Groundhogs and gardens are not a match made in heaven. At least, not unless you’re the groundhog!
Groundhogs are found in most areas of Canada and about half of the U.S. Easily seen, they often sun themselves on highway medians, in fields, and in your yard. These critters average 16 to 26 inches in length and weigh 4 to 9 pounds. They have been known to grow up to 30 inches long and 31 pounds in weight.
This greater size often comes when there is a readily available food source they enjoy. Like your garden!
The only time they aren’t usually seen are through the winter months. Groundhogs are true hibernators. Other times of the year, they’re active during the day and retire to their burrows for a good night’s sleep.
Not dangerous directly to pets, groundhogs are destructive. As mentioned above, groundhogs and gardens are a bad combination. To your garden! They love to eat their vegetables. They can cause major damage to farms and gardens because of this.
In addition, groundhogs love to burrow in the ground. This can cause damage indirectly to you and to large animals if you step in one of their burrows. Their burrows also can damage foundations of buildings on your property, including your home.
How do you get rid of these troublesome critters?
One thing to keep in mind is there is something attracting groundhogs to your property. If you find out what that is and remove it, problem solved.
But if that attractant is your garden, what do you do? One thing is to exclude the groundhog from gaining access to the garden. You can build a fence to keep the little critters out. If you decide to do this, you must put the fence at least two feet down in the ground. These little guys love to burrow and will dig right under any fence that’s built only to the level of the ground. Also, at the top of your fence, angle a section about one foot in length to keep them from climbing the fence to get at your garden.
Other things you can try: tie a beach ball to a tree to scare the groundhog from the area. Also tying those shiny metallic balloons around the garden may scare them away as the balloons move in the wind. Motion-sensing sprinklers can also take care of groundhogs and gardens.
Yet another option is to sprinkle your plants with something like cayenne pepper to make them less pleasant-tasting to these critters.
Maybe the best thing to do is call a professional to remove the groundhogs. Remember, groundhogs and gardens don’t mix.
Your best professional to call to get rid of the groundhogs? Heath’s Wildlife Service provides 24-hour emergency and long-term nuisance wildlife solutions for your home or business with a focus on customer service, mutual trust, and ongoing support and information. Chris Heath will give you a no-obligation, free estimate for removing pests from your home. Call 855-422-0434 or 603-664-0513.