groundhogs Archives - Pest End

Category: groundhogs

Wildlife Woes

Summer is a great time to watch the wildlife around your home. Each creature has its place in the ecosystem and plays its part in adding to it. Unfortunately, some wildlife can get too close or cause damage when they enter your property. From dumping garbage barrels to digging up gardens, wildlife can be a real problem when they stray too close to human habitats. Here are a few tips to keep the wildlife at bay this summer while still allowing the ecosystem to flourish.

  • Bunnies or deer in your garden? Fencing can be a real help when it comes to keeping out these wildlife. Make your garden and yard less attractive to wildlife by making smart planting choices and talking to your lawn professionals about good landscape design.
  • Bird feeders can attract squirrels, bears, and raccoons. Hang bird feeders where only birds can reach them. Store bird seed inside your home or in a locking metal bin that can not be opened by even the most clever of raccoons.
  • Trash barrels can be tempting to all sorts of wildlife including skunks, raccoons, and squirrels. Keep your garbage in a can with a tight-fitting lid that cannot be opened by animals.
  • Treat your yard for grubs and other pests that attract animals such as skunks and raccoons. The digging and lawn damage can be extensive if they find an infestation of grubs. You can identify skunk damage as small holes the size of a quarter to a half dollar. Raccoon damage can be recognized as large chunks of turf torn apart and strewn about.
  • Moles can damage underground piping and irrigation systems. Be on the lookout for tunnels and holes with mounds of dirt at the opening.
  • Groundhogs (aka woodchucks) like to eat flowers, shrubs, and yard and garden vegetation. They also dig large tunnels under decks, sheds, and hillsides.  The burrow entrances are usually soccer ball to basketball size.

 

Do you have a wildlife woe at your home? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321, or visit our website for information about these pests.

Groundhogs / Woodchucks

How much wood,

would a woodchuck chuck,

if a woodchuck

could chuck wood?

 

We all remember this childhood tongue-twister that included a cute rhyme about woodchucks. You may also celebrate or demonize groundhogs once annually as the critter either sees his shadow or not!  These harmless rituals and tongue twisters can be fun, but you know what isn’t fun about groundhogs, AKA Woodchucks? Finding one living either in or around your property. Here are some facts about groundhogs that can help you get to know these very large rodents:

 

  • Groundhogs are large rodents known for their burrowing habits and destructive behavior.
  • Groundhogs are found in the majority of central and eastern United States, as well as in parts of Alaska and Canada.
  • The average size of a groundhog is 20″ long with 6-7″ tail, and weighs 6-12 lbs.
  • The average lifespan in the wild is 3-6 years, so if you have one in your yard don’t put off having it taken care of.
  • Identifying features of these critters include: brown fur; round body with a small bushy tail; short, strong legs with curved claws for burrowing; small, round eyes and ears located on the top of a flat head; two long, ever-growing incisors.
  • Groundhogs eat approximately 1/3 of their weight in vegetation each day. That means they may be feasting in your garden, trash, or plantings. They can be a real pain if not removed.
  • Groundhog burrowing can pose a serious threat to agricultural and residential developments, which is why it’s important to identify groundhog damage early. Damage can include: holes in your lawn, garden, crops; chewed tubing of irrigation systems, and weakened building foundations due to an intruding burrow.

 

If you suspect a groundhog is wreaking havoc in your yard, call Pest-End Exterminators at 603-382-9644 or 978-794-4321 to inspect and deal with your critter problem.

Groundhogs/Woodchucks

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck, wood?

We probably all remember this tongue twister from our childhood and thought nothing more about these furry cute creatures. Chances are that if you have seen a woodchuck, otherwise known as groundhogs or whistle pigs, you may have just enjoyed watching it in its natural environment. But what if a groundhog has made its burrow in your yard near your garden? They are not as cute then, are they?  Here is some helpful information about these prolific diggers that will help you prevent them from finding refuge in your yard or garden as well as some warnings about the damage this creature can do.

 

Identifying Groundhogs

Groundhogs are stocky mammals with strong, short legs and short bushy tails. Their fur ranges from dark to light brown with very light guard hairs, making them sometimes look frosted. Their front feet have long, curved claws used for digging burrows. Groundhogs generally weigh between five and ten pounds, and males are usually slightly larger than females.

