When some people hear the word “groundhog,” they might think of Punxsutawney Phil or a movie starring Bill Murray. But if you have a home and a garden, you might have a different reference for groundhogs. They might be cute, but they are definitely not cuddly. In fact, sometimes these creatures can cause problems that warrant a call to an animal control service.
Groundhogs are members of the rodent family. They are sometimes called woodchucks or whistle pigs because they make a high whistling sound when frightened. Groundhogs can weigh up to 11 pounds. They have short ears and a short tail, as well as strong jaws and teeth that never stop growing.
Groundhogs are active from early morning to dusk. They can climb trees and swim when necessary. They also move surprisingly quickly, darting away when threatened.
Groundhogs live in underground burrows that have at least 2 and up to 10 entrances. They dig out separate chambers for sleeping and raising babies. It is said that a groundhog excavates approximately 700 pounds of soil for one den.
They are not total vegetarians, but groundhogs mostly eat leaves, flowers, and grasses and supplement with grasshoppers, snails, and grubs. They particularly enjoy vegetables that they can easily get to in your garden such as carrots, beans, and peas. They have been known to climb trees to get to apples and pears. Some pesky groundhogs have ruined gardens by taking a bite out of every green pepper and zucchini on the vine, and spoiled entire pumpkin patches doing the same thing.
When you decide that you no longer want to have groundhogs digging holes on your property or munching on your vegetables and flowers, there are a few things you can do. These animals don’t like noises like rattles or things that clang together so hang wind chimes near the area you want to keep clear. You could also try stringing tin pie pans together and hanging them nearby. Some people say that sprinkling cayenne pepper around a garden helps to keep groundhogs away for a little while. After it rains, you need to re-apply. The best solution is to call an animal control service.
Have an Animal Problem on Your Property? Give Us a Call!
Shumaker’s Animal Control has over 25 years of experience in the animal and pest control field. Whatever your problem, we can help remedy the situation and restore your home (or yard) back to normal. Give us a call at (443) 854-8072 or contact us online today to see how we can help you! For more information on household and neighborhood pests and how to protect your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.