What is the best groundhog repellent? The solution should be natural, safe both for humans and animals. This is should be a humane way to keep unwanted animals away, which is their main purpose. Scientific studies have shown that the most potent repellent is that based on predator urine as it targets the animal’s instinct of self-preservation. When shopping for a woodchuck repellent, make sure that it covers a large enough area and is weather-proof. Opt for granular formulations as they are longer-lasting than liquids. We believe that Shake Away 5006158 Repellent fits these criteria best.
Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are common pests as they frequently damage garden crops and plants. These rodents burrow in fields, under porches and buildings. You might see them sitting in front of their nests or on a fence looking for a predator. Yes, they have fears and other weaknesses, which we, humans, can successfully exploit. There is a number of ways to deter these rodents from your property. Now, let’s take a closer look at what can be done.
The most effective solutions are those based either on plant extracts (peppermint, geranium oil) or the urine of groundhog predators. As for the latter, there is a variety of repellents that have predator urine as an active ingredient. Basically, this is the urine of coyotes, wolves, and foxes, the predators preying on a number of animals including groundhogs. Are these repellents effective?
Scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have conducted a study and found out that these rodents respond aversively to predator urine. Previous tests indicate that in cases when bobcat urine was applied topically, a 98-percent reduction in groundhog damage was recorded. It is worth noting that in their tests, researchers used the extracts of bobcat urine, which have a weaker deterrent effect than undiluted predator urine. Still, it worked.
As such, in terms of efficiency, predator urine comes at the top of the list. It is followed by geranium oil, which shows a lower repellent effect on groundhogs in comparison with urine but works much better than other natural solution, such as cinnamon oil or pennyroyal oil. By the way, experts recommend applying repellent sprays in combination with other measures, such as installing fences. Woodchucks are tough guys and it is not that easy to get rid of them simply by causing aversion.
Generally, these rodents feed on the same kind of plants as deer and rabbits, which is why setting woodchuck-resistant plants is a wise solution. There is a list of plant species to choose from. In particular, you can plant the coneflower, lavender, and ornamental onion in a butterfly garden, daffodil, iris, peony in a cut flower garden, catmint, fennel, thyme in a herb garden, and fountain grass in a rocky area.
Frightening with sound becomes increasingly popular among homeowners as the safest and most environmentally-friendly solution. Manufacturers advertise it as an effective way to keep unwanted animals away, however, researchers have not found evidence proving its efficiency so far. Entomologist Dr. Alan T. Eaton notes that frightening devices do not seem to repel groundhogs, especially if your garden is full of plants attractive to these rodents. Still, installing ultrasonic repellents maybe not a bad idea when they used as a prevention measure, i.e. before groundhogs get a taste of the garden.
Below, you will find the TOP-5 woodchuck repellents available on the market. They come at a price ranging from $15 to $50, and have different volumes. Based on natural ingredients, these solutions contain either the extracts from plants or dry predator urine. One of the repellents is an electronic device that wards animals off by emitting ultrasound.
Shake Away 5006158 Repellent Granules
This is a powerful solution that was developed for deer but can be used against any animal that fears coyotes. And this is why it works great against woodchucks. A 5-pound canister contains non-toxic granules, the active ingredient of which is coyote urine. Once a woodchuck smells it somewhere in your garden, it will decide that a coyote is nearby and leave the area. More importantly, it will stay away from the treated property, considering t to be a marked territory. So you will manipulate the animal's instinct of fear, something that really works!
Apply one ounce of the repellent per 30 linear feet, but you will need to reapply it quite frequently. The solution will be effective under any weather conditions because the granules are porous and water-resistant. Customers like this product, but some of them fear that it may attract coyotes. Of course, you should think twice before applying it to the area where coyotes are frequent guests (however, they are more likely to see the treated area as a marked territory, something they tend to respect). I suppose that since you are preoccupied with getting rid of groundhogs, coyotes are not your problem.
BND2361 Animal Repellent Granules
This product contains a mix of various ingredients that are meant to act as irritants when inhaled or tasted. Namely, the solution includes dried blood, putrescent whole egg solids, and garlic oil. The animals will associate the blood with the presence of a predator and, following their instinct, will avoid the treated area. The offensive smell produced by a combination of garlic oil and putrescent eggs will serve as an additional deterrent.
The repellent comes in granules and is labeled for rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, and many other pest animals. Since all the ingredients are natural and biodegradable, you can safely place them somewhere in the garden or around your home to ward these rodents from damaging your property. The manufacturer recommends sprinkling these granules along the perimeter of the area you need to protect. The effect will last for about two months, which is partly due to its granular water-resistant formulation.
