Groundhogs

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Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, usually are viewed as a nuisance animal for homeowners and farmers. The major problems that they cause are the large holes they dig and the damage that occurs from this animal. Their holes can be 8-12 inches in size. This animal creates two, sometimes three holes, with a large tunnel system that runs from one hole to the next. They usually will have a large mound of dirt in front of the hole called a porch. Groundhogs use this to stand high to get a good view of their surroundings before making their move to venture around.  Most home owners deal with groundhogs denning under their porch or shed, and damaging their gardens. A den that is built next to a building or house can cause structural damage as their burrows can weaken foundation. Contrary to what most people believe, groundhogs will climb trees. 

If you are dealing with a nuisance groundhog on your property there are a few things you can try to prevent damage. Placing fencing around the garden or underneath your porch is a way to keep them out. However, groundhogs are good climbers and diggers. Fences should be at least 3 feet tall and made of heavy, thick wire such as hardware cloth. Burying the lower portion of the fence into the ground at least a foot should help to prevent them from digging underground.  Once a groundhog is present and living on your property, they are hard to get to move along. The best way to get rid of them is to physically remove them.

 

(courtesy of ODNR) 

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