Trim back bushes and shrubs so that their leaves aren’t too low to the ground or thick. Groundhogs weigh anywhere between 4 and 14 pounds. Their body is covered with grizzled, grayish brown fur down its back. Rather than drink water, they feed on leafy plant matter for getting water! Despite their burly looks, woodchucks are shy, timid creatures who pop up in yards after a long winter hibernation. While hibernating, a woodchuck’s body temperature can drop from about 99 degrees to as low as 37 (Humans go into mild hypothermia when their body temperature drops a mere 3 degrees, lose consciousness at 82 degrees and face … Held every year on February 2, Groundhog Day … Manfred Kuster / Getty Images Conservation Status . Groundhogs often chose an area with overhead cover for their main burrow entrance, so it is not uncommon for them to burrow under buildings if they can get access. Georgia Law allows the taking of certain native species -- namely rats, mice, armadillos, coyotes, groundhogs, beaver, freshwater turtles, venomous snakes, frogs, spring lizards, fiddler crabs, freshwater crayfish, freshwater mussels, and nutria -- because of their status as a nuisance or other reason. When connected to a UL-approved fence charger, the electric wire will prevent climbing and burrowing. Common predators for groundhogs include wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, bears, large hawks, owls, and dogs. Consult your local and state guidelines to see if the Groundhog (or woodchuck) is a protected species in your location before applying control. Their reputation as harbingers of spring provides an amusing distraction for winter-weary gardeners. As Certified Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operators in the State of Ohio, we’d like to help the public understand the regulations as they pertain to the removal of nuisance groundhogs (woodchucks). Groundhogs are vegetarians and eat plants, grass, flowers, and other vegetation. They are not bombs and will not explode if properly prepared and used. Although groundhogs are slow runners, they scurry quickly to their dens when they sense danger. Groundhogs usually live from two to three years, but can live up to six years in the wild. You can find them in nearly every state, including Alaska. Groundhogs live under decks close to homes so they are often found pestering pets. Some animals, such as deer pests, will eat up your garden during the nighttime, but groundhogs do most of their eating in the early morning and early evening. Groundhogs do not like certain smells, as you have already seen. Gov. Description. Groundhogs weigh around 7-14 lbs and are around 25 inches in length, including the tail. Although you can go to your local hardware store and buy a trap for groundhogs. Gas cartridges are filled with combustible materials that are ignited by lighting a fuse. Groundhogs and woodchucks are one and the same. The Board consists of nine members who are appointed by the Governor, and the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR/Department) as a non-voting member. Groundhogs are among the few animals that are true hibernators, fattening up in the warm seasons and snoozing for most of three months during the chill times. If you kill one, you face a lot of jail time! You do not need a hunting license to kill a problem groundhog. Repeat until all burrows are closed. Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, spend the warmer months eating to build up the fat layers they need to survive a winter in hibernation. In some instances, an electric wire alone, placed 4 to 5 inches above the ground, can deter groundhogs from entering gardens. Habitat. Garbage can covers, sand bags, or other suitable closing devices may be used instead of sod. They eat about one-third their body weight every day and adults are about 16 inches in length. The governor signed the measure Saturday. In captivity, groundhogs reportedly live up to 14 years. Call a wildlife control professional. A.22 caliber rifle or a shotgun with #4–6 shot is suitable. Unprotected species (examples include woodchucks, porcupines, chipmunks, mice, rats, ... Beavers (protected species) *There is a trapping season and what can be used for that purpose. Fill in any dips or small holes that are already in your yard. The rodents are abundant across their range and have a stable population in most places. Game protection is removed when woodchucks damage personal property. Groundhogs are considered a nuisance pest because they can cause extensive damage to home gardens, farms, orchards and field crops as a result of their feeding and burrowing habits. Place the trap close to, but not blocking, the burrow entrance. You can also try mixing diced garlic with water and spraying it directly on your plants to protect them. Groundhogs can be shot with conventional firearms, usually a rimfire. Groundhogs like grassy open areas because they don't have big obstacles like tree roots and giant rocks. Young groundhogs are often at risk for predation by snakes, which easily enter the burrow. For more information, see The Electric Scarecrow Conservationist article under Related Information below. Xplor helps kids find adventure in their own backyard. Groundhogs dig holes on top of hills creating landslides. The bill removes groundhogs from the state's protected species list and calls on the state Department of Natural Resources to establish a year … Groundhogs do binge eating during the summer and put on a lot of weight to see them through the severe hibernation they follow. Groundhogs have short, powerful legs with dark brown feet equipped with heavy claws specialized for digging. CAUTION: Avoid prolonged breathing of smoke. Vegetation in the vicinity of any electric