Pests: Groundhog help

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

My back yard is fenced in and a groundhog keeps getting in and eating the coleus and tomatoes. We found where it was getting in under the fence and put wood and rocks there but it's getting in some other way. I went to the hardware store and of course he recommended a gun. I can't aim a camera so I don't think anyone wants me to have a gun. I've only seen it twice, once in the road. I tried to run it over, but I haven't had much practice running things over. I think it's living under my neighbor's shed. the guy at the hardware store suggested putting Juicy Fruit gum out - it messes up their stomachs. I don't normally feel this outraged about an animal but it keeps going in the tomato bed and taking one bite out of 6 tomatoes. I would make it a tomato sandwich if he'd leave the rest of them alone. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

Maybe look into a "Have-a-Heart" trap. You might be able to rent one from a farm supply place, humane society or somewhere.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

That was my suggestion also poppysue. Or maybe the local animal control folks will loan you one.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Thank you both. I'll start asking around.

Temple, GA(Zone 7b)

I have been told that itf you plant Castor Beans it will keep them away, becuz they can't stand being around it. Try it, it just may work!!!!!!!!

Thanks,Traci

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Traci, I don't know where I can plant them but I think I'll give it a try. thanks.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Since you don't want to use guns, try large firecrackers thrown into the tunnel where you are sure it is. The sound will likely give them conccusions which will probably lead to their death in a day or two.
The juicy fruit gum trick is really very unrealistic. Just as we can digest bubble gum in three days or less(no,it doesn't take 7 years as we have been told since childhood)gum will go thru animals digestive tracts in the normal time.
I suggest putting chicken wire down around the perimeter of your side of the fence. It needent be a really wide strip, a foot or so will do. Most animals don't like to walk on loose wire because their feet get tangled in it.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

My Father just picked up some wire fencing that isn't very wide at a yard sale for free. Maybe we'll try that. The groundhog is living under my neighbor's shed so I wouldn't throw anything under there. Thanks for the suggestions leaflady.

Hanover, PA(Zone 6a)

my dad used to pour gas down the hole and light it till he put to much down one time and it shook the house. after that my step mother told him he was not allowed to do it any more

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

They always have another exit. You have to find both exits to kill them in their burrows.

Mason, MI

Elsie,
Read more here:
http://davesgarden.com/t/136037/
We have a terrible time with groundhog/woodchucks here.
Just when we think: "Hey, no more woodchucks!" they're back.
They can do so much damage to buildings and their foundations, it's not funny.
We currently have a live trap set up by the most frequently used "exit hole", but no takers yet.
MaVie's link was a good one, it showed a diagram of their holes.
You do need to find both of them.
I think this is the current link to that diagram of MaVie's.
http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/nathis/mammals/woodchuck/
Good luck to you.
OD

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

OD, did the mothballs help? I tried mothballs under my sheds. the groundhogs here are living under some sheds. They have two entrances, but I can't do anything to my neighbors shed. We still haven't found how they're getting into the back yard. I haven't noticed any damage lately, I wonder if they've started hibernating.

Mason, MI

They (the mothballs)
don't seem to have made any difference.
We were sure hoping that they would.
I know that if you can find both of the 'chuck's holes,
there are some gas-bombs that you light, throw down their holes, then cover both holes w/heavy rocks.
Our 'chucks (around mid-Michigan)
don't start hibernating until really late in the Fall.
Last year they were still active here well into Novemeber.
Most folks suggest getting a big dog.
Our neighbors have a huge "woodchuck-hunting" dog.
He brings the woodchucks right up to their door (for display) just like a cat would a mouse.
'Goofy dog! :-)
I'm tempted to rent that dog for a few days, if I could!

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

I'd like to rent that dog myself. I can't use any of the bombs because they've made their home under my neighbor's shed. Have you asked your neighbor about bringing the dog over. You never know - keep the dog in woodchuck fighting shape. I think next spring I'm going to get a trap.

Villa Rica, GA(Zone 7a)

I have never heard of the Castor bean being used to detour them...now I know the beans are good for Moles and Voles but that one is new to me! If you think that maybe putting some beans in the holes will help..I have plenty of seeds to share just let me know!
Good luck catching that little monster!

