How to Get Rid of Groundhogs in New Jersey

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Groundhogs live in burrows, but can also swim and climb trees.
Groundhogs live in burrows, but can also swim and climb trees. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Groundhogs are rodents from the marmot family. They are harmless and are not known to carry disease, but groundhogs are voracious consumers of vegetables and plants. They can decimate a vegetable plot, especially in late summer and fall when they are eating to store food for winter hibernation. Poison poses a risk to pets and children, but there are several humane methods to deter or remove groundhogs from your garden. You can remove groundhogs in New Jersey using traps. Groundhogs can also be deterred with fences, repellent or pinwheels.

Things You'll Need

  • Groundhog trap
  • Latex gloves
  • Dish washing soap
  • Bait
  • Groundhog repellent
  • 1- to 3-inch chicken wire fencing
  • Epsom salts
  • 1 cup castor oil
  • 2 cups soap oil
  • 1 1/4 cups hot sauce
  • 1/4 shot glass of human urine

Buy or borrow a groundhog trap. Wash the trap with a unscented dish soap and wear latex gloves while handling the cage to minimize scent. Place the trap in a high-traffic area and bait with vegetables. Start by leaving the bait near the entrance to the trap and then move it farther inside over the course of three or four days. Set the trap. Once the groundhog is secured, move it to a woody location and set it free.

Erect a fence around your garden. Use 1- to 3-inch chicken wire to create a fence that is between 12 and 18 inches below the ground and about 2 foot above the ground. Since groundhogs are burrowing animals, the deeper you bury the fence, the better.

Sprinkle groundhog repellent near the burrow and around your vegetable patch. There are several grain repellents on the market, but there is little scientific evidence of their effectiveness.

Place pinwheels around the perimeter of your garden and near the entrance to the groundhog burrow. Pinwheels will create movement, noise and vibration that will disturb groundhogs and drive them from your garden.

Sprinkle Epsom salts near the burrow or on plants that are being eaten. You can also mix 1 cup castor oil, 2 cups oil soap, 1 1/4 cups of hot sauce and 1/4 shot glass of human urine. Mix a teaspoon of the solution with 1 gallon of water. Spray the area around burrows or your vegetable patch to deter groundhogs.

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