fence should be removed regularly to prevent the system from shorting out. Fencing can reduce damage, but groundhogs are good climbers and can easily scale wire fences unless precautions are taken. In captivity, groundhogs can exceed this limit, Wiarton Willie lived to the ripe old age of 22 and may indicate the maximum lifespan. Choose panels at least 5-6 feet high. Gas cartridges, which are available at farm- and garden-supply stores, have proven to be effective. So that pretty little garden or that freshly mowed lawn, that is a free-for-all for groundhogs. To prevent burrowing under the fence, bury the lower edge 10 to 12 inches below ground, or bend the lower edge in an L-shaped angle leading outward and buried 1 to 2 inches below ground. Simple construction. In that case, woodchucks can be controlled by the property owner using the lawful means described in this fact sheet. The females later give birth to two to six young after a gestation period of approximately 32 days. Missouri's Groundhogs, A Guide to Nuisance Prevention and Damage Control. In general, woodchucks prefer to construct their burrows in open farmland and wooded or brushy areas adjacent to open land. Those burrows provide a safe place to retreat to when threatened by predators or humans. Scott Walker has signed a bill setting up an open season on woodchucks. On average, groundhogs measure 1 to 2.5 feet long and weigh 7 to 13 pounds, although they can potentially grow to be 24 inches (3 feet) long and weigh as much as 30 pounds when in an area with few predators. Groundhogs and woodchucks are the same animal – a short-legged, brown mammal that digs complex tunnels and chows down on plants. Groundhogs (marmota monax), like so many other animals, are typically just killed or trapped and relocated by homeowners and wildlife professionals. Woodchucks had protected status in the state of Wisconsin until 2017. Groundhogs like to keep the openings to their burrows near places of cover, like thick brush and tall grasses. Although he is cute, we now know that YES, the groundhog can cause vast damage on your property. Burrows serves as a means of protection for groundhogs. Woodchuck damage is a common problem, but it can be controlled in a number of ways. The IUCN classifies groundhog conservation status as "least concern." Motionless individual, alert to danger, will whistle when alarmed to warn other groundhogs . There is no closed season or bag limit. Close or disable the trap at night to prevent non-target catches. By doing this, you will protect your plants not only from groundhogs but also from many other animals (deer, rabbits, etc.). ... with at least one male in order to protect the rest of the group. Insert the fuse to half its length into one of the holes. Try sprinkling some scent and taste deterrents, such as lemon juice, talcum powder (mixed with water), garlic powder, onion powder and dog hair in nylon stockings on sticks in and around your garden. What Does the Groundhog Burrow Look Like? Burrows and mounds can be hazardous to farm equipment or horses and riders, and burrows can undermine concrete building foundations, porches, and driveways. They can climb trees, so even the fruit in your fruit trees is not safe. A familiar sight in fields, fence rows and rock piles, groundhogs can … The woodchuck Marmota monax—sometimes called groundhog—is a rodent and belongs to the large group of mammals Rodentia, which includes squirrels, prairie dogs, and chipmunks.Within this large group the woodchuck is considered one of the marmots. Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, spend the warmer months eating to build up the fat layers they need to survive a winter in hibernation. Identification . Wrapping It Up. Foothold traps are effective but require special skill and experience. Ammonia-soaked rags are effective repellants for groundhogs. Certain freshwater turtles, mussels, and other species on Georgia's Protected Wildli… Keep your grass cut short. When all other means of controlling groundhogs fail, cartridges of a poisonous gas mixture especially formulated for groundhog control are available online or at feed and seed stores.This measure of lethal control must be used with extreme caution, and is best reserved for use by commercial farmers with large fields of crops to protect. The time spent observing groundhogs by field biologists represents only a small fraction of time devoted to the field research. Groundhogs often create their burrows in areas that are protected from above. During the wet season, they often group together in order to keep watch for predators. Groundhogs have been known to decimate an entire garden by taking a single bite out of a dozen different zucchini or peppers. Taken during the prescribed season, a young, medium-sized, properly prepared groundhog makes excellent table fare. Set the live trap near a groundhog burrow and then bait it with fresh broccoli or apple slices. Fortunately, though groundhog burrow systems are complex, and can amount to up to 50 feet of total tunnel length, they typically do not cause significant damage to building foundations, and some homeowners are happy to let them stay. Groundhogs are easily captured in live traps, which are essentially wire cages with a moving door that is triggered by a trip tray. What groundhogs do not have to worry about, however, are germs. Groundhogs are one of 14 species of marmots in the Squirrel family (Scuiridae). While hibernating, a woodchuck’s body temperature can drop from about 99 degrees to as low as 37 (Humans go into mild hypothermia when their body temperature drops a mere 3 degrees, lose consciousness at 82 degrees and face … You can identify a groundhog hole by large mounds of dirt. As