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Should You Trap and Relocate a Groundhog to Prevent Property Damage?

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are a common sight in many parts of the United States. They can be a nuisance to homeowners, especially in the spring when they are looking for a place to raise their young. Although "nuisance" might not have been your first thought to describe them.

They are among the "cute" and furry creatures we are all fans of. It might even be a pleasant surprise to find that a groundhog has become a frequent visitor to your yard. Besides, it's just a groundhog, what harm could it actually do? It's difficult to visualize a little groundhog being destructive.

Here's why you should reconsider that!

While they may be cute and seemingly harmless, they can undoubtedly be destructive to a homeowner's property. Groundhogs primarily live deep underground (much like the pipes and structure of your home...)

Unlike most mammals that commonly dig for food and shelter, groundhogs are capable of creating underground networks of tunnels. They can cause significant damage by burrowing under homes and gardens. They can also damage fences, sheds, and other structures on your property. If you have a groundhog problem, you may want to consider using a live animal cage trap to remove them from your property.

Are Groundhogs a Threat?

When deciding whether or not to trap a groundhog, you should consider the potential damage they could do to your property.

Groundhogs are homebodies. So, when they've chosen a place they're comfortable with, they typically don't leave on their own unless their food source is removed or you relocate the animal yourself. You are probably seeing the same one in your yard each day. However, this is not something you should allow to go on for very long.

What Damage is a Groundhog Capable of?

  • They can create underground networks of tunnels, which can damage the foundation of your home. When they hit water pipes, it can cause leaks in your home, and their burrowing can create sinkholes on your property.
  • They can burrow under homes and gardens, causing significant damage. They dig up plants and destroy gardens.
  • They can damage fences, sheds, and other structures on your property. Remember that they are primarily diggers, so their claws are more powerful than we give them credit for.

 

How to Trap and Relocate a Groundhog

Groundhogs are not a protected or endangered species; they are very common in the United States. They are not aggressive creatures, but there are many good reasons you don't want to see them digging around your yard. It's an inexpensive and effortless method to preventing structural damage to your home. Imagine the cost of repairing damaged drain pipes and foundations?

It's completely safe and humane to capture and relocate a groundhog. It typically takes no more than two hours, and if you have the time, it is seriously worth going out of your way. When you notice the same groundhog in your yard every day, you should not let him dig there for long.

Trap & Bait the Animal Cage Trap

The first thing you'll need to trap a groundhog is a live animal cage trap in a size that is suitable for them. This LifeSupplyUSA live animal cage trap is sized 32" x 10" x 12" for groundhogs. Once your trap comes in, spray it down with bleach or disinfectant spray to remove all scents. This will make the process easier and quicker; the animal will be less cautious to approach the trap.

Next, you'll need to use proper bait for a groundhog. Some good bait options for groundhogs are:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Insects

 

Note: You should avoid using bait such as peanut butter or cat food, which will attract other animals that you don't want to trap.

Relocation with Animal Cage Trap 

Once you've baited the trap, be sure to check it every hour. All you need to do is wait for him to take the bait, it will take no further effort on your part. It shouldn't take too long considering the groundhog is living on the property, and the bait is posed as an easy source of food.

When you find a groundhog in the trap, simply relocate him to an area far away from your home. You'll want to drop him off in a clearing that is about 2-5 miles away.

Should You Trap and Relocate a Groundhog with Babies?

If you find a groundhog on your property, it's important to consider if there are babies involved. Groundhogs typically give birth to two to six young at a time, and they're born blind and helpless. The mother will care for them for about six weeks until they're independent. Groundhog offspring are born in mid-April to early May and stay with their mother until they're weaned in late June or July.

If you find a groundhog on your property and there is the potential that there are babies involved, the best thing to do would be to wait and see if the mother moves them.

However, if you find a groundhog on your property and there is no potential that there are babies involved, you can go ahead and trap and relocate the animal right away. This would be any month outside the timeframe of April through June.

How to Know if a Groundhog Has Babies

You should not trap and relocate a groundhog with babies. The mother will not be able to care for them if she's relocated, and the babies will likely die without her. If you find a groundhog on your property with babies, the best thing to do is wait until they're independent before trapping and relocating the mother.

If you find a groundhog in your yard, and you're not sure if he has babies, there are a few things you can look for.

  1. Look for small holes in the ground that are about two inches wide. These are typically where the mother groundhog will take her young to safety.
  2. Listen for high-pitched squealing sounds coming from the ground. This is another sign that there are babies present.
  3. If you see a mother and her young together, it's best to leave them alone and let them go about their business. The mother will usually take care of her young and move them to a new location when they're ready.

 

Cute, Cuddly, and Destructive

There are many good reasons to trap and relocate a groundhog. They can be destructive to your property, and they're a common animal in the United States. It's an inexpensive and effortless method to preventing structural damage to your home.

The best time to trap a groundhog is in the late spring or early summer when they're looking for food. Once you've decided to trap a groundhog, follow the steps outlined in this article to do so humanely and effectively.

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