What are Groundhogs?
The groundhog is the largest member of the squirrel family. Adults range from 16 to 32 inches long with a tail that can range from 3 to 10 inches long. Most groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, weigh between 4 and 14 lbs. They are terrestrial mammals that live in their underground burrows. They prefer an open country on the edge of woodland. Whenever you see a groundhog, chances are they have a burrow nearby. They have also been known to swim fairly well and climb trees to escape predators.
In North Carolina, groundhogs are considered a nongame species with an open season for hunting. Trapping these damaging rodents is a different story. They are only able to be trapped during the regulated trapping seasons. Give Bugg Busters a call if you have any questions about this.
How to Catch a Groundhog?
The best traps to use for Groundhogs are 1-Door Traps and 2-Door Traps. With the 1-Door Trap, place the bait at the end of the trap behind the trigger plate found in the middle. Groundhogs are pretty clever, so make sure you place the bait as far back as possible, as they will reach in and grab it if they can.
With a 2-Door Trap, place the bait towards the middle of the trap to encourage the groundhog to bump the trigger plate. With a 2-door trap, you must place the bait directly on the plate, bury it underneath the trap and plate, or hang it in the trap from the top of the cage.
As mentioned above, groundhogs are very clever. You must wash down your trap with unscented soap as they will not approach a cage that smells human. After washing it down with soap and water, set the cage while using gloves.
Groundhog Bait Choices
If you have a garden that a groundhog is ravaging through, choose the vegetable that you notice they keep stealing. If you don’t have a garden and are not sure what the groundhog likes to eat, use herbaceous green plants and sweet fruits. It is widely discussed that groundhogs’ favorite snack is cantaloupe. If you do not have cantaloupe, try:
How to Prevent New Groundhogs
Creating a Barrier
Once you have caught and gotten rid of the groundhog, the battle is only half over. Groundhogs are territorial rodents and if there was a groundhog living in your yard at one point, there is a good shot that a new one will move in eventually.
In order to deter groundhogs, you must dig a trench around your fence, garden, shed, or garage about one foot deep. You must then bury chicken wire and staple it to the enclosure inside the trench. This ensures that the groundhog can not dig under. If it runs into a fence, it will give up and turn around.
Disclaimer: In North Carolina, Groundhogs cannot be relocated. Trapped groundhogs must either be euthanized or released at the site of capture.