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Although groundhogs typically aren't threatening to humans or other animals, they can become a nuisance. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are capable of creating damage by digging. If a groundhog has taken up residence around your home or a building on your property, it could damage the structure by digging underneath it. Often, the most reliable method of getting rid of the groundhog is trapping. Trapping is a humane way to contain the groundhog until you can find it a new home.
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Obtain a trapping device intended for groundhogs. Depending on where you live, your local animal control may be able to provide you with a trap. If not, visit a pet or wildlife store to obtain the trap. Two types of traps are typically available. One style is only open on one end, whereas another style is open on both ends. The first style may be easier to use as its trigger mechanism isn't as sensitive as the open-ended trap's. In addition, it is often easier to set up.
Place the trap right outside of the groundhog's den. Find the groundhog's den by looking for a hole near the area in which the groundhog has digging. A pile of dirt will likely be found near the hole.
Place bait around and inside the trap. Groundhogs are fond of okra leaves, carrot tops, cabbage and leafy greens. Place a small amount of the bait just outside the trap so that the groundhog will eat a bit, and then enter the trap for more. Set the remaining amount of bait far enough inside the cage so that the groundhog has to be totally inside to eat the rest.
Set the trap by raising the trap door. Hook the latch on the floor panel trigger so that when the groundhog steps on the floor, the door will shut. Although many traps are set in this manner, your trap may have a different process. Other types of traps are set simply by pulling a wire out of the top of the trap and clasping the wire to the trigger.
Handle the groundhog as recommended by your state once it has been trapped. Some states allow you to relocate the animal, whereas others recommend euthanasia. Depending on where you live, you may be able to euthanize the groundhog yourself. Some states consider groundhogs game animals and allow those with permits to shoot them. Contact your state's Department of Natural Resources for information about what to do with your trapped groundhog.
Place apples or carrots inside plastic film canisters and place them in the trap. Some animals become stressed when trapped and will attempt to chew and destroy the trap to get out. Providing the animal with something to chew on, such as the canisters, may calm it down and make the experience a little less stressful.