Thursday, April 30, 2009

How to Get Rid of Groundhogs

Groundhogs are annoying pests that many homeowners face. These oversized rodents will burrow under porches, garages, and sheds. They can also make a quick meal of a vegetable garden. For these reasons, it is important to keep groundhog burrows under control before they can cause destruction. There are a number of ways to get rid of groundhogs including harmless methods and lethal ones.

Before going about destroying an infestation, it is important to understand that groundhogs live in burrows. They will run into these vast tunnels when frightened and will come out to eat. Any means of getting rid of the varmints must either be able to reach them while inside of the burrow or when they come outside.

One of the most popular methods of getting rid of groundhogs is through the use of repellents that force groundhogs to move elsewhere. Most of these are in the form of liquids. Ammonia is one such repellent. All that is needed for application is to pour the liquid into the groundhog hole. After this, one can only pray that the groundhogs will move far away. A limitation of this method is that the groundhogs remain alive to dig a burrow in another location, possibly nearby. Another shortfall is that these liquid repellents may be harmful to local plant life.

Another harmless method of dealing with groundhogs is by using what are known as ‘live traps’. These intricate devices lure the animal into a cage containing food. As soon as the groundhog moves inside, a door closes and the animal is trapped. Live traps should always be set near the entrance to the burrow. Food then needs to be placed inside of the trap. Successful foods include organic items like watermelon rinds or orange peels. After the food is placed inside of the trap, the mechanism needs to be set. It is important be careful while handling these mechanisms to ensure that they do not harm the user. The trap must be checked often to ensure that a trapped animal does not starve to death. When a groundhog is caught in the cage, it must be taken to a local humane society or released in a publicly owned park with the permission of a ranger or other official. This process can be repeated until all groundhogs are caught.

Groundhogs can also be dealt with through deadly means. The easiest of these is with poison. Poisonous pellets can be bought at nearly any hardware store. When applying these, sprinkle the directed amount into the burrow at the entrance. Another way to do this is by digging a small hole through the earth above a burrow and pouring the poison in through there. The hole should be covered again in the latter method. With any luck, the groundhogs should consume the poison and die. Any corpses found can be buried or otherwise responsibly disposed of. A problem related to the use of poison is that a terrible smell is produced by a rotting corpse. Shoveling soil into the groundhog’s burrow, essentially converting it to a tomb, can solve this issue.

A more systematic means of killing groundhogs is through fumigation. In this method, a canister of poisonous gas must be bought from a hardware store. First, it is necessary to block all of the burrow’s holes except for one. Light the fuse on the canister and drop it into the remaining open hole. Cover the hole to trap the gas and the groundhogs inside. After a few hours have passed, open up the holes. Remove and bury any corpses and fill in all holes.

This guide should have provided help in getting rid of groundhog infestations through the use of deterrents, traps, poison, and gas.

34 comments:

  1. GROUNDHOGS ARE THE PLAGUE!
    they need to be killed. Although trapping a ground hog and then poising them is a bit graphic. I suggest dispacing the groundhogs, and giving them there own place to live. Or maybe even returning them to their old grounds.

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    1. Only problem with this method is that in Rhode Island it is a crime to displace a woodchuck and you get a $250 fine if caught.

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  2. I found this article to be very informative. I also found it to be very different from anything I know of. I did not know that groundhogs were a big problem to homes and I do not think about them a lot. I found it interesting that this is what you chose to do your article about. It is cool that getting rid of groundhogs is something you know a lot about.

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  3. I personally like the idea of just poisoning the hole and covering it over. If you let the pesky groundhog live, it will simply comeback. If you do not cover the whole, it will stink like a port-a-potty a or another animal will come and gather around to eat the carcass. I like all the suggestions you made and I will consider this next time I decide to get rid of a groundhog.

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    1. it is sad that people think the answer to everything is DEATH

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    2. Ok, so you come move the groundhog here that's been attacking cats, tearing up yards and collapsing a shed.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Wow...
    Well Brandon, I find that this is quite useful and informative but.. Some of these methods seem quite inhumane. I really hope there aren't any groundhogs in YOUR backyard. Poor little guys..
    I would just trick them out myself, or just set a cage trap. I don't see why you would want to hurt them. They're helpless little animals.

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    1. "when the "poor little guys" decide to chew in to YOUR underground electrical power line and blow out your power (at least 1 of them got fried) see what you think of them then. Also chewed thru power cords (unplugged) Ruining the appliances and insulation in shed. They are a real nuisance and should be eradicated. If that blown power line was on my side I would be responsible for the thousands of dollars to repair it. Obviously you have never lived in the country where they are KILLED whenever possible. Too big for cat, too slick for German Shepherd.