Hanover, PA(Zone 6a)

not the beans, the plants, the roots put stuff in the soil that irritate there eyes

Alfred, ON(Zone 4b)

We had some in the barn where we keep the hay.
My DH soaked some old shirts in amonia and put it in the hole and closed them all up.

they moved out of the barn and went where we did our septic system, we did the amonia thing a few times and now since about two weeks the hole is still covered. And no sign of them :)

Villa Rica, GA(Zone 7a)

Sounds like you figured out a new trick!! I'll have to remember that if I ever have this problem!!
Good idea!!

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

I'll have to try the ammonia in the spring. thanks

Alfred, ON(Zone 4b)

you are welcome,

hope it helps for you to.

Go buy some "Good Ol' Caster Oil" and mix it with equal parts water and a little dish soap. Put it in a sprayer (the kind you attach to your garden hose) and spray the area.

Your neighbors will hate you, but the ground hogs and the moles may just go next door!



Maceo, KY

Something is digging up newly-planted shrubs or other small plants in my garden. It recently dug up 2 1-gal yews and chewed/tore off the roots. Now it is going after a 6-foot magnolia. It seems to be after something in the potting medium, I think. I live in the country (in Kentucky), so there are lots of varmints to suspect. I tried sprinkling moth balls around the plants, with no luck. Any ideas on how to stop this critter?

Temple, GA(Zone 7b)

Ya'll should just try planting Castor Beans and see what happens. I'd plant them all around the garden and fence area. That is where Castor Oil comes fron anyway. It couldn't hurt ti try.

Thanks and Good Luck!
Traci S

Franklin, MI(Zone 6a)

Newby here! Just wanted to add my 2 cents to the ground hog thread.
I live in a subdivision north of Deeeetroit (lol), and have more critters in my yard than country folks!
I fought the 'hogs for years! They ate everything I planted! Tomatoes, clipped the flowers off my Tulips, chomped all my parsley growing in pots on my deck, new rose canes...well, you get the picture.
I tried fencing of all kinds, buried, unburied, chicken wire, critter fencing...no luck. Tried Havaheart traps, no luck...The 'hogs climbed over the fences! Even put double fences up! I used Fox, Bobcat, and Cougar urine! I tried to get my DH to "tinkle" in the back yard! (no luck there either) LOL
The 'Sub has a leash law, so no dogs to chase them away. NOW..this spring I haven't seen them, BUT I have found HUGE bird poop on my deck...hummmmm, I think I have an Owl or Falcon night feeding! My rabbit population has dwindled too!
I have lived in this house for 7 years now, and this is the first year the 'hogs haven't destroyed anything. So, I guess patience and praying for a predator is the only GOOD advice I can give!

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

bumping this in hopes of bringing new life to the issue.

I've been fighting groundhogs in my garden for a couple years; we've caught and relocated some with have-a-hart traps, but then others take up residence. I think that there might be one hibernating in my compost pile right now. The ammonia method hasn't been particularly useful to me... *sigh* I'd really like to harvest some vegetables this year, rather than feeding that silly varmint.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Don't know how I stumbled on this, but got such a kick out of these stories. Many years ago, when we first had our place in the country, our garden was regularly raided by a mystery beast. Early one morning I looked out of the window and, low and behold, a "baby bear" was waddling off with produce. Well my husband, who is originally from MA set me straight and told me that I was seeing a ground hog. Who would know? I grew up on Miami Beach!
After many years of being happily dug in to the side of a bank below the garden he/she left. Perhaps it got tired of being harassed by three dogs. Carefully weigh feeding one hog or three big dogs. Then add in the hair, vet bills, flea/tick/heartworm treatments. I should mention here that one of the dogs is fond of tomatoes and another has a passion for digging up anything on a vine. In retrospect I should have just planted extra veggies for the hog.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

shoot 'em. They're delicious.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I don't own a gun unless a rusty, found Red Ryder bb gun counts.. You shoot one (or more), bring them on over (you're not that far away) and I'll cook them into something fabulous! Deal? BTW, I'll help clean them. I'm great at butchering so don't want to sound like I won't pull my weight here. Just put your gun where your mouth is.
Laurel