 

Damage

Groundhogs can cause major damage to farmers and home gardeners. They love to eat vegetables and leave the soil weak in areas where they burrow, resulting in damage to farm equipment and injuries to horses and livestock. In extreme cases, groundhog burrows have even been known to damage the foundations of barns, garages, or homes. In addition to physical damage, disease is also an issue that comes with groundhogs. Rabies can also be a concern for people who have groundhogs on their property. They are mammals, making them susceptible to the disease. (Source: Farmers Almanac)

Prevention and Solutions:

Groundhogs don’t tend to stray too far from their burrow and tunnels so shutting them out from their homes is one prevention technique. For example, using fences and netting that can shut these creature out from their homes may encourage them to find a new place away from your dwelling. Unfortunately, solutions are best if taken on by a professional like Pest-End Exterminators. Live trapping a relocation should not be done by an amateur. Call us if you have a groundhog problem and are looking for a safe, professional and expert solution.

Groundhog Issues

We have all heard the cute childhood tongue twister, “How much wood would a woodchuck, chuck, if a woodchuck, could chuck wood?”  Well, these woodchucks, also called groundhogs are no child’s matter if they burrow near or under your home and cause damage through their destructive behaviors.  Let’s take a closer look at these ground-dwelling rodents, how they can cause damage and what to do about them if you suspect they are damaging your property.

Identifying Groundhogs – Identifying features of groundhogs include:  brown fur, round body with a small bushy tail, short, strong legs with curved claws for burrowing, small, round eyes and ears located on the top of a flat head and  two long, ever-growing incisors.

Groundhog Behavior – These critters are diurnal meaning they come out during the day and sleep at night.  Groundhogs eat approximately 1/3 of their weight in vegetation each day. Although they are considered herbivores, they sometimes eat insects (less than 1% of the time). In the summer and fall groundhogs increase their consumption to accumulate fat reserves, which they use to survive through their winter hibernation period. Groundhogs spend most of their time underground in complex burrow systems, which they dig in dry, well-drained soil. Most of the time groundhogs dig their burrows in areas with nearby cover such as fencerows, hedgerows, beside structures, home foundations or trees. This is where you may discover they have found their way into a safe place under your shed, home, garage or foundation.

Damage – The primary problem encountered with groundhogs involves their propensity to dig. They can and do move a lot of dirt, and when this digging occurs near a human structure, such as under a concrete deck, the absence of supporting dirt can lead to a vulnerable foundation prone to cracking. The secondary concern is the groundhog’s appetite, and the damage it can cause to crops. Some signs of damage include:

  • wide teeth marks on wood, plantings, and the lower branches of trees
  • mounds of soil outside a burrow entrance
  • deep holes in the ground or lawn
  • damaged or hollowed out crops
  • weakened building foundation (a sign of an intruding burrow)
  • chewed tubing, wires or irrigation systems
  • groundhog tracks: five toes on the front foot and four on the back; generally profound claw markings

Removal of the Critters – There is no magical spray or device that will get rid of these ground diggers.  Your best bet is to contact a professional pest management company like Pest-End or Pro-Tech and have them take care of the problem for you before it becomes more than just a nuisance.

Groundhog Issues

Groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) are the celebrity members of the rodent family.  These meteorologically savvy critters keep thousands of Americans sitting on the edge of their seats awaiting their debut every February 2nd.  The sight of their shadow as a weather predictor makes them either a villain or a hero.  While weather fans happily await the arrival of the groundhog, the average homeowner feels quite differently if this celebrity shows up in their backyard.  Let’s look at this legendary rodent and see how its appearance in your life can be much more of a headache than six more weeks of winter.

Groundhog 101

Groundhogs are ground-dwelling herbivores that are extremely common in North America.  THey are prolific diggers, with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws. Groundhogs dig large, complex, interconnecting burrows. Homeowners may notice mounds of dirt or dug up areas around the yard.  Groundhogs love places that are sheltered like under: sheds, decks, porches, patios, or raised garden beds to name a few.  They are true hibernators, meaning they bulk up in the fall and sleep from roughly October to late February. While the groundhog will occasionally snack on a grub or other smallish insect, for the most part they rely on grasses, fruits and nuts to give them a rich fat reserve that will last through the coldest months of winter.

The Problem

Wildlife experts at the Humane Society of the United States states that, “The primary problem encountered with groundhogs involves their propensity to dig. They can and do move a lot of dirt, and when this digging occurs near a human structure, such as under a concrete deck, the absence of supporting dirt can lead to a vulnerable foundation prone to cracking. The secondary concern is the groundhog’s appetite, and the damage it can cause to crops.  Many people wish to remove this animal before their garden is destroyed.”

The Solution

For many homeowners their first instinct is to fill in the holes or spray them down with repellant in the hopes that the groundhogs will move on to another area.  This is both a dangerous endeavor and one that will lead to frustration.  Groundhogs are very defensive of their burrows and could possibly bite or attack if they feel that they are under attack.  Sealing the exits to the burrow won’t work either, as these animals are natural burrowers that will dig out another exit without any fuss at all. The best solution is to contact a pest removal company that is trained and experienced in humanely trapping and relocating these critters to a better environment for them and you.