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  6. this is probably the funniest thing ever brandon. youre my hero. i have a horrible problem with those silly ground chucks and ive almost had to resort to arson, but thats kinda illegal so im gonna go with some poison. or maybe a club, nine iron to be exact.

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  7. I am debating the use of poison, ammonia or an superior firepower......i hate tomatoes but dearly love growing them....from my tomato stained fingers I will prevail..........

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  8. My wife and I have a family of groundhogs living under our deck. we are getting a puppy next week and i need them evicted!!! I 'm going to try the ammonia, if that doesn't work then i'll have to turn to something more lethal!! Not only are they digging holes unser my fence, but also eating all vegetation. There is nothing cute about them!!!!!

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  9. I too am ready to do anything to get rid of these pests. They are decimating my garden. The ammonia idea seems to be the best.

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  10. DAMN THIS PESKY GROUNDHOG CHUCK SQUIRREL THING! we GOTTA KILL IT! ITS EATING MY WATERMELON PLANTS!! Lisa tried to shoot it with her bow and arrow, but missed and now it wont come out of its hole! we tried to flood out its hole, even tried to lure it out with our leftover porn we just cooked on the grill... if we can't kill that little sucker tonight, we'll just get some good pictures of it with my deer camera... Does anyone know of any good DIY make-it-yourself-at-home with products i would have under my sink chemical concoctions i could poison it with? Tomorrow we try FIRE!

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  11. .....oops, i meant to say "porK"....not porn :)

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  12. These pesky critters are burrowing under my walkways and garden streams leading to potential collapse.. they have far to many holes to find them all so the poison gas idea is out. I have 27 acres so amonia will just move them somewhere else unfavorable. I love the edible poison idea!!! My stores do not know what that is...what is the name(s) of the edible poison(s). I need to get started quick because I have about 11 now and if each has apx 3 babies...wow am I in trouble!
    Thank u so much!
    if u can not post the names feel free to email them to me at:
    bitemekris@gmail.com

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  13. Has anyone tried the carbon monoxide method advertised at crittergetteronline.com ??

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  14. Or you could use ammonia and bleach...but you are as likely to kill yourself as the groundhog...I did this once as a teen while cleaning the kitchen (accidently mixed the two, not killed myself). I didn't know anything about cleaning products! Anyway you mix the two together, I don't know the ratio, i did it by accident, and it starts to gas off. Its oderless and except for a slight grey/white wisps of smoke you don't even know your being poisoned (happens to people who do industrial cleaning a lot, they just drop dead while their working). My neighbor, who is a genuinely nice guy said put 1/3 can of lye down the hole...but I looked that up and it's vicious and brutal way to die...long and agonizing. Anyway...if Fruit Knox doesn't work out that's what I'm going to try next...mason jar, bleach, ammonia...by groundhog! He won't even know till he's dead

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  15. I just came across ths rather old post and founf the information great and the comments (Meatpoet and the porn roaster) hysterical. Regarding releasing them, some people say you must go quite a distance (up tp 10 miles) or they can return. Sounds like a long way to me, but I know racoons must be relocated at least two miles away. In my case I am trying to decide between my .22 or 308...

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  16. In some states like Virginia, it is illegal to relocate groundhogs. I called animal control and they told me that it is also illegal to kill them! I can't just ignore them because they are burrowing underneath my deck and could potentially cause it to become unstable. I bought some gas cartridges from Home Depot. I'm going to throw them down their main hole in hopes they r-u-n-n-o-f-t. I also sincerely hope that each and every groundhog currently in the yards of all of the posters on this website relocates to Amber Pokorney's yard. Then maybe she will understand what this is all about. I'm not trying to be mean, but groundhogs can really be a serious problem that can cause even a mild mannered person to reach a breaking point.

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    1. I live in VA and trapped one last year. I called animal control and the guy took it, said he was going to release it at a park. Then he said, these are a nuisance animal and you are well within your rights and the law to shoot them on sight.

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  17. I'm at my wits end. The furry devils have at least 4 holes under my garden shed and know they have eaten thru the wood floor and moved in..Yesterday I was standing in my yard talking to the neighbor about all these tunnels and all of a sudden the earth gave way and I fell into a tunnel..poison is too good for them!!

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  18. I read around the web that there is a kill trap for them called "Shear Grip Two-Twenty" but I cannot locate for purchase.
    Have been trying havaheart trap for a year now with mixed success - some are too wary to enter the trap.
    I need to do something before they breed again - I've already removed nearly 10 from my small property. They formed a colony under the foundation of my house (which is shallow).
    I read somewhere the fox urine granuals or human urine will cause them to leave - hope I don't get arrested.
    I question if ammonia would do it since I suspect thier home stinks of ammonia anyway. Now strong bleach might work. A mix of bleach and ammonia might work but that is highly toxic (to humans) and potentially explosive.

