Woodchucks (also known as groundhogs) are common suburban mammals. They can be very destructive to your plants. The woodchucks’ reputation as spring harbingers is an amusing distraction for winter-weary gardeners. This is however the end of their novelty.

Woodchucks are considered one of the largest garden marauders. It can be difficult to protect crops against these pests. These varmints can be eliminated from vegetable gardens and flowerbeds by any quick fix. This includes turning the garden hose on woodchuck holes and tossing in laxatives. The result is often the same. Woodchucks continue to destroy your garden one by one. However, persistence and careful planning will increase your chances to repel.

What can you do to help woodchucks? What can we do to control woodchucks? Once you have a better understanding of their habits, you will be able to determine your options for protecting your garden. The success of your garden will depend on how you apply your knowledge to the best use of your resources. 

Table of Contents

Fencing

Garden hog Fence is very easy to construct with traditional fencing. The fence should be at least three feet tall and constructed of tightly wound wire mesh like chicken wire. It should be buried in the ground for at least one foot. Another option is to angle out a section from the underground fencing to make an L shape. This will discourage woodchucks and keep them from digging under them. To deter brave climbers, curve the fence’s top outward. However, be aware that any weakness such as a swinging fence can be found and broken by opportunistic woodchucks. 

Electrified fences provide better protection than traditional fencing and only require two conductors. They are usually placed at 4 to 6 inches above the ground and can be used up to 8 inches above it. This design allows easy access to the garden. It doesn’t affect the garden’s aesthetics. Both solar-powered and battery chargers are easily portable. 

The advantage of electric fencing is its ability to be set up to protect a variety of garden invaders like deer and raccoons. It also requires very little maintenance. It is important to warn children about the unpleasant consequences of touching an electric fence. Pets learn quickly how to train themselves.

You should not assume that any problem fixed this year, or even in the next month, will eradicate woodchucks from your garden. Other woodchucks may try to enter your garden and take over or move into your vacant territory. Be alert. 

Chemical agents

Mammalian pest deterrents are a very popular method of controlling them. Woodchucks can be repelled by predator urines. Their effectiveness is diminished by rain and garden irrigation. However, garden irrigation and rain can reduce their effectiveness. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved only one woodchuck repellent or poison.

Trapping

Catching woodchucks alive can prove to be a great way to capture them. Woodchucks can be trapped in cages that are placed along their paths or close to their holes. Once baited, they will continue their work. The only thing you need to do is make sure that the traps are being maintained. 

Woodchucks only become active at night. By closing the traps after dark, you can reduce the chance of domestic cats and skunks being captured. If this should occur, non-target animals are usually released from the traps unscathed. 

Woodchuck baits are made from apple slices or other succulent fruits. The trap should be placed in the shade as woodchucks are sensitive and can become ill from heat exhaustion. Prepare for disposal before you capture animals. There are two options for humane disposal: chemical injection by a skilled professional or shooting. Drowning and using exhaust from an automobile is no longer considered humane. This can cause animals undue stress, pain, and even death. 

You should be aware that wild animals can be trans located if you intend to release the woodchuck. There are many issues to consider, including liability for damage caused by someone else’s property or transmission of zoonotic diseases like rabies. It is illegal in certain areas for private citizens or groups to transport wild animals for release from one area. Check your local laws. 

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