Groundhogs or Woodchucks are members of the squirrel family, daytime forager, compact chunky body with short legs. They burrow so look for their well-adapted curved claws. Like other rodents, Ground hog or Woodchucks have yellow-white, chisel-like incisor teeth. Adults grow to between 16 to 20 inches in length and they weigh between 5 to 10 pounds. A Groundhog or Woodchuck's body is covered in a grizzled gray-brown colored fur.
Are they dangerous?
Groundhogs or Woodchucks are occasionally aggressive but only "bluff" charge and prefer to flee from people. It's rare but Groundhogs or Woodchucks can become infected with Rabies, tularemia and hepatitis. Several ectoparasites, like ticks carrying diseases, infest Groundhogs or Woodchucks.
Groundhogs or Woodchucks burrow under homes, barns, sidewalks, pools and can undermine foundations. They could gnaw of wood, pipes and wires. Horse riders need to be aware of their den holes. Active during the day and never straying more than 50 to 150 feet from their dens. The holes of dens average 10 to 12 inches in diameter with an excavated "porch" at the front entrance. Their scat is underground, so activity can be gauged mainly through daytime activity (mainly morning and evenings) as the Groundhog or Woodchuck is foraging on grasses and roots.
Why are they in my home?
Groundhogs or Woodchucks may burrow along the side of a home or barn or freestanding structure after first being attracted to food and water sources that are found on your property.
How do you get rid of them?
Semi buried 3-foot-high fences with an overhang may keep Groundhogs or Woodchucks away from food sources. Having a dog helps deter these guys but make sure the dog has a healthy respect for those sharp large incisors. Most likely, traps will need be implemented to control the damage these guys can cause. Burrows not inhabited any longer by Groundhogs or Woodchucks provide a great new home for rabbits, weasels and other wildlife. Call us to get the job done right. Follow up visits on these guys are required to ensure no further habitation of Groundhog or Woodchuck at old dens and any other unwanted skunks, weasels, raccoons, etc.