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Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Posted by laperouse 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 14, 06 at 10:57

I have seen a lot of lists of plants that are usually deer proof. But what about woodchucks and groundhogs (is this the same animal??)? I have both deer and the little critters in abundance and since I need to spend my moneys wisely I don't want to come out one morning and see everything moved to the ground ;-)

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Marianne


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Ack, woodchucks! You don't want to hear this, but they are just impossible to keep away from the plants they love. They devour sunflowers (they actually eat the leaves off stems that are about 3' tall!), cosmos, and a number of other flowering plants. Their favorite place to be is a vegetable garden. The only way we control our woodchuck population--and who knows how many are born each year--is by putting a low electric fence around the veg patch. Last summer we thought they were gone and let the battery die down, and one tunneled into the heart of the vegetables. The pile of soil he/she disturbed was several feet tall and the tunnel opening looked large enough for a small child to get swallowed up. I'm hoping it didn't tunnel from many feet away, but rather came over the uncharged fence and then started digging. Good luck, you'll need it.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

FYI, Woodchucks and Groundhogs are the same animal. They're also called Whistlepigs, although I've never actually heard anyone refer to them that way!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

  • Posted by janetr Ottawa USDA 4a (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 14, 06 at 14:36

I have successfully persuaded groundhogs - and skunks - to vacate their premises on my property by sprinkling human urine around the entrance to their burrows. This wouldn't be very practical if you have a large population of them just outside your property, but in an urban setting it works like a charm. Everybody I've passed this tip on to has reported good results too.

I just put a jar in the bathroom and asked the male members of the family to contribute...


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

These critters tend to eat even more than deer, and the normal repellants used for deer and rabbits don't always work on groundhogs. I tried spraying cayenne pepper on my phlox last year and after the groundhogs ate it I was waiting for them to knock on the door asking for salsa, beer, and chips to go with it!

I actually managed to... how do I say this delicately... "shovel prune" a groundhog last summer. It walked right up to me while working in the garden and it never saw it coming. Sorry to offend, but this was just one out of 6 that had taken over so I was about at my wits end. I managed to trap 3 more and relocate them but the remaining 2 still mowed a ton of stuff to the ground. Whatever you do, don't let them stay around. In 2004 I thought the one that I saw was cute. She attracted a mate and had 4 babies in 2005. UGH!!!


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RE: Woodchucks - what not to plant on this list?

Thanks for the info. Whistlepigs!! I love it - that's what I'll call them from now on.

I guess I'll change my question. Is there anything on this list that you would definitely not buy if you had "Whistlepigs" on your property:

Achillea
Adenophora confusa
Alchemilla mollis
Echinops
Eryngium
Euphorbia
Geranium
Helenium
Kniphofia
Monarda
Papaver
Salvia nemorosa
Sedum
Solidago
Veronica
Anemone tomentosa
Deutzia
Thalictrum
Chrysanthemum superbum
Coreopsis verticillata
Geum
Lychnis
Nasturtium
Calendula officinalis
Foeniculum vulgaris
Zinnia

I think this should pretty much cover it.

Thanks again.

Marianne


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I guess you are telling us that you are not going to try and get rid of the woodchucks.

I'm wondering if they'll avoid naturally smelly stuff like chrysanthemums and pyrethrums.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

No, I certainly will try to get rid of them as best I can, but I see no point in spending time and money planting things that they consider candy :-) so if there is something on this list that they definitely LOVE I would not plant it.

I have already enrolled my husband in the effort to oust them with urine (haha)

Marianne


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Hi, Marianne. I garden with woodchucks, too. Part of my garden (including the vegetable patch) is fenced, but they have access to some beds. So far they have NOT eaten (from your list): Achillea, Alchemilla, Echinops, Euphorbia, Geranium (various species), Helenium, Papaver (atlanticum, in my case), Salvia, Sedum, Coreopsis. I don't grow the others on your list (though the wild Solidago has no problems growing around us). Their favorites (other than vegetables) in my experience have been Campanula and Echinacea - pointless trying to grow them with woodchucks.

Good Luck!

