Two simple ways to keep groundhogs from hogging their way into your garden:
- Groundhogs are fearful of humans and generally cautious creatures.
- They breed in March, producing a litter of 4 to 6 young, born 1 month after mating.
- They weigh 5 to 10 pounds and measure 16 to 20 inches in length.
- Their tails are 4 to 8 inches long.
- They often make burrows on grassy strips along highways and can be seen grazing to the road’s edge.
- They eat grass, dandelion and other plants; unfortunately they particularly like vegetables and fruits grown in home gardens.
Evicting groundhogs who have burrowed under a house, porch or other structure:
- Movement: To discourage frequent visits to your garden, place objects in the area that will move in the wind, such as tethered balloons or Mylar tape.
- Chicken wire: Since groundhogs do not like to climb unstable fences, installing a simple 4-foot-high chicken wire or mesh fence around a garden keeps them away permanently. There are two secrets for making a successful fence. First, when installing, bend the lower portion of the mesh into an “L” shape that extends outward horizontal to the ground at least 12 inches, and pin the outermost portion securely to the ground with landscaping staples. This “false bottom” will prevent the groundhog from digging under. Second, make the vertical part wobbly -- don’t pull it tight between the stakes and leave some “give” so it will wobble if the he tries to climb the mesh.
Timing is everything. To avoid orphaning their babies, ONLY evict groundhogs shortly after they have emerged from hibernation (Feb or March) just before breeding season, OR wait until late summer, after the young have been weaned and are living on their own.
Live trapping is permitted in side of the city limits. Also repellents sometime work and fox urine has been reported to have some success.