How to Get Rid of Woodchucks

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Woodchucks, also known as whistle pigs or groundhogs, enjoy dining on grass and other herbaceous materials -- like your crop field or garden. They move into these areas and become increasingly difficult to get rid of once they've settled. Since they're not very social, live-trapping can be a good way to get rid of them. You can also try fencing or use deterrents such as scarecrows. Woodchucks are diurnal, searching out food during the day. They hibernate during the winter and a litter of two to four woodchucks is usually produced around March. The young leave to start their independent lives around mid-July.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire live-trap
  • Mesh fencing - at least 4-feet tall
  • Electric fence wiring
  • Scarecrows

Live-Trapping

  • Contact your local animal control agency and ask about the legality of trapping woodchucks. In some states, you may need a permit to trap them. Also ask about where to release the animal once you've caught it.

  • Find the active burrow of the woodchuck in question. Since they're diurnal, watch the affected area around dusk to see where they go.

  • Bait the wire trap with fruit or vegetables such as apple slices or carrots. Follow the instructions on the wire trap to know where to place the bait.

  • Place the trap near the entrance to the burrow at night. In the morning when the woodchuck is ready to forage, the trap should lure it in.

  • Check the trap frequently; it is inhumane to leave an animal in it to starve or become traumatized.

Fencing

  • Dig a trench at least 1-foot deep around your garden. The trench needs to be wide enough for you to work in the wire-mesh fence.

  • Install a wire-mesh fence around your garden or what the groundhog is eating. They are good climbers and excel at digging, so the fence you purchase should be 5-feet tall -- 3 to 4-feet above the ground with at least one foot buried below the ground.

  • Replace any soil around where the fence is buried.

  • Place an electric fence wire 4 to 5-inches above the ground around the perimeter of the fence for added protection.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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