-Caroline


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I would think that quite a few of the perennials on your list that have fragrant foliage would be fine to grow. Most critters tend to leave these fragrant plants alone. I would not grow the invasive Adenophora confusa, woodchucks or not!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Thanks all, and now off to Bluestone Perennials to spend my mulah!

Marianne

Oh, what about basil - is that a deterrent for deer and woodchucks alike in your experience??


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

We live on a 10 acre 'farm' and have many many MANY groundhog dens along our creek and windbreak. Each year they re-use their tunnels from the past. They have 2-3 litters of babies each spring and summer. (Our vegetable garden is fenced.) In my experience, these critters will change their diet and outsmart you. What they never touch one year they devour the next. Our large dog enjoys killing them...which is fine if I am not watching. DH removes the dead to a place he has named "death island'. Now that our dog is middle aged, her enthusiasm has dwindled.
I have tried sulpher bombs, used cat litter and other things to discourage them...but they ALWAYS return. As you have discovered, they are not quick or smart. They often have mange.
Overall, my opinion of them is...UGH!
And then there are rabbits and voles....


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

In regard to the post about them not eating chrysanthemums and pyrethrum, sorry to say that they have eaten both pyrethrum and annual chrysanthemums in my garden. I don't know about the perennial mums, as I don't have any in the bed that my woodchucks like to dine in.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 15, 06 at 23:56

Gardenbug: Your post made me laugh out loud - "death island" LOL!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

We've had a running battle with woodchucks for the past 4 years. We tried all sorts of deterrents (spraying a castor-oil-based rodent repellent was just like putting salad dressing on the lawn; flooding their tunnels with soap and water resulted in remarkably CLEAN pests; chasing them with the hose made me look like a candidate for America's Funniest Home Videos; my husband's game of "Rodent Hockey" with a broom was hysterical, but a short-lived solution; we blocked their access under one part of the fence, and they CLIMBED OVER the chain link. . . .). Our final solution: we buried 1"x2" galvanized mesh from the bottom 6" of our chain link fence down into the ground another 6", and extending out 8"-12" from the fence. We still occasionally have one get in under the gate, if the kids forget to leave the barrier we use in place over the gap under it, but I keep an eye out for the rotten rodents. It helps that we have two neighbors who trap them now. (Another neighbor thought they were cute and let them live under her shed, where they happily procreated one year and started eating HER plants. They weren't so cute any more.)

What don't they eat? Although in our yard I have to say they were the most interested in grass, clover, squash and pumpkins of all kinds, asters, and peas. They didn't touch the irises, daffodils, shrubs, cannas, onions, tomatoes, or yews. Then again, I kept an eagle eye out for them, so when I was home they didn't get much time to browse at the buffet.

Laurel


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Woodchucks are the only thing I was glad to leave when I moved. Far worse than deer, in my opinion, as far as plant damage.

From your list I had these in my garden that were left alone:

Echinops
Euphorbia
Geranium
Papaver
Salvia 'Black & Blue' and 'May Night' Probably most salvas would do well
Solidago
Veronica - all kinds seem to be resistant
Deutzia
Thalictrum
Chrysanthemum superbum
Geum
Lychnis
Foeniculum vulgaris

They ate

alchemilla
campanulas of all kinds
rudbeckia
echinacea
mock orange
larkspur
potato vines
shasta daisies
phlox of all kinds except p. stolonifera
sedum (deer like this, too)
I lost several anemone tomentosas, but I was never sure why
nasturtiums
oriental and madonna lilies
centaurea montana

These were also 'chuck-free for me

amsonia
canna
brunnera
solomon seal (forget its latin name, just now)
hosta (deer bait, though)
eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus'
ajuga
ferns
most spring bulbs: scilla, galanthus, chionodoxa, ipheion, muscari, daffodils
california poppies
cheiranthus
saponaria
columbine
peonies
teucrium chamaedrys
lavender
sidalcea
daylilies
roses
iris - siberian, tall bearded and the little short ones. This was interesting because I had tunnels under the iris bed, but no damage to the plants.
aster oblongifolius (aromatic leaves - also deer-resistant)
crambe cordifolia
ornamental grasses


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

They seemed to love my perennial geraniums. They ate down Brookside and Elizabeth Ann to nothing and also enjoyed New Dimension but only the tops for some reason.

