of woodchuck control. Since groundhogs are effective climbers and diggers, fences placed around gardens and crop fields should be at least three feet high. Wire deterrents installed below the fence line prevent the burrowing animals from digging under the fence. Block off areas under porches and decks to preclude woodchucks from burrowing and building dens under such structures.
Are woodchucks known to enter homes or yards?
Woodchucks are voracious eaters, gorging themselves in spring and summer to prepare for hibernation in the winter. Gardens, crops, and landscape vegetation are strong lures for woodchucks. As such, they frequently enter yards searching for new sources of food. However, groundhogs almost never enter homes, as they prefer to stay away from people.
Do woodchucks harm people or property?
The feeding and burrowing behavior of woodchucks often conflicts with human interests. Their burrow systems leave behind excavated earth and holes that can be hazardous to farm animals and equipment. As rodents, groundhogs also gnaw on wood to sharpen their teeth, which leads to ornamental shrub damage. Since woodchucks gorge themselves during summer and autumn to store fat for hibernation, infested gardens may experience devastating losses. Additionally, groundhogs can carry diseases, such as tularemia and rabies, and serve as hosts to botflies, mites, ticks, fleas, and lice.