Usually when we think about groundhogs, we are reminded of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who lets us know how soon spring will come, or the awesome Billy Murray movie “Groundhog Day.” Well, groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) are not just for movies and forecasting weather. They live among us, and might even be responsible for damaging your yard. To find out if you have your very own Punxsutawney Phil living in your backyard look for the following signs.
- A vegetable in your garden has a large bite taken out of it.
- The green leafy parts of your carrots have been eaten.
- You have a large 10 to 12 inch hole in your backyard (many times next to a tree or fence) with a mound of dirt surrounding it. This hole could also be under your deck or shed. Ground hog tunnels typically have two entrances, can be up to 5 feet deep, and are up to 60 feet long.
- Your fruit tree has been gnawed on.
- You see a ground hog. They are not all that shy and sleep during the night so if one moved into your yard it wouldn’t be surprising if you caught him sunning himself.
- Groundhogs use distinct sounds to communicate. Listen for whistling, squeals, barks, and clicks.
If you want to evict your groundhog, the best bet is to remove whatever is attracting him, but that is not so easy if you do not want to destroy your garden. The next best thing is to fence in your plants. For ground hogs, you need a fence at least 3 feet high, buried 2 inches into the ground. You can also close off entrances to the ground hog’s tunnels when they are empty.