They didn't eat your tomatoes! You must have had dumb whistlepigs then - they love ours LOL

If you do buy the Adenophera you will later be praying that the woodchucks eat them! What I am trying to say: Don't go there. They are extremely invasive.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

The narcissus family is highly toxic, I think. Nothing eats those AFAIK.

Has anybody here tried those motion-detector sprinkler things? Seems like those might work great.

I successfully rid my garden of skunks with talk radio: I wrapped a radio in plastic and ran an outdoor extension cord out to the garden. Set the radio on a 24 hour talk station and set it in the middle of the garden.

Stupid skunks thought there were people in the garden and stopped visiting. I've heard this works with woodchucks too, but I have been lucky in that I haven't had the need to try it.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I've given up trying to grow echinacea--that seems to be their most favorite thing to eat in my yard.

Sprinkling used cat litter just outside of my fence does seem to help...some...but it has to be repeated pretty often for it to be effective.

Funny story--one day my teenaged son walked out the basement door and saw a young groundhog in the yard. As soon as it saw him, it started making a beeline for the hole it had dug under the fence, in order to escape.

My son had just gotten a bottle of water out of the refrigerator and threw it at the groundhog--and HIT it! It fell down, just inside the fence.

He walked over--amazed that he'd hit it and further amazed that it was apparently stunned as a result of being clunked on the head by a flying bottle of water. He touched it (and said it was all course and bristly) and also said that it smelled really, really bad.

He backed away, it came to its senses, and darted out of the yard. Of course it was back, later that afternoon....sigh.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Every year we get a visitor, and where it disappears to is a mystery to me. It has a made a home under my neighbors shed, and he dug a tunnel under our fence to my yard. Mainly, it stays in the back, where I naturally don't have alot of plants, and it doesn't venture too close to the deck, where I have loads of things planted, especially a veggie garden. Anyway, in that back bed, where he hangs out, I have:
-daylilies (ditchlilies)
-siberian iris
-pussy willow
-lilac bush
-columbines
and the only thing it's ever eaten back there is the columbines...

For some reason, knock wood, the woodchuck and my wild bunnies seem to be content with my grass! But don't dare ask me what grass I have, I wouldn't have a clue ;)


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Caught one in a hav-a-heart trap last year using miniature carrots as bait. Took it three miles away and liberated it into a patch of forest (which they don't like, incidentally). It had already devastated my beans and squash but hadn't touched the tomatoes.
Have now got the trap baited (apple and carrots) hoping to catch Peter Rabbit and give it a free ride. What that rabbit has done to my roses and azaleas doesn't bear thinking about - stripped all the bark off the roses and chewed back the azaleas to stubs.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

  • Posted by tibs 5/6 OH (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 20, 06 at 19:42

A few years ago a neighbor kid told me he saw an otter in my garden. We live in town. An otter??!! I said was it fat and waddled? Yes. Yikes. I had a groundhog. What do they teach kids these days?


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Thank the Lord I don't have a Woodchuck problem. But you guys should get together and go on a comedy tour. This thread is laugh-out-loud hilarious!!!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I was by my sister's house last Thursday and suddenly she called to me and pointed out a window facing the backyard. And there it was, one of her resident groundhogs - actually one of the "twins" that were born not long after she moved into the house. It was still smaller than the older ones - maybe about 1.5 ft long. It was literally about 5ft away from where we were standing at the window, sniffing around the outside of her deck in bold broad daylight. As we were talking about it at the window, it could hear us and looked up at us calmly and then stood up to look closer. But it didn't even bother running away. It wasn't until we walked around to the back when it finally decided to waddle back to one of the myriad of tunnel entrances. My sister said that as babies, they climbed the couple steps to the deck and munched some spaghetti squash starts that she had there waiting to be planted out. Naturally her entire veggie garden has to be fenced in due to the critters, although the baby rabbits had managed to get in anyway when she had chickenwire fencing. It was sad but funny to look in her veggie beds and see a couple tiny rabbit babies sitting inside munching on some clover that had sprouted in there. Luckily they had left the other veggies alone. She switched to a small gauge plastic net-type fence after that!