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Hi, It's been awhile since this post. Elsie and the rest of you, have you had any luck getting rid of the woodchuck? We have a huge, fat one that feeds off of our compost pile at the edge of the woods. We had very little vegetable produce this summer due to the woodchuck. We planted green beans three times. We finally had a couple of pickings in the fall. We put chicken wire vertically around the small raised bed for the gbeans which we hadn't done in the spring before we knew what/who we were dealing with. We also put wire up around our squash plants in a raised bed but didn't get one single squash this summer-planted three kinds. We put our tomatoes in homemade 8' tomato cages so didn't have trouble there.
I saw "our" wchuck happily eating on the pumpkin meat from hollowing one out for Halloween just yesterday.
We do have castor bean seeds (lots) and we do know where both entrances are. Now is not a good time for firecrackers and he will eat a lot of stuff before the fourth of July next summer. I do have ammonia. I hate to be so mean, but we didn't get much produce. We set a trap-the same kind you use for coons, but was unsuccessful. I think we still have time to eradicate him before hibernation.
Please tell me if any thing has worked for you.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

A good fence and dogs seems to be the only cure. We're dealing with voles tunneling through the Fall vegetable garden for grubs but have not had a groundhog problem in several years. I do have a minor turtle problem. Thinking they were very cute I didn't realize they were the culprits munching on the cabbages and boring holes in the melons. How can you be mean to a turtle?

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Wow I didn't know this was a classic thread. Birder17, I ended up buying a groundhog trap. I baited it with tomatoes and caught two. I relocated them and didn't see any for years. This year I saw one but it didn't stick around - I had such a horrible veggie garden that I guess they went elsewhere.

My backyard is still fenced and they still get in - they just climb over it...or fly.

Good luck with the critters.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

shoot him, eat him, delicious. Or get someone who hunts to shoot him.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

woodspirit. I live in the city limits--not allowed to shoot.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

oh, well ask your state Wildlife people.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

I read an article that said to put straw over the entrance to the woodchuck hole. When the straw has not been disturbed for five days in a row then you can fill in the hole. If you keep doing that then they will eventually move to another location. If you are going to do this then I would start now because sometime in Oct here they start moving into winter denning locations.

We have fences around produce in raised beds. Fencing that has worked so far is (1) what is partially buried in the ground and then goes past the height of the fence post and (2) a totally enclosed bed with fencing on frame that is "latched" into the raised bed framework. Individual plant cages seem to work if they are tall and narrow. We used plastic tire wraps for a while to hold the fencing in place on teh frames. One of the woodchucks learned to tug on the fencing until the plastic tie wraps broke. We since changed to metal tire wraps or wire instead.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Well, we finally got rid of the woodchucks. We set a big trap with carrots in it. We caught one, hauled it off to the national park. We thought, man, we're glad that's over. The very next morning, there was another one out there. So, we caught it the next night, hauled it off. We haven't seen any more, thank goodness!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

At least hauling woodchucks is not as strenuous as hauling wood. Hopefully peace will reign in your garden now that you are chuckless.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, "chuckless" :( Yeah!

BTW, what did you do about the voles?

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We stuck blackberry canes in the tunnels but the dogs were crazy wild about getting into the garden to dig them out. What a mess! We could watch the dogs scenting voles as they moved through the tunnels, then pounce and dig. Most of the voles either calmed down or went down by Summer. I'm not sure which. It seems Spring is a particularly active time for them. The latest problem varmint is a rabbit I caught hurrying off through a fence hole yesterday. It has been dining on beet greens and cabbage. I have concerns for the Fall greens. Things might be worse but we have a pear tree with many pears falling that, by the mounds of pellets, seem to be keeping the rabbit distracted.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Someone on the Central Mid-west Gardening Forum was wondering what to do with voles. I think they only have a cat.

My folks had pear trees. They would wrap each pear in newspaper to preserve them.

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