Customers say that this product is safe for flowers and plants when applied to the lawn. But the question is whether this repellent is as efficient as the manufacturer says. One customer claims that the formula of this stuff has been changed and now has a weaker effect on target animals.
Havahart Critter Ridder 3146 Animal Repellent
Another option is to take advantage of capsaicin containing in cayenne peppers. This ingredient is often included in repellents targeting a large variety of pests and can help to get rid of woodchucks as well. This solution is based on the blend of black pepper, piperine, and capsaicin, and works by irritating animal’s receptors. It does not have a foul smell and can safely be applied around vegetables and fruits in the garden as it is OMRI-listed.
These granules will last less than the previous product, only a month, but they are rain-resistant, meaning the solution will work even in unfavorable weather conditions. One 5-pound canister will be enough to cover an area of up to 300 square feet. Apply it not just outdoors but also indoors, in basements and storages.
What customers like about this product is the ease of use. With a convenient spout, you can apply as many granules as you need. Some of them say that even if you sprinkle lightly, animals will avoid the area “like the plague,” while others claim that the amount of repellent matters.
Ortho 489910 Animal B Gon All-Purpose Animal Repellent
This solution is similar to that by Havahart, with the difference that it covers a larger area — a little bit less than 1,500 square feet. And this is despite the fact that this is a canister with a volume of just 2 pounds. The product is designed to be applied against a variety of common pest mammals, such as woodchucks and rabbits. It does not have an offensive smell and is safe for plants.
Apply the repellent to the soil around plants and flowers, including edibles, where woodchuck damage has been noticed. Still, avoid sprinkling the granules directly on edible plants that are intended for human consumption. The solution is said to last for a month and should be reapplied in case you see woodchucks in your garden again. However, some customers complain that the pests come back in a week or so, especially after rain. Others are satisfied with the product, saying that it really keeps groundhogs away for the areas they were digging in.
XMSTORE Solar-Powered Ultrasonic Repellent
Targeting animals' taste and smell is not the only way to keep them away from your garden. An alternative option is to use electronic devices emitting ultrasound that makes them annoyed and feel unsafe. What makes this method attractive to homeowners is that ultrasound is not perceived by human ears, targeting rodents and insects only.
Honestly, I cannot vouch for the efficiency of ultrasonic repellents. Nor do scientists dare to recommend such products, the effectiveness of which has not been proven yet. And yet, I know some homeowners who tested these devices in their yards and claim that they do ward the pest animals off. In my opinion, taking into consideration a relatively low price of ultrasonic repellent, coupled with all the benefits they offer, they are worth a try.
This item has an additional advantage of being solar-powered, meaning you will not have to spend extra money on energy bills. That said, the product comes with rechargeable batteries, so you can safely use it even in cloudy weather. The repeller emits sounds in the range between 400 and 1000 Hz, causing anxiety in rodents present in the area.
Depending on how bad the problem is, you can take other measures to control woodchucks. Generally speaking, apart from using repellents, there are four methods to get rid of these rodents: exclusion, fumigation, trapping, and shooting.
- Exclusion. This is the safest method both for the animal and the homeowner. Basically, exclusion involves erecting a fence around your garden to protect your plants from groundhogs and other mammal pests. However, keep in mind that these rodents can climb and dig very well, which is why the fence should be either tall enough or use electricity to deter animals.
- Fumigation. Since there are no poisons registered for woodchucks, blowing toxic gasses into their burrows seems to be the only way to kill these guys en masse at a time. Therefore, this solution is recommended to control severe groundhog infestations, where more humane methods do not work anymore. All you need to do is ignite a gas cylinder, drop it into the burrow and cover all the entrances.
- Trapping. Placing traps is more effective than repelling and safer than fumigation. The thing is that using gasses near buildings or flammable materials carries a fire risk and, therefore, is not recommended. You can safely set live trap anywhere you like, just make sure you put a bait that is attractive enough for woodchucks to lure them inside the cage. When shopping for a trap, choose the one that is no less than 36 inches long.
- Shooting. Another way to kill woodchucks is to simply shoot them. The downside to this method is that you can not actually eliminate a lot of animals this way. Shooting may be helpful in situations where you have a handful of persistent woodchucks that frequent your garden and cause damage. By the way, shooting is considered to have a repellent effect as well because rodents are capable of learning from each other’s experiences.
Table of Contents
- Groundhog repellents: oils and predator urine
- Groundhog-resistant plants
- Do ultrasonic repellers work on groundhogs?
- TOP-5 best groundhog repellents
- Alternative methods of getting rid of groundhogs