Where are the red-tail hawks when you need them???? LOL


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I've had an ongoing battle with groundhogs for 4 years now and I live in a very urban area but only 3 blocks from Georgian Bay. Thanks to a new housing development in the "natural" area near me the "whistlepigs" have moved into our area! For the past two years they have managed to totally destroy most of my perennial plants - coneflowers, phlox, delphinium, campanulas etc.
The first year it took 7 weeks to entice them into the live trap and relocate them. We caught lots of other wildlife - two baby skunks, young racoons, rabbits and let them all go in the yard as we didn't want to relocate them in the middle of our night! The second year we caught and relocated one groundhog as soon as the damage was discovered and we were much more successful - within 4 days he was relocated. Last year it was rabbits that got relocated and cridder ridder was used to deter the whistlepigs. This year the "hog" is back! And it's all out war! He has striped my canterbury bells, the poor coneflowers that I just bought two weeks ago are now striped and the phlox - gone! And yesterday he started on my zinnia's! So - I spent the afternoon doing a little moving and switching of plants. Cone flowers to the upper bed beside the house, tomatoes down to the perennial bed; delphiniums up, mallows down, phlox up, geraniums and salvias down. So much for the master plan - seems a big change is in the future.
Messina and Ro-pel have groundhog repellants but I can't import them into Canada! Pity!
Well the next best thing is a fox or fox scent. Not a practical solution to obtain! So the next best thing is the scent of urine! So - calling all male gardeners - I'm having a pee party and marking my territory. Seems female urine won't work - all it does is draw the randy males.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

If you were able to walk up to a groundhog and nail it with a shovel then it was not right and sick. I've seen a few like this over the years... the state tested it and came back as rabid. Gotta be careful.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs are NOT the same animal

whatever poster said they are the same animal is incorrect.
woodchucks are what we deal with in the NE.
best, mindy


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 23, 06 at 6:09

Check again, Mindy. They are the same critter, Marmota monax.

There's a sure-fire way to eliminate them...entire families of them at once. It involves using automobile exhaust piped into their burrows. If interested, I'll Google up the product.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I think people do generally use "groundhog" and "woodchuck" interchangeably to refer to marmota species. There are also "gophers" however, which are similar, but different (thomomys spp.) and live in the west and midwest.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I haven't seen them in Texas, but in Illinois we had them all the time. It might have been just dumb luck, but one summer I was able to save most of the garden by making an edible 4-foot barrier across the path he usually took to the vegetables. I watered this wide strip of 'lawn' [defined as whatever that was green & mowed] regularly and let that area grow longer. There was clover in there, as well as grass, and as long as the lawn strip was lush and green, the groundhog was happy.

Annie


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

It's been my experience that they're called woodchucks more often in the north, and groundhogs more often in the south. Either way, it's is a heckuva sight to see something about the size of a beaver, waddling all of a sudden through your garden! My city's on the Mississippi River, and they seem to like hanging out near the waterfront lots.

Gophers are a whole different critter... related, but different... most of 'em are the size of a red squirrel or smaller. (holding out hands to estimate) Somewhere between a gerbil and a small squirrel?


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donn and cecilia

plse accept my apologies. that's what i get for believing an 'authority' instead of researching it myself. years ago, when the W's were a HUGE problem here (like, I didn't see the existent phlox blooming for our first 12 years here) I called a co. that makes a device that supposedly deters W's by emitting some sonic whatever. anyway, it was advertised for Gr-hg"s and I asked if Gs and Ws were the same. i was told "No" so i didn't order one. go figure.
best, mindy


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

"Part of my garden (including the vegetable patch) is fenced, but they have access to some beds."

Sorry to break the news but if you haven't noticed it yet, they climb real good, so they have access to everything. I was surprised to see the fat waddly thing climbing my 4' fence around my garden, but there you go. That's one reason I cut it down to a 2' rabbit fence. No point in being higher since I'm the only one that is apparently detered by a higher fence. The rabbits dont seem to leap the short fences or maybe they just dont bother.