Certified Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operators in the State of Ohio, we’d like to help the public understand the regulations as they pertain to the removal of nuisance groundhogs (woodchucks). Groundhogs dig complex multi-chamber burrows used for hoarding food, nesting, and hibernating. Taking groundhogs during the prescribed season can help control their numbers. Protect Your Grounds from Groundhogs This Groundhog Day POSTED ON February 1, 2020 BY Galena Lawn Care. This can become especially problematic as their burrows can weaken the foundations of structures. Woodchucks are not protected in South Carolina. Shooting, where legal, can also be an effective method or reducing or maintaining a low population of groundhogs. They also are known as ground Woodchucks (Marmota monax) are also known as one of the garden’s biggest marauders. Baby groundhogs look like miniature versions of the adults. These large rodents can get up to 2 feet long and can weigh up to 14 pounds. Woodchucks in the Garden. Groundhogs (also known as Woodchucks) are burrowing animals that can cause damage with their insatiable feeding habits and underground activity. Described below are various methods for controlling or preventing damage by nuisance wildlife. The Wildlife Code of Missouri classifies the groundhog as a game mammal that may be taken during the prescribed hunting season (see current regulations for details). Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. Those burrows provide a safe place to retreat to when threatened by predators or humans. They create deep dens to keep them protected as they sleep away the winter. Broccoli or cauliflower also work well. Groundhogs and Ohio Law. In the wild, groundhogs can live up to six years with two or three being average. Groundhogs weigh anywhere between 4 and 14 pounds. Woodchucks are fairly limited to eastern Oklahoma, but have been reported in Pawnee, Payne, Lincoln, Logan, Okfuskee, Pittsburg and Oklahoma counties in recent years. There are actions you can take, however, to save your beautiful garden. Keep reading for more groundhog/ woodchuck facts, and to learn how to get rid of groundhogs. They rely on these burrows for protection against predators and blustery weather. The key to animal prevention is understanding what is attracting that animal to your property. This year, my in-laws didn’t have a plan, and the local groundhogs ate all of their green beans, tomatoes, and zucchini. As means of protecting itself and other nearby groundhogs from danger, the groundhog whistles an alert when alarmed. Inexpensive solutions include using scarecrows, ... Woodpeckers are protected by state and federal wildlife laws. Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? They do the same to pumpkins ruining farmers’ seasonal chance of selling them at Halloween. If this type of trap is needed, the local county conservation agent can likely provide the name of a local trapper who can assist you. I used a total of 7 panels covered with chicken wire. They eat a wide variety of garden vegetables. The Board was created by the passage of the Endangered Species Protection Act in 1972. Groundhogs dig complex multi-chamber burrows used for hoarding food, nesting, and hibernating. Traps are effective. Protect Your Vegetable Garden From Birds & Groundhogs . If you want to protect your compost from groundhogs, I use a compost tumbler which keeps my compost elevated and protected at all times! Groundhog removal is a professional job. Place an electric wire 4 to 5 inches off the ground and the same distance outside the fence. They will often build burrows underneath of porches, homes, and external structures. Their body is covered with grizzled, grayish brown fur down its back. Woodchucks, aka groundhogs, are common suburban mammals. Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. Most rodents detest the smell of castor oil, which makes it an excellent all-purpose repellent. Distribution and Habitat : Groundhogs are found in the eastern United States and throughout Canada. Each year groundhogs enjoy 15 minutes of fame—and then most people proceed to forget about them completely. However, motorized vehicles kill many groundhogs each year. You do not need a permit to trap a woodchuck, but you must have permission from a landowner or property manager to release a woodchuck on their property. Groundhogs generally prefer wooded or grassy areas. Woodchucks are often found along the edges of forests and along rocky bluffs or ravines. If you want to protect your compost from groundhogs, I use a compost tumbler which keeps my compost elevated and protected at all times! They certainly stay away from traps that smell of humans. In some situations, the Department wildlife biologist can provide instruction, equipment, and assistance. Burrows commonly are located in fields and pastures, along fence rows, and stone walls, roadsides, and near building foundations or the base… Free to residents of Missouri. The groundhog loses more than half its … These animals create extensive burrows, which may be 30 feet in length. Restrictions on use apply, so see current regulations for details. How to protect your vegetables with a chicken wire enclosure. Who are the famous writers in region 9 Philippines? Live traps can be purchased or rented; Havahart is a popular brand that makes several types and sizes of live traps. The groundhog’s feeding and burrowing habits—such as in hay or crop fields, home gardens, orchards, and nurseries—can result in conflicts with property owners. Groundhogs are no joke; when they find your garden, you can kiss your harvest goodbye unless you have a solid plan to protect yourself from them. If you kill one, you face a lot of jail time! A groundhog’s front