Quick Groundhog Facts
- Average Life Span: 3-6 years
- Average weight is between 9-11 pounds
- Diet: Herbivore
- Each spring females give birth to 4-6 young
- Groundhogs hibernate from the first frost to spring
- Groundhog hibernation gave birth to the Groundhog Day tradition on February 2 that dictates 6 more weeks of winter if the groundhog sees his shadow
- They are the largest members of the squirrel family
- Groundhogs are quite athletic – adept at climbing trees and excellent swimmers
- Groundhogs drink very little water – most of their liquid comes from the dew of leaves
- During winter, groundhogs hibernate with body temperatures as low as 39-40º F
Is your nuisance animal a Groundhog?
Information About Groundhogs You Need to Know.
Well, you’ll know if you have a groundhog taking up residence in your landscape. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, can remove up to 700 pounds of soil to make a 25-foot-long burrow under building foundations. These burrows have multiple chambers which pose a serious threat to building foundations. Groundhogs also can have a large appetite and can do significant damage to the vegetables you planned on eating from your garden.
Information on Groundhog Solutions From Havahart®
Live Trapping: How To Trap A Groundhog Successfully and Humanely
Information About Groundhog Traps:
Make sure you have a trap large enough to catch a groundhog. They are strong, burrowing animals so make sure the trap is sturdy and well constructed so the animal can not escape. Havahart® offers a variety of traps that are the perfect fit for groundhogs. Some are Easy Set® traps, like the #1085, which allows you to set and release animals without coming into contact.
All Havahart® traps are constructed of sturdy rust-resistant wire mesh with steel reinforcements and rounded edges to protect the animal and you from harm.
Imformation About Groundhog Trap Placement:
Make sure the trap is placed in an area that the groundhog frequents – either 5-10 feet outside the burrow or along the groundhog’s route
Information About Groundhog Bait:
Use a small plate to place the bait at the end of the live trap. Havahart® recommends the following baits:
- Fresh String Beans
- Sweet Corn
- Vanilla extract
**Cantaloupe has been the most effective in attracting groundhogs. The more rotten the better! The best way to bait a groundhog trap is to rub the juice of the cantaloupe on the trap, and outside on the ground leading up to the trap. Then leave a couple pieces inside the trap.
Expert Tips — How to Trap a Groundhog
- If you can locate the groundhog’s den, be sure to place the trap about 10 feet away
- Groundhogs prefer shade to hot sunlight, so try to place your trap where it is in shade most of the day
- When placing the trap, be sure it is on solid ground and settle it into the ground to make sure it won’t move back and forth when the critter enters
- Partially cover the trap with brush to camouflage the wire, encouraging the groundhog to approach
- Check the trap often to make sure you tend to your catch and release the groundhog as soon as possible
- Cover the trap with a cloth or blanket during transport – this will calm the animal down
- Take the animal far enough away from your home to release, in a wooded area, so you don’t risk it returning
- Be mindful of trapping groundhogs in the spring when they have their young. It is inhumane to remove a mother groundhog away from her young. Check for babies before you trap
Information About Groundhog Repellents
If you don’t want to trap a groundhog, but want to keep it off your property, Havahart® Critter Ridder is a good multi-surface and perimeter protection solution. It contains hot pepper ingredients that will burn a groundhog’s sense of taste, smell, and touch when they come into contact. It sends a harmless, yet strong signal that they are to stay off your lawn.
Motion activated sprinklers are another good groundhog control option. Havahart® Spray Away’s use only water and noise to repel, and can be placed anywhere in your yard – a less obtrusive solution to fencing. They work by using infrared sensors to detect the animal’s heat and movement, and spray a quick burst of water when the animal gets near the protected area.