Since groundhogs dont look real athletic I think everyone underestimates these critters. Its pretty funny to see them take off like race horses when they spot me, making a bee line for the shed. They dont take a long time in getting there. :)


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Hi Marianne - I feel for you....this year alone we caught 4 woodchucks! Last year we had one and it took us weeks to catch it. In the meantime, he chewed through my garden like you wouldn't believe. Bulbs that we planted that were just sprouting, he ate, and we never got to see them last year. Also, he mowed the sunflowers, dianthus, coreopsis, bleeding hearts and portulacca. Thankfully, this year we identified exactly where they were coming in (under the fence, behind the shed) and we blocked it off so that when the come in they end up straight in the havaheart trap. Then we take them about 3 miles down to preserved lands and release them. But, since we've already caught 4, the only solution is to dig a trench behind the fence and bury mesh down about 18 inches and out about 6 inches. Hopefully, that will be the end of them. Now it's just the voles I have to worry about!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I dare almost not jinx it by posting this follow-up! but since a couple of months ago when I spotted my whistle pig down the lawn and let out our wonderful dog, Summer, I haven't seen him nor any damage. The whistle pig sat very still when I opened the door and Summer, who is not always the swiftest of dogs, immediately set after a squirrel in a slightly different direction. However, when the whistle pig finally couldn't take it any longer and moved Summer cut to the chase and that was the last I have seen of it this year. We just got an invisible fence installed so now I can keep my dog out all day long and that should really take care of that - I hope!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

We trapped 2 woodchucks in a Havahart trap. Released the first one a few miles away, but soon after that, my husband was telling someone about it and found out that this state can fine you $150 for transporting wildlife! The 2nd one went to that great garden in the sky. We haven't seen one for a couple weeks now, but keep our little low electric fence charged at all times. I also put bird netting over the favorite plants, which might seem benign but I don't think they relish getting tangled up in it. The good news is we almost never have them feeding on the plants once they've gotten pretty big. Now if they actually allow 2 or 3 sunflowers to grow, I'll be happy.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

This is a GREAT thread. Right up my alley.

When we bought our house 6 years ago, we saw our resident Groundhog and thought, "Aw, how cute." We even fed him!

Now, 6 years later, and dozens of plants gone, my feelings towards Mr. Hog as the kids call him...have changed.

Luckily, our GH doesn't come out too much. That's not to say that he hasn't done his damage.

I have four garden areas in our backyard, where the GH hangs out and 2 of the four gardens have been hit by him (possilby 3). Luckily 2 gardens are close to the house, which he's scared of, and unluckily the other two are back by a River, near where he lives (we have a fence but like someone else mentioned....he crawls under).

Anyway, the plants he HAS NOT eaten in our back gardens are:
(sorry if they're repeated but this might help..these have been growing for years without problems)
Columbine
Bittersweet
Sedum
Hosta
Daylily
Butterfly Weed
Phlox (I think b/c it's hard to get to)
Monkshood
Poppys
Balsam Impatience
Obedient Plant
Hisbiscus
Peony
Morning Glories
Geraniums
Columbine
Bee Balm
Evening Primrose
Iris
Yuca
Hyacinths
Bleeding Heart
Hydragea
I think that's it back there.

The plants that Groudnhog HAS eaten are:
Rudbeckia
Shasta Daisy
Blanket Flower
Fox Glove (I'm assuming it was him, or a rabbit)
Cone Flower

I read somewhere online that if you hanging something that blows in the wind (part of a mylar balloon, wind sock or ribbon) in the garden this will help keep them away.....sounds too easy but I'll try it. I might just try the urine thing.......5 guys live in our house.

Now, next post....RABBITS. We have a huge rabbit problem.

Hope this helps, I know you've all helped me with this issue. Alice


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I have read that if you go to the right farm supply store, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a special woodchuck cartridge. The same book suggests seeking out a county agent (whoever that is) that will have access to these. So, when you place this cartridge into the mouth of a den, it diffuses a lethal gas that should take care of them. I think that this sounds a bit crazy and cruel to do to an animal but on the other hand, they did eat all of my lettuce (spread in rows throughout my entire garden) in about an hour a few days ago. Then yesterday, one came right up behind me with a carrot green hanging from his mouth. Needless to say, I might be hunting for some woodchuck dens with the 5-year-old adventurer soon. (I just won't be telling her what I will be doing to that den when she isn't around) Kids seem to have a great eye for critters. :)


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Since groundhogs dont look real athletic I think everyone underestimates these critters.

