How often does it happen that you find your fruits half-eaten and lying on the ground? It happens more often than you’d expect. That said, groundhogs are one of the most common burrowing pests found across gardens and backyards. Mimicking the appearance between a rat and a rodent, these little creatures burrow under the soil and are very harmful to the fruit and flowering plants, especially if you have sweet fruits growing in your backyard.
However, like every other burrowing pest that you know of, they are extremely fast. This means that killing or eliminating them is no joke. There’s a lot of preparation that you need to implement around. So, if you are here wondering how to get rid of groundhogs from your garden, there are a few ways you can do that.
Also read: How to Get Rid of Ants | 8 Effective Ways
We have sorted out the most effective ones in this article to read through and implement for your convenience.
What are Groundhogs?
Groundhogs are a type of backyard creature, mimicking burrowing pets’ looks and appearance, much like skunks. They are often alternatively called woodchucks or whistle pigs. They are voracious binge eaters that can easily wipe out your backyard’s fruits and vegetables in a matter of minutes.
Also, their functions are extremely versatile, which means that not only can they burrow under the soil, they can also effectively swim around and sprint across the length of your backyard without any complications.
Since they are binge eaters, they have a habit of eating uncontrollably between the spring and fall seasons and increase their weight and fat reserves. However, they tend to work lazily during the winter months.
List of Ways to Get Rid of Groundhogs
If you are worried about the groundhog’s infestation in your home, the chances are that you need to worry about them during the spring and summer months when they are the most active. Generally, they do subside by the end of autumn when the weather starts getting colder eventually.
If you are trying to eliminate them for good, there are a few effective ways you can do so. The process is not as complicated as it seems. Here’s what you can do:
1. Start by Sealing the Perimeter of the Garden
The first and likely the most effective way to prevent the groundhogs from damaging your plants and vegetables is by sealing the garden’s perimeter and the plants that grow fruits and vegetables. Try sprinkling a mixture of blood meal, ground black pepper, and talcum powder. These create an aversion for the groundhog, helping keep them away from the growing plants around.
2. Try a Box Trap
If you are trying to get humanely rid of the groundhogs, the best way is to try setting up a box trap. These don’t harm the groundhogs and just trap them inside a box to ensure that they don’t end up escaping and eating away at your veggies and fruits growing in the garden. Although the groundhogs are pretty peaceful creatures, you need to ensure that you approach them with extra protection.
The last thing you want is for them to bite down on your hands. When setting up the trap, make sure that you put a lure inside and keep it positioned around 3-4 feet away from the entrance of your burrow. Also, make sure that you camouflage the trap, so it doesn’t stand out in the middle of the field.
3. Create Vibrations in the Ground
Although it might sound farfetched and too good to be true, this does work. Since the groundhogs are small and innocent creatures, they get scared and threatened with the smallest movements around in the garden. So, if you want them to stay away from the vegetable or fruit garden, stomp down hard on the ground.
Lawn windmills are effective ways to get rid of the groundhogs without any complications. Some of them even come with motion sensors that get switched on when the groundhogs move past them. So, if you have an uncontrolled infestation, this is likely one of the best ways to get around the same.
4. Try Hot Pepper & Garlic
Groundhogs hate the smell and the taste of aromatics and hot pepper, so it isn’t even a question that you need to try out spraying these around the perimeter of the garden. However, you can’t expect good results when you simply throw out a piece or two of the hot pepper and garlic. Instead, you need to take some pepper powder and garlic chunks and mix it with some water and dish soap.
Transfer this solution to a spraying bottle and spray this around the plants and the other areas in the garden where you see their burrows. This will effectively help you get rid of their presence for good from the areas.
5. Try Fumigation
Another way you can try to get rid of the groundhogs is with the process of fumigation. However, this is not a humane way of eliminating them because you are suffocating them inside the burrow. This is mainly done by professionals who have access to toxic gases and chemicals sprayed inside the burrows to kill the groundhogs.
However, make sure that the groundhog is inside the burrow before you try the fumigation process. If it is not present in the burrow, all your efforts will go to complete waste. So, if you are looking for ways to get rid of groundhogs permanently, this is the best way.
6. Eliminate Woodpiles
Not just vegetables and fruits, groundhogs are also reliant on woodpiles around your garden. Although they don’t necessarily feed on the woodpile, they have a habit of seeking shelter around those spaces. So, if you have a lot of woodpiles and branches fallen off the tree that you haven’t cleared out, that itself is an invitation for the groundhogs to invade your backyard.
7. Try Ammonia
Like fumigation, even pouring down ammonia solution down the burrow of the groundhog will drive them out of the burrow. This will also ensure they don’t use that particular burrow anymore and will have to work around and make a new one. However, you need to be highly perceptive with this method mainly because they are quick to make a lot of burrows.
So, you need to scope out the entire garden and make sure that you find every single burrow that they have dug out in your garden. Once you find them, spray them with the ammonia solution and seal off the edge to let the ammonia work through the soil. The strong smell is extremely repelling for the groundhog and keeps them out.
8. Get a Dog or Cat
When we are talking about cats and dogs, we aren’t necessarily talking about using them to catch the groundhogs. Instead, what you can do is use their litter and urine. Besides, since the dogs and cats are comparatively a lot larger in size as compared to groundhogs, they have a predator-like approach.
This means that if the groundhog feels threatened to be in the surroundings, they will move ahead to some other place. Also, the strong stench from the dog urine and the cat litter makes it unbearable for the groundhog to get into the garden. So, if you find their burrows, fill them out with the litter and urine to prevent them from staying there.
9. Sprinkle Human Hair
As weird as it sounds, groundhogs or woodchucks are very threatened with human presence in the area they are burrowing. This means that you are finding one that is constantly scoping around your garden; try sprinkling some pieces of human hair around the perimeter of the garden. Doing this prevents them from creating further burrows. The strong “human smell” around the garden makes it unbearable for the groundhogs to stay in those areas.
10. Try Lime
While lime isn’t necessarily a lot acidic, they are enough to burn the feet of the groundhogs. Again reminding you, this is not a humane method. So, if you are looking for a humane one, we wouldn’t recommend doing this. The strong acid in the lime effectively burns away at the feet of the groundhogs and drives them away from the spot they are in.
11. Sprinkle Talcum Powder
Last but not least is spraying talcum powder across the perimeter of the garden. This is effective and drives away the groundhogs because they particularly hate the smell of the powder. So, if you are trying to scope out your garden area and want to prevent the risks of damage to your fruits and veggies, this is your best bet.
Getting rid of groundhogs from the garden is not as complicated as it seems. All you need to do is ensure that you are following the right methods and implement them in ways that will make them relocate instead of hurting them. So, if you have been looking into how to get rid of groundhogs, we hope this article gives you all the answers.
Also read: 10 Best Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Groundhogs Hate the Most?
Groundhogs are a deterrent to strong plant fragrances like lavender, aromatics, and other floral plants, so you can plant them around the garden.
How to Get Rid of a Groundhog Under My House?
If a groundhog is trapped under your porch or base of the house, the best way to get rid of them is by catching them using a trap and then releasing them.
Will Irish Spring Soap Repel Groundhog?
Yes, the Irish spring soap is quite effective in getting rid of the groundhogs from around your home for good. Just ensure you follow caution.