How to Get Rid of Aggressive Woodchucks AKA Groundhogs in Your West Chester, PA Yard
On February 2nd, Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which a German legend states means we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Another name for groundhog is a woodchuck. Woodchucks are rodents that are sometimes called a mouse bear because they look like a miniature bear when they sit upright. We can love and hate woodchucks at the same time. They can make us happy in predicting an early spring and aggravate us as they make meals out of our garden vegetables. They get most of the water they need from the plants they eat that include wild grasses and other vegetation. They will also eat grubs, snails and other insects making our gardens a smorgasbord!
Woodchuck Identification Facts
Woodchucks range in size up to three feet long including its tail and weigh 4 to 14 pounds. They are good at digging with short, powerful limbs and curved thick claws. They have two coats of fur, a dense gray undercoat and a longer coat made up of banded guard hairs that give groundhogs their distinctive “frosted” look. Woodchucks can cause a great deal of damage in a short amount of time as they dine on your vegetables and create mounds that damage lawn equipment when they’re run over. The tunnels and burrows of woodchucks will stress gardeners out. These tunnels are used to sleep, raise their young and for hibernation. They may be hibernating right now but in late February they will become active again when male woodchucks are in search of females. If woodchucks are cornered or feel threatened they can become aggressive towards people and pets.
How to Keep Woodchucks Out of Your Yard
We can live in harmony with woodchucks by taking a few simple measures, but if you want them gone entirely, you’ll have to figure out how they became a problem in the first place. Sometimes putting up a simple fix is enough to keep them away. Eviction and exclusion are the best methods in dealing with woodchucks. This can be done by making life difficult for them and disrupting their burrow system. It’s important to keep in mind that female woodchucks are most likely taking care of young inside their burrows from later winter till spring or early summer. Female woodchucks will put up with a lot to protect her young. Burrows can be closed but test for activity by loosely plugging any entrances. You can use crumpled newspaper or grass clippings to figure out if they are being used. You can use heavy-gauge, welded fencing to close the burrows off, making sure the squares in the fencing aren’t larger than three inches. You can deter them by sprinkling ground black pepper, blood meal or talcum powder along the perimeter of your garden and they don’t like the smell of hot peppers and garlic either. Taking urine-saturated cat litter and placing it at the entrance of the burrow while loosely sealing the entrances to keep the smell in the burrow can be effective too. Fumigation methods work best when there are several groundhogs in a den. Trapping woodchucks and taking them far away from your property will prevent them from returning.
If you see woodchucks on your property without any damage you can leave them be, but if you’d rather not have them around, you can contact Pest Control Technicians, Inc. to come up with an effective solution.
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