How true! I only 'figured it out' that they were great climbers when my Mina lobata, on a 5' obelisk, was devoured :(


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I'm having quite a problem with Wood chucks or groundhogs or whatever you would call them. They are as big as my 20 pound cat! I"ve never had problems with them like this year as usually a hawk or eagle in the area chases them off or eats them! But.... alas this year it looks like the little fellas have come to stay and stay they have. Making front door and back doors all over my front and back yard and making themselves accessable to both my vegetable gardens and my flowers including the marigolds and cosmos in planters on my front porch! I heard human urine works. Does it really? I am below low income and cannot afford to buy any of the traps out there unless someone has an easy build out of scrap wood trap that I as a senior can build. I don't intend for these little fellas to get the best of me or my garden this year. I really have enjoyed reading these other post from last year or so; But... before there is nothing left of my garden; someone Please HELP!!!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

lonitad...I tried coyote urine to no avail. Maybe you can ask around if anyone has a cage you can borrow. Even on the GW forum that is from your area. Do you have Freecycle in your area? You might post that you are needing a cage. Especially since you have a number of them. Could you enlist the aide of a family member or neighbor that might help you get rid of them. They might be bothering other people in the neighborhood.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Heard them called whistle pigs here in Southern Maryland. We live on a farm and the dogs usually discourage them around the house so the landscape is safe. Farmer will shoot them or use gas bombs, but be warned that all dens have more than one entrance. You must plug all the holes before the bombs work.
They make such a mess in the fields that you could easily break an axle.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

How ironic that this thread got brought up again! LOL I now know why these guys are called "whistle pigs" because last month, my now 17-month old niece and me were sitting on the steps of my sister's deck after some groundhogs ran under it and we suddenly heard these loud blood-curdling squeal-whistles coming from where they hiding, startling the both of us! First time I had ever heard such out of them, considering they are all over her area and constantly run out in the open but are quiet (where are the friggin' hawks when you need them?!). It's supposedly a warning call that they make to alert others in the area. They squealed like about 4 or 5 times over a 30 minute period.

This year, they stripped every leaf off of my sister's cukes, 2 sets of peppers (the 2nd set being a replacement for the 1st set that they ate), & corn, digging under or climbing over her fenced-in veggie pen to get to them... Then they ate her petunias and even her Salvia splendens (which was surprising) that were planted in pots on her deck. They have also chomped the flowers off of her shastas. It was bad enough with the deer who we discovered neatly chomped the tall flowering tops off her hostas, leaving bare green stems. :-\ Makes you wonder why they won't eat the invasive garlic mustard!

The groundhogs have generally left the tomatoes and eggplants alone and left my BIL's cone flowers alone too but they got his pepper plant...


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

What are you guys using for bait ? I used to catch them very easily with tomatoes in my havahart trap. but this year cant catch one, it seems to be enjoying the clover and grass over my delicacy.....any thoughts on what bait?? thx


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Balloon flowers and Echinacea are their faves in my garden. I was desperate a few years ago and in line at Agway with a bottle of costly deterrent. A woman behind me said she had used mothballs with some success. I bought a box, and poured quite a few down their hole under my shed. They moved elsewhere, though I'm not clear it was the mothballs.

This year when I saw the first damage in my garden, I spread a few mothballs around each plant. Those I planted after I added mothballs haven't been attacked. Of course, you need to be able to live with the very unflower-like fragrance...

And whenever I catch one in the lawn, I burst out the door waving my arms and shouting & they run right off. I'm not deluded enough to think they won't be right back, but it's pretty satisfying nonetheless.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I read suellen45's post about using bubblegum to control groundhogs on another topic. That is extremely cruel; what was she thinking? Sure they can sometimes be a nuisance; and there are better, non-lethal and humane methods for their control. A person who wants to kill the creatures inhumanely that have been living in the area far longer than humans, has no business living there. I am posting this here because the original topic reached the limit of follow-ups.