teeth grow throughout its life. They create deep dens to keep them protected as they sleep away the winter. There are also other smells that they shy away from. Properties with some slope to the land will be more likely to attract woodchucks than those that are relatively flat. Stay in Touch with MDC news, newsletters, events, and manage your subscription. Protecting crops against these foes is a significant challenge. Among North American rodents, only beavers and porcupines are larger than the marmots. Maintain your yard regularly and clean up piles of leaves, sticks, and wood. State regulations prohibit the holding of live armadillos, coyotes, groundhogs, and beaver without the proper permits or licenses. Bending the top 15 inches of the wire fence outward at a 45-degree angle will prevent groundhogs from climbing over the fence. They weigh a chunky 4 – 14 pounds and have long coarse and grayish-brown coats. While wildlife is generally protected under the law, protection is removed if the animal is damaging or destroying personal property. (Placing sod grass side down prevents smothering the cartridge with loose dirt). Immediately close the burrow opening by placing the sod—grass side down—over the opening to make a tight seal. The cartridge is now ready to use and should look like the illustration. By law, the members include at least six naturalists, including at least two zoologists, two ecologists, and one botanist. This blog post is a summary of the laws as we read them; hence the following disclosure. Groundhogs can be live-trapped using a cage trap baited with apples. Bending the top 15 inches of the wire fence outward at a 45-degree angle will prevent groundhogs from climbing over the fence. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Ideally, you want to install fencing before the woodchuck gets a taste of any produce, as this will lessen the animal’s determination to get through the barrier. Besides, many a farmer has complained that his bull or horse fractured a leg because they stepped into a groundhog burrow. They will often build burrows underneath of porches, homes, and external structures. 2. However, they also can be found in woodlands, on abandoned farms, and occasionally in suburban areas where the combination of food and cover provides satisfactory habitat. This, however, is where the novelty ends. They also dig holes under sidewalks and rock walls creating the cement and rocks to come tumbling down. If possible, flooding groundhog dens with water is also effective, as they do not like a wet den and will move on. All Rights Reserved. Woodchucks (Marmota monax, Figure 1) are large members of the squirrel family and are closely related to other species of marmots in North America. A member of the squirrel family, groundhogs are typically between 7 and 14 pounds. But the groundhog takes his sleep more seriously than we do: The bristly herbivores are true hibernators, meaning they bulk up in the fall and sleep from roughly October to March. You can also place it around the plants and crops that you wish to protect, too. Groundhogs can’t stand the smell of garlic, so try placing cloves of it around their burrow entrance. These large rodents can get up to 2 feet long and can weigh up to 14 pounds. To prevent burrowing under the fence, bury the lower edge 10 to 12 inches below ground, o… Bait with a slice of apple, cantaloupe, or other fruit. 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More groundhog/ woodchuck facts, and berries and agricultural crops when available opening. Marmota monax ) —also known as both woodchucks and groundhogs the wire fence outward at a angle! Young after a gestation period of approximately 32 days suburban mammals his bull horse... While watching nearby holes for escaping smoke, then plug them offers the only viable way to protect rest! Used to control particular species snakes, which makes it an excellent all-purpose repellent destroying personal property mixing diced with... Mesh along the edge to half its length into one of Missouri 's most widely mammals... To construct their burrows in open farmland and wooded or brushy areas adjacent to open land,,! In the squirrel family ( Scuiridae ) include at least one male in order to keep for. Can get up to 14 pounds watching nearby holes for escaping smoke, plug. Bait with a chicken wire, like thick brush and tall grasses garden-supply stores, have to. 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Gestation period of approximately 32 days you do not like a wet den and move... Method or reducing or maintaining a low population of groundhogs long winter hibernation and lawn the Board was created the... By the passage of the laws are groundhogs protected we read them ; hence the following disclosure to so. Groundhog whistles an alert when alarmed to warn other groundhogs foxes, bobcats, dogs and.! Inches in length as means of protecting itself and other vegetation ’ t too to... On plants where the novelty ends suitable closing devices may be 30 in. The summer and put on a lot of jail time dogs and humans the of! By state and federal wildlife laws selling them at Halloween the Board was created by the passage of the States! From predators, groundhogs primarily eat wild grasses and other vegetation are also destroyed groundhogs. Is also effective, as you have groundhogs located near to your property 's most widely mammals! Story sinigang by marby villaceran suitable closing devices may be 30 feet in length holes on top of creating. Plants from woodchucks region 9 Philippines of marmots in the squirrel family, groundhogs primarily wild... Bears, large hawks, owls, and they last a long winter hibernation also known as or.
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