|Tuesday Tools & Products: Groundhog Control|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 08 May 2012|
Punxsutawney Phil may be cute on TV every Groundhog Day, but groundhogs, also known as woodchucks or whistle pigs, are more often than not just a nuisance in the garden. You may see them scurrying back to their burrows, but it’s more likely that you will only see the hole in the ground with a pile of dirt beside it. Unfortunately, groundhogs love the vegetables and other plants in your garden as much as you do--the main reason they set up headquarters near your garden. Recently one of our Daily Dirt readers wrote to ask me what she could do about a groundhog in her garden that was eating her coleus and hosta plants.
There are several methods for removing groundhogs or woodchucks from your property, but be aware that you may not be successful in your endeavors unless you want to use a trap and release the groundhogs into a field away from an agricultural or residential areas. You can trap your own or call an animal control expert who uses humane traps.
Building a wire fence around the garden to keep groundhogs out sometimes works, but you may need to take additional measures such as tying balloons to the fence, use beach balls, or try reflective plastic mirrors, any of which may “scare” the groundhog away--at least for a short time. Another technique that might work is partially filling or digging out the entrances and exits and clear any brush around the opening that provides shelter and privacy for the groundhog.
You can also try a groundhog repellent such as used kitty litter (with the urine but without the feces) or a commercial product such as Shake Away, made from fox and coyote urine, which some people might object to as being inhumane. Place the repellent material in the opening of the burrow. The idea behind the repellent is that it might make them move out of their burrow and find a new home elsewhere.
The fifth option of course is to coexist. Easier said than done!