Here is a link that might be useful: Squirrel (and Woodchuck) Awareness


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Ack!!!!! Groundhogs...don't like them. I've trapped them before. MY SIL says that they do this: It's probably illegal. They put amonia and moth balls in there holes and they go away. I haven't tried it.

I have one living under my deck. My neighbor has them living under her rain barrells.

My ground hog sometimes hangs out under my birdfeeders! Once I saw him on my deck and I swear he "smiled" at me through my low window in my office...little sucker!


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

Groundhogs and Whistlepigs are the sneaky rascals. I always "get 'em". Here's how you should do it. Get about 6 or 7 tomatoes and put alot of sugar on them; and put them about 15 feet from their favorite hole. The Groundhogs and Whistlepigs will almost immediately be attracted to the feast; then you can shoot them all. If there are zoning regulations against shooting in your locale - shoot them at night when the neighbors are asleep. Most will not 'get up to see what was shot' if the next day is a workday.
If you have Groundhogs or Whistlepigs or rabbits or other varmits living under your shed. you should spook them out and quickly hammer up some lattice all around the shed; you could often take a peek through the lattice to see if those annoying animals have burrowed under the latticework and might be back under the shed. May not want to shoot them while they are under the shed, they may be stuck and too far or too heavy to pull out quickly and if you couldn't pull them out in a reasonable time the smell would be quite powerful and could ruin your summer outdoors.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I trapped 4 of them this summer and the bait I used in the Havahart trap was an apple. The last one I got though was trap savy and it took a fresh ear of sweet corn to get Her/him! They are terrible pests in my garden and every year I have a new family that moves into the den behind my yard. There is a creek back there and the den is in the bank of the creek. Even though it is illegal to relocate them I do it anyway. I've found a nice place about 3 miles away. So far we've never been caught.

In the past they have eaten just about everything you can think of but of course veggies, especially beans are their favs! My sincere condolences to all who have them nearby! Ive' seen them climb the 8 foot tall fence my neighbor has and they also rest in the trees along the creek!
Joann


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I may have even answered this old thread before, but if so will again. In my old garden, over its life of 20 years, woodchucks were the biggest obstacle to making a garden over the entire time. Rabbits and deer were a problem too, but the sprays generally work on them. In my experience, there aren't any sprays which work on woodchucks. Bobcat and coyote and human urine act as mild deterrents but I have had plants eaten which have been recently doused with urine. If you live in woodchuck country, livetrapping won't help for long either. I livetrapped 12 woodchucks from my old garden one summer. As soon as I did, there was another one a few days later or even the same day. I read an article that said that in suburban areas and farm country, there are so many roaming juveniles that as soon as a burrow is vacated it is re-occupied. I did try the gas bombs a couple of times and I think they do help for a while.

Gettting a dog is definitely a help especially if the dog is outside most of the time. Woodchucks are diurnal (active during the day, especially late afternoon and morning), and if your dog is out there they won't be (even if the dog is a pansy like a golden retriever - mine - who would rather play with than ever hurt a woodchuck).

The surefire way is to put up a fence with a secure base that will keep the buggers out. In my old garden, after about 12 years of fighting, I put up a deer fence around the back garden with a folded chicken wire base which was staked to the ground tightly. That really, really did work, and gave me 8 years in that garden (at least 1/2 of it, the other 1/2 was unfenced) finally free of mammal predators. I remember how amazing it was that I finally could grow campanulas and so many other woodchuck favorites. I had convinced myself for years that there was no way to fence any part of the garden. But figure out a way -- you will be so glad you did.

As a guide to plants, MOST but not all plants with aromatic foliage are relatively browse resistant to most mammalian browsers. You will come to love members of the mint family -- many more of them will survive browsers than most other plant families.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

We have about 6 of them. There were two last year, but DH refused to do anything about it. Next year it'll be 18? They are very wary of us. If they hear a door or window open they run into their burrow. No way we could get close enough to clonk them with a bottle of Poland Spring.

They are odd creatures. They don't touch the hosta, but they ate a sea holly to the ground. Sea holly? It's all prickles! I had trouble potting up the darn thing, and they ate it.