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    1. I suggest don't waste money on the smoke things - they are a scam/completely ineffective.

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  19. Help! Been researching for days about how to get rid of groundhogs! We have a farm with an old 100 year old barn on it. Groundhogs were living underneath it. We completely refurbished the barn over a 6 month period and just two weeks ago the suckers came back FULL FORCE! They dug a HUGE burrow under the brand new part of the barn with new concrete. They also dug a HOLE straight through some weak flooring. ROCK FLOORING. So if you think they can chew through wood, try having them literally bust through rocks and weakened concrete!! They probably dug out the equivalent of 5 or more 10 gallon buckets worth of rocks and dirt. :( We can't sit out there with our .22 and I'm in no mood to wait for a trap. I am an animal loving gal who cried the only time I hit a squirrel with my car in high school! But enough is enough. I don't really feel like spending another $8,000 in concrete when our floor collapses because of groundhogs! I was going to try the moth balls tomorrow (dump a ton of them down the holes?) and perhaps convince the hubby to take a leak at the entrance? What works best?? I thought about pointing some "bug bombs" that I had a box of, down their burrow holes too. Thoughts???

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    1. Kill them with gasoline and water. Mix about 2 gallons of each in a 5 gallon bucket.....they don't mix well but that's OK. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 of the mixture in one of the holes. Have a loaded shotgun ready. Stream the other half or 1/4th of the mixture from the hole back to where you are going to light it with a match. The fire will travel on the ground to the hole and blow the groundhog out of it and then shoot the damned thing. This works. My dad used to do it all the time as we had dairy cows, draft horses, etc. and could not put up with them because their holes could cause a broken leg so he learned to do this from other farmers. Hope you can do this. You could sell tickets to this event if you wanted to because it's a hoot to watch that groundhog come barreling out of the other hole. Good luck!

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  20. I agree, the smoke bombs did not work. I'm now looking at 3 young groundhogs cavorting on my deck steps. I wish there was consensus over what really works next to a house. (Gun not an option here.) I've ordered 8 packs of sour apple bubble gum because I could find no poison and read somewhere that they love sour apple bubble gum but die because they can't digest it. Has anyone tried this?

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  21. these furry critters are good for nothing.so far this year i have killed 175 in traps (connibear) and another 227 with rifle,increases every day. They destroy the soybean fields and eat my profit,problem with poison gas is another woodchuck will move into den in a couple days or within 1 week. I have caught up to 20 chucks in 1 set of holes,new ones just keep movin in all year long!

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  22. It cost me $250 last year to trap 2 of 9 groundhogs I have around here.. I tried to trap them with broccoli..it took the broccoli and left me with an empty cage.. I was going to let it starve to death.. I was not going to take it under the cover of darkness and release it on the side of the road.. chances are I am not stealthy enough for that.. The poison method is what I would vie for.. I even stuck a couple of pellets inside a piece of broccoli..found that portion on the ground next my shed before the entrance under it.. (Recommendation:when getting a new shed before letting it rest.. lay heavy duty mesh wire on the ground..after building or placing it there..put that same heavy duty along the outside of the shed bottom, and at least a foot deep, and 2 feet outwards..don't forget the ramp too).

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  23. I have lived with groundhogs for 15 years and have tried to encourage them to move that whole time. I have tried everything except gas and poison pellets, but after having the foundation of my home compromised by continuous burrowing and not being able to grow any vegetables in my vegetable garden, for years (they even pull the corn stalks down to get to the corn), enough is enough. I will be dropping poison pellets in every hole I see from now to first snow.

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  24. OK, I live in a manufactured home and under my home lives a family of these critters. I have tried all humane ways of getting rid of these critters and went to great expense in finding they are too smart for havaheart cages and show no fear of fox urine. I have no choice but to call in the expert. Anybody know how I can contact Bill Murray?

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    1. We tried a couple models and finally Havaheart model 1081 was big enough. And the one we had a fat. The trick is to put it outside their burrow with the right bait at a time of year when there is little else around, like early spring.

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  25. Mix ~1 1/2 cups Lestoil with dirt, put down burrow & fill in with dirt. I filled in with ashes from our fire pit. The ground hole made enough room to get out & didn't come back. I tried all kinds of things for weeks. This worked!!!

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  26. I bought a trap. Was going to relocate them. The little bastard was so nasty so I put the cage in a garbage can, filled it with water and drowned him/her!!! He will be going out with the garbage this week!!! Libtards need NOT reply.....I believe in Capital Punishment!!!

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