There is a HUGE groundhog living under my shed. I see it in the back yard
once in a while, eating my morning glories. Today I went out to check on
the kale I planted in a raised bed, and I found that every single plant had
all the leaves eaten off! (about 4 inches up) I had really been looking
forward to having kale salads this fall - hopefully the plants will recover,
but I'm not so sure.
Anyway, is there any way to ensure that this groundhog won't do it again?
I live in the city, where unfortunately, I'm not allowed to simply shoot the
Hav-a-Hart makes a spendy live trap that is a little bigger than a paper
half a gallon milk carton. You can catch it and relocate it. I suggest
that you wire the trap so it will not function, and put food in it for a few
times. Then when the animal thinks it is a source of food, you remove the
wire, and the door drops down. What you do with the animal depends on your
conscience. They can, do, and have returned from great distances to their
Poison is not an option, because he may crawl under somewhere and die, and
stink to high heaven for a month.
Traps that kill them are an option, but that's up to you.
The trespassing offenders I get are given a 5/5 water treatment. Five
minutes under water in a five gallon bucket. Then they're hawk food.
BE AWARE THAT SOME SPECIES ARE PROTECTED, SO BE VERY PRIVATE ABOUT THE
DISPOSAL. DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR TRASH, AS THE GARBAGE MEN MAY SEE IT AND
Good advice but I'd make sure Hav-a-hart was big enough. When I bought
mine it was the 2nd largest which will take a groundhog but is too small
for the large raccoons that often torment me.
Local laws are funny. I've relocated animals, even once in front of a
county cop, but on the books you are not allowed to relocate but you can
trap and kill them.
You may not have to buy one. Various local organizations (Animal Rescue
League, Animal Control, Dept. of wildlife conservation, etc. may be set
up to lend you one for the duration. Call around.
The trap idea only works once for a smart animal. I had a raccoon who
would reach *under* the trap and pull the bait apart and then eat the
scratchings. Nothing would get him to go in the *door* of the trap,
since he had been there and done that and got the shirt and once was
enough thank you very much.
Groundhogs love sheds. A plain fence did not work for me--groundhogs
can climb fences. The Hav-A-Hart did not work either, groundhogs and
muskrats are leary of traps. A beating one over the head did not
work. I electrified the fence, problem solved. Fasten sturdy chicken
wire or hardware cloth around the shed base.
It's extremely rare for groundhogs to take up residence in cities. And
a large hedgehog is not going to easily subsist foraging your meager
greenery, they typically make their homes where meadows meet
forests, where there's lots of easily accessible vegetation. What do
you have stored in your shed? If there is anything edible like animal
feed (ie; dog, cat, hamster, bird food) or near where you keep your
trash cans then that would explain a hedgehog hanging around your
shed. In cities especially the easiest way to dispel unwanted
critters is to remove their food supply... the only reason that
hedgehog is living in or around your shed is because
you are feeding it, albiet inadvertantly. You are responsible for
attracting/luring that hedgehog so you need to carefully relocate it
to suitable habitat... if you do anything to harm that critter then I
pray the very same happens to you and your loved ones.
I think that depends on the city. NYC, Boston probably. I live a few
miles from downtown Nashville and I had a groundhog show up every year
for the peaches in my yard until a dog showed up in my yard and I kept
him. Gone was the groundhog, possums, rabbits and cats, although he
never killed one (I love that about my dog.) I love my dog, but miss
sharing the yard with some of the wildlife. Still lots of squirrels
and birds though.
Yep, that describes our place. The back of our property is up against an
edge habitat of trees, where the ground goes up for about 15 feet at perhaps
a 45 degree angle. Behind the trees is perhaps a 10 acre open grassy area -
part of a local park. However, this groundhog took up residence under my
shed, just like the several at my parents' place did under their old barn.
With all that space it should be pretty easy to lure Woody to live
elsewhere... pile up a truckload of large rocks and build a brush pile
atop, lay in a couple three bales of hay and make a trail of
inexpensive critter food (dry dog kibbles, bird seed, chicken feed,
etc.) leading to your newly constructed woodchuck habitat. I had a
woodchuck residing under a corner of my barn until I provided a much
better home a couple hundred feet away.
Woody used to live under my barn:
There's Woody by his new home in front of the brush pile, closer to
There's no reason to harm wildlife, they need to live too, and they
were there first. I think those who want to live rural but insist on
living in a test tube sterile environment are morbidly ill... the same
sickos who as hate-filled children enjoyed pulling the wings off
I've successfully trapped groundhogs. I've also smoke bombed them and
bludgeoned them with hoes.
The key with trapping is to give them something they really want close to
their den and hope for bad weather. Apples are what has worked for me.
Watermelon is also supposed to be one of their favorites.. Put a taste in the
entrance of the trap and the motherload in the back. *Always close the
trap in the evening and reopen in the morning, so that you won't be
catching opossums, racoons and skunks.*
With the smoke bombs, hit the holes when you know they are in them,
and use multiple bombs. Tape them to the ends of long sticks, light them,
and shove them well down into the hole, then close it up.
As for the hoes, a good sharp one and lots of adrenaline are recommended.
Peanut butter is a universal bait. Sometimes it take a while but I've
never failed to catch a groundhog doing damage to my property. Also,
while bow hunting deer, I've taken a couple of groundhogs (taste like
chicken) and one actually bit my boot while removing an arrow.
Fortunately bite did not penetrate. You have to be carefully
challenging any trapped animal.
Reminds me of raccoon I caught and pictured:
I've trapped and drowned eleven of them this year. I live in the city,
but near a rr track which is some kind of groundhog highway. Use a big
havafhart and bait with apple pieces with a trail of pieces near where
they make their way to the garden. Sometimes they or something else
has learned how to eat the apple without getting trapped. Twice this
year I got a groundhog in an unbaited trap. I think they were used to
getting the apple and trying to find some when there wasn't any
tripped the trap. I made a plywood box the trap will fit in to fill
with water. Relocating just takes the problem to someone else. They
are devils in the garden and their holes break the legs of livestock.
Another one of those animals that overpopulate when man kills off the
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