Woodchuck or Groundhog Removal - Traps, Baits, Lures and More

Woodchuck or groundhog removal and control has a variety of products you can use. Many people use live traps with bait or lures and are effective in most situations. When using live traps are commonly used for woodchuck or groundhog removal use woodchuck salad in the back of the trap and sprinkle groundhog heaven in the trap and out the door of the trap. Its best if you put the bait on a apple slice or cabbage leaf and then put a layer of any green vegetation like grass layered across the bottom of the trap. This helps your success rate when trapping woodchucks or groundhogs.

Kill traps like the 160d body gripping trap work great for trapping woodchucks or groundhogs if there is a entry or exit hole. To trap the woodchuck or groundhog just use this trap to guard the entrance. Please note that this kill trap will kill any animal that enters or exits the hole not just woodchucks or groundhogs. 

If you have a burrow smoke bombs can be used also in outdoor areas on woodchucks or groundhogs. However if the burrow system is extensive you may need to double up on them to get enough gas to permeate the entire system.

Featured Woodchuck Removal Products

General Biology, Reproduction, and Behavior

Before starting to engage in woodchuck or groundhog removal it’s best if you understand a little about the animal.  Woodchucks are primarily active during daylight hours. When not feeding, the sometimes bask in the sun during the warmest periods of the day. They have been observed dozing on fence posts, stone walls, large rocks, and fallen logs close to the burrow entrance. Woodchucks are good climbers and sometimes are seen in lower tree branches.

Woodchucks are among the few mammals that enter true hibernation. Hibernation generally starts in late fall, near the end of October or early November, but varies with latitude. It continues until late February and March. In northern latitudes, torpor can start earlier and end later. Males usually come out of hibernation before females and subadults.

Woodchuck or Groundhog Reproduction

Males may travel long distances, and occasionally at night, in search of a mate. Woodchucks breed in March and April. A single litter of 2 to 6 (usually 4) young is produced each season after a gestation period of 32 days. The young are born blind and hairless. They are weaned by late June or early July, and soon after strike out on their own. They frequently occupy abandoned dens or burrows. The numerous new burrows that appear during late summer are generally dug by older woodchucks. The lifespan of a woodchuck is about 3 to 6 years.

Woodchucks usually range only 50 to 150 feet (15 to 30 m) from their den during the daytime. This distance may vary, however, during the mating season or based on the availability of food. Woodchucks maintain sanitary den sites and burrow systems, replacing nesting materials frequently. A burrow and den system is often used for several seasons. The tunnel system is irregular and may be extensive in size. Burrows may be as deep as 5 feet (1.5 m) and range from 8 to 66 feet (2.4 to 19.8 m) in total length. Old burrows not in use by woodchucks provide cover for rabbits, weasels, and other wildlife.

When startled, a woodchuck may emit a shrill whistle or alarm, preceded by a low, abrupt “phew”. This is followed by a low, rapid warble that sounds like “tchuck, tchuck”. The call is usually made when the animal is startled at the entrance of the burrow. The primary predators of woodchucks include hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, weasels, dogs, and humans. Many woodchucks are killed on roads by automobiles.

Woodchuck or Groundhog Damage

On occasion, the woodchuck’s feeding and burrowing habits conflict with human interests. Damage often occurs on farms, in home gardens, orchards, nurseries, around buildings, and sometimes around dikes. Damage to crops such as alfalfa, soybeans, beans, squash, and peas can be costly and extensive. Fruit trees and ornamental shrubs are damaged by woodchucks as they gnaw or claw woody vegetation. Gnawing on underground power cables has caused electrical outages. Damage to rubber hoses in vehicles, such as those for vacuum and fuel lines, has also been documented. Mounds of earth from the excavated burrow systems and holes formed at the burrow entrances present a hazard to farm equipment, horses, and riders. On occasion, burrowing can weaken dikes and foundations. If burrows are present gassing woodchucks can be successful however this technique is not recommended around buildings. Trapping can also be done with either live traps or kill traps. When using live traps a commercial bait or lure is recommended.

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