Woodchucks (Marmota monax) are also known as one of the garden’s biggest marauders. Those burrows provide a safe place to retreat to when threatened by predators or humans. Consult your local and state guidelines to see if the Groundhog (or woodchuck) is a protected species in your location before applying control. These large rodents can get up to 2 feet long and can weigh up to 14 pounds. To prevent burrowing under the fence, bury the lower edge 10 to 12 inches below ground, o… This blog post is a summary of the laws as we read them; hence the following disclosure. When connected to a UL-approved fence charger, the electric wire will prevent climbing and burrowing. Common predators for groundhogs include wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, bears, large hawks, owls, and dogs. Groundhogs can be live-trapped using a cage trap baited with apples. In some situations, the Department wildlife biologist can provide instruction, equipment, and assistance. So the next step is to send them on their way. Inexpensive solutions include using scarecrows, ... Woodpeckers are protected by state and federal wildlife laws. Live traps can be purchased or rented; Havahart is a popular brand that makes several types and sizes of live traps. Groundhogs can be shot with conventional firearms, usually a rimfire. In captivity, groundhogs reportedly live up to 14 years. Shooting is quick, simple, and effective in areas where firearm discharge is safe and legal. Groundhogs like to dig holes in hill banks, rock walls, and under sidewalks. Traps are effective. Young groundhogs remain in the burrow for up to 6 weeks before venturing out to forage with their mother, growing quickly and rapidly accumulating body fat. Groundhogs do binge eating during the summer and put on a lot of weight to see them through the severe hibernation they follow. Damage Control. Fencing offers the only viable way to protect plants from woodchucks. Gas cartridges are filled with combustible materials that are ignited by lighting a fuse. Groundhog removal is a professional job. They do the same to pumpkins ruining farmers’ seasonal chance of selling them at Halloween. So that pretty little garden or that freshly mowed lawn, that is a free-for-all for groundhogs. If possible, flooding groundhog dens with water is also effective, as they do not like a wet den and will move on. The groundhog’s feeding and burrowing habits—such as in hay or crop fields, home gardens, orchards, and nurseries—can result in conflicts with property owners. Understanding the animals is the key to understanding why they harm your property, and finding the right service to help you get rid of the animals is the only way to live in peace with them. Place an electric wire 4 to 5 inches off the ground and the same distance outside the fence. In some instances, an electric wire alone, placed 4 to 5 inches above the ground, can deter groundhogs from entering gardens. What is the conflict of the short story sinigang by marby villaceran? Young groundhogs are often at risk for predation by snakes, which easily enter the burrow. There is no closed season or bag limit. Groundhogs weigh around 7-14 lbs and are around 25 inches in length, including the tail. But the groundhog takes his sleep more seriously than we do: The bristly herbivores are true hibernators, meaning they bulk up in the fall and sleep from roughly October to March. Groundhogs can’t stand the smell of garlic, so try placing cloves of it around their burrow entrance. The most effective control of nuisance woodchucks is to remove them. Punch five pencil-size holes in the end-cap of the cartridge. They produce carbon monoxide that accumulates in lethal amounts when confined within the burrow system. Mostly herbivorous, groundhogs primarily eat wild grasses and other vegetation, and berries and agricultural crops when available. As Certified Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operators in the State of Ohio, we’d like to help the public understand the regulations as they pertain to the removal of nuisance groundhogs (woodchucks). If you kill one, you face a lot of jail time! Free to residents of Missouri. Rather than drink water, they feed on leafy plant matter for getting water! Distribution and Habitat : Groundhogs are found in the eastern United States and throughout Canada. Given their habitat requirements, it is difficult to modify a property to discourage woodchucks. Remember that using more than one control method will give the most beneficial results. If you want to protect your compost from groundhogs, I use a compost tumbler which keeps my compost elevated and protected at all times! The newborn groundhog arrives blind and hairless, yet can mature enough in only three months to leave home in search of a site for its own burrow. Woodchucks are often found along the edges of forests and along rocky bluffs or ravines. Their body is covered with grizzled, grayish brown fur down its back. Taking groundhogs during the prescribed season can help control their numbers. Maintain your yard regularly and clean up piles of leaves, sticks, and wood. What was the Standard and Poors 500 index on December 31 2007? Groundhogs are considered a nuisance pest because they can cause extensive damage to home gardens, farms, orchards and field crops as a result of their feeding and burrowing habits. They will often build burrows underneath of porches, homes, and external structures. Identification . Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, spend the warmer months eating to build up the fat layers they need to survive a winter in hibernation. Gas cartridges, which are available at farm- and garden-supply stores, have proven to be effective. Garbage can covers, sand bags, or other suitable closing devices may be used instead of sod. Woodchuck damage is a common problem, but it can be controlled in a number of ways. When all other means of controlling groundhogs fail, cartridges of a poisonous gas mixture especially formulated for groundhog control are available online or at feed and seed stores.This measure of lethal control must be used with extreme caution, and is best reserved for use by commercial farmers with large fields of crops to protect. Groundhogs are no joke; when they find your garden, you can kiss your harvest goodbye unless you have a solid plan to protect yourself from them. Missouri's Groundhogs, A Guide to Nuisance Prevention and Damage Control. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Vegetation in the vicinity of any electric fence should be removed regularly to prevent the system from shorting out. In areas where hunting or shooting is not permissible due to local laws, the alternative is removal by live trapping. Understanding Groundhogs. There are few things more frustrating than to find the planting beds in your garden that you spent days preparing massacred by groundhogs. The key to animal prevention is understanding what is attracting that animal to your property. Groundhogs live in fields, pastures and gardens from Alabama to Alaska and burrow. The primary predators of groundhogs are hawks, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, dogs and humans. If you want to protect your compost from groundhogs, I use a compost tumbler which keeps my compost elevated and protected at all times! Trim back bushes and shrubs so that their leaves aren’t too low to the ground or thick. There are also other smells that they shy away from. Although groundhogs are slow runners, they scurry quickly to their dens when they sense danger. Keep your grass cut short. Rarely do they stray more than 150 feet from their burrows. Scott Walker has signed a bill setting up an open season on woodchucks. Properties with some slope to the land will be more likely to attract woodchucks than those that are relatively flat. Our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri--free to all residents. How do you put grass into a personification? Groundhogs and Ohio Law. On average, groundhogs measure 1 to 2.5 feet long and weigh 7 to 13 pounds, although they can potentially grow to be 24 inches (3 feet) long and weigh as much as 30 pounds when in an area with few predators. The bill removes groundhogs from the state's protected species list and calls on the state Department of Natural Resources to establish a year … Sometimes referred to as woodchucks or marmots, groundhogs are a type of rodent that causes massive damage to your garden and lawn. However, they also can be found in woodlands, on abandoned farms, and occasionally in suburban areas where the combination of food and cover provides satisfactory habitat. With a spade, cut a clump of sod slightly larger than the opening of the burrow and place it nearby. Woodchucks in the Garden. Woodchucks are not protected in South Carolina. This can become especially problematic as their burrows can weaken the foundations of structures. By law, the members include at least six naturalists, including at least two zoologists, two ecologists, and one botanist. Close or disable the trap at night to prevent non-target catches. Groundhogs are easily captured in live traps, which are essentially wire cages with a moving door that is triggered by a trip tray. While hibernating, a woodchuck’s body temperature can drop from about 99 degrees to as low as 37 (Humans go into mild hypothermia when their body temperature drops a mere 3 degrees, lose consciousness at 82 degrees and face … You can also try mixing diced garlic with water and spraying it directly on your plants to protect them. You can also place it around the plants and crops that you wish to protect, too. Each year groundhogs enjoy 15 minutes of fame—and then most people proceed to forget about them completely.