Our battles haven't begun, but my father had one with them on the order of Caddy Shack. He would sit by the window overlooking his garden for hours, screen removed, with a gun across his lap just waiting for them. I think the only thing he managed to shoot was the sprinker system. One year he tried a quarter stick of dynamite and all he managed to do was blow up one of my mother's gardens. He tried concrete as well. Crushed stone. You name it. He gave up. Years later there don't seem to be any more of them. Maybe Coyotes eat them? He's got a lot of those now.

We have a friend who has had great success keeping them out of his vegetable garden with an electric fence at about ankle height (nose height to them). His must be stupid ones. They haven't figured out they can burrow under it.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I'd like to thank everyone here for their lists. My echinecea and rudbeckia are prime targets for the local groundhog. I'm leaving them there, but have used this list to fill in the space. The groundhog visited again today, and he went right past the new plants for the old favorites. Yay! Thank you!!

(and yes I'll leave them there for him to eat...I'm aiming for a wildlife garden and they are wildlife too...everyone's lists will come in real handy!)


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

When I was a kid I lived in farm land near Allentown PA.(NE PA) there was a large hill across the street and there were always groundhogs living in burrows at the top. My brothers would whistle and the groundhogs would stand up. THey used to try to shoot them but usually missed.
We knew them as Ground hogs, We also knew them as Grundsow which is the PA deutsch name for them. I live in the pocono mountians of PA now, and they are called both woodchucks and groundhogs.
We have ground hogs in our yard, and they do eat some stuff. One got into our neighbors septic mound and did some damage.
Personally I would use a live trap and release into a field where its not pouplated. We did that with skunks that decided to take up residence under our house. Now THAT was a nightmare.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

We have a problem with them living in the crawl space under our very old summer cabin...does anyone know if they are kept away by moth balls? We want to get them out before we block off the space.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

This year they are just out of control. When it was one or two they left my flower alone.
Now mine were eating petunia blossoms and some of the new shoots. They trounced through the french marigolds I started from seed and broke them to get to the dianthus in between. They leave alone the dalia and tall zinnia. They have left alone some reddish begonia with little pink flowers. They eat the mum flowers like candy.

I have ordeed 100 saffron crocus for the fall and now I am in a pickle. How am I going to protect them? I can not spray anything ON them since I do not want the stuff to impart any flavor on the parts I will be picking. I am not won for killing but might have to pick up a trap since right now I think it is just one I am seeing now. I am sure there are more but it sees like the same one that is having the battle with me. I can't blame them for being smart and getting a free meal but since we can not communicate, to come out with an agreement like "I will plant these for you and you leave me these," they have to go. They were were not hear when I moved to this house so one can not say we encroached on them.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

in referance to shooting groundhogs at night or day, make sure your town does not have microphones up on lamp posts to listen for gun shots. my husband found out the hard way when he took the slug out of a shot gun shell and shot it off at 1am. 15 minutes later he went out to walk the cats and he was surrounded by 8 policemen. needless to say he had to toss his Under Roos.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

I had problems with "vermin" eating my vegetable gardens last year, but tried "Shakeaway" (fox urine) and found that it works great! No more squirrels, rabbits, big black birds, rabbits, chipmunks or ground hogs! Yeah! I've now fenced and netted my vegetable gardens and sprinkled the Shakeaway, but something is now eating my marigolds, chrysanthemums and petunias to the ground!!! They eat the flowers, the leaves, the stems, leaving only a tiny stub to wither and die. I don't think it is the ground hog as I have not seen her for several weeks now. I didn't think anything would eat my flowers. BTW, I have an unprotected tomato plant and a pepper plant, which have not been bothered. Any clues??


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

My brother has a black lab mix female, and to date she has killed 38 documented woodchucks!! (3-4 years) We are being troubled with a woodchuck in our garden. I called and asked to borrow his dog and he gave me a live trap!! He said he may not get his dog back from me.. :) So we are trying apple, carrot and broccoli in the trap tonight.


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RE: Woodchucks and Groundhogs

My brother has a black lab mix female, and to date she has killed 38 documented woodchucks!! (3-4 years) We are being troubled with a woodchuck in our garden. I called and asked to borrow his dog and he gave me a live trap!! He said he may not get his dog back from me.. :) So we are trying apple, carrot and broccoli in the trap tonight.


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