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How To Get Rid Of Groundhogs | 2019 Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

Updated : 29 August 2019
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How to get rid of groundhogs? Installing electric fences is a safe and humane way to keep woodchucks away from your property. However, for some homeowners, this is not an option. In this case, using poisonous gas is the most effective way to get rid of these rodents. Gas cartridges are placed in the burrow inhabited by woodchucks, killing them quickly and painlessly. Moreover, this method is recommended for heavy infestations as you will be able to eliminate many animals at a time. When shopping for gas cartridges, choose the ones produced by a well-established company to make sure that all components and substances they include are quality and safe. In our assessment, Atlas The Giant Destroyer fits these criteria best.

While a handful of groundhogs may be a funny sight, having them close to your garden in large numbers is likely to become a source of problems. They consume plants, vegetables, and fruits, just to name the few, the beans, broccoli, cabbage, tomato, carrot. On top of that, woodchucks burrow tunnels, making holes in the ground. The latter leads, among other things, to the roots of trees drying out. I guess you are aware of all this and what is bothering you is actually how to get rid of groundhogs fast and effectively. Well, there are several different methods to do that and you should choose the most relevant one depending on your specific situation. Now, let’s take a closer look at them.

Fence Your Garden To Keep Groundhogs Away

This is the old-fashioned way to keep any unwanted animal away from the garden… But only if you get it right. The problem is that woodchucks are excellent climbers and diggers, so viewing any fence as an unassailable fortress would be a huge mistake. How to install a fence correctly? The construction should be as tall as two feet above the ground and electrified on the top.

Entomologists from the University of New Hampshire recommend erecting electric fencing, with one wire being 4 inches off the ground and the other one being further 4 inches higher. Electricity performs a function of a good deterrent as the rodents tend to remember objects that cause physical pain to them. Besides, you need to take into consideration that groundhog will try to dig under the fence. To prevent them from getting to your garden this way, sink at least one foot of the fence into the ground.

Apply Groundhog Repellents

This method of groundhog control will work if the number of these animals is small and the damage they cause is not significant. Woodchucks, like any other animals, are sensitive to specific tastes and smells. You may apply repellents labeled for this species to the soil, plants or structures on your property to ward off the furry intruders. Most solutions come in granular form, which allows the substance to remain active longer and under any weather conditions — just sprinkle granules in the area where groundhog damage was noticed.

There are two types of groundhog repellents. The first category includes products based on natural oils, such as the oils of geranium, cinnamon, and pennyroyal. Honestly, they are not very effective, though preferred by many gardeners because of their natural content and do not produce an aggressive smell. Meanwhile, there is another type of groundhog repellents that is based on the urine of woodchuck predators, such as foxes and coyotes. Scientific studies have confirmed that urine-based repellents do work as they manipulate the animal’s self-preservation instinct. Once a groundhog smells the predator’s urine, it figures out that a dangerous animal is somewhere about here and will leave the area. Alternatively, you may install frightening devices, such as ultrasonic repellers, however, their efficacy still needs to be proved.

For more details, read our beneficial guide on the Best Groundhog Repellents.

Use Gas Cartridges To Kill Groundhogs In Their Burrows

Poisonous gas is the most effective way to get rid of groundhogs when they have already grown in numbers and threaten your garden, damaging the trees and consuming plants. Such gas cartridges are available on the market and pretty easy to use. All you need to do is to strictly follow the instructions. Take a gas cartridge, ignite it and drop in a groundhog’s burrow. Make sure that you have blocked all the entrances so that the gasses could not escape.

The poisonous gas causes immediate death to the animal inside the burrow that will die from suffocation. That is why this method is believed to be relatively humane, unlike killing groundhogs with poisons that subject them to slow and tortuous death. By the way, poisoning groundhogs is illegal in many states, which makes gas cartridges the only powerful method to kill these rodents. Another advantage of using gas cartridges is that they can eliminate many groundhogs at a time, something that is particularly essential in the case of a severe infestation.

For more details, read our comprehensive guide on the Best Groundhog Poisons.

Trapping Groundhogs

Trapping works great if you need to catch a small number of woodchucks. Setting traps in an attempt to manage a heavy groundhog infestation would be like a drop in the ocean. Worse still, these animals can learn from the experience of other members of the colony and avoid your traps in the future. And yet, when it comes to small groundhog colonies, trapping is a good way to get rid of them.

Moreover, traps will be highly helpful in cases where woodchucks establish their burrows near the building or under the foundation. The thing is that you must not place gas cartridges around the house or other constructions for safety reasons. This stuff can cause fire and the smoke may penetrate into the house and contaminate the air. Besides, you cannot insert gas cartridges in the burrows located close to dried grass or inflammable materials.

Wire-mesh live traps are absolutely safe and, therefore, can be placed anywhere. When shopping for a groundhog trap, choose a product that is no less than 36 inches long since there should be enough space for the animal.

For more details, read our ultimate guide on the Best Groundhog Traps.

Shooting Groundhogs

This is another method recommended for managing small numbers of woodchucks. If you need a fast solution without long preparations, in other words, you see a groundhog and want to kill it right now, shooting the animal is a good option. Another advantage of this way to get rid of groundhogs is that shooting is relatively painless for the animal, so if you are an accurate marksman, you will be able to do it faultlessly. On top of that, shooting may have a dual effect. Not only will you kill a woodchuck, but you will also frighten others away. A gun is a great repellent!

TOP-4 Best Products To Get Rid Of Groundhogs

Below, you will find the TOP-4 best products that will allow you to get rid of groundhogs. The review includes only high-quality gas cartridge, repellent, trap, and electric fence with the price ranging from $30 to $200.

Atlas The Giant Destroyer | Best Groundhog Repellent

Atlas The Giant Destroyer: photo

The Giant Destroyer brand was established half a century ago and today is one of the leaders on the market. Headquartered in the U.S., the company offers high-quality products intended for managing pest animals. This solution was developed on the basis of an effective formula that allows the product to work fast and for sure. Importantly, the gas cartridges will cope even with groundhogs of larger sizes. Add to this the fact that the solution is able to kill many woodchucks at a time and you will understand why it is so popular.

What makes this product particularly appealing to buyers is its cost-efficiency. For the price, you purchase 6 packs that include 4 tubes each. Besides, The Giant Destroyer cartridges are easy to use — just light the fuse and throw the item into the burrow. You will have to do some preparatory work, though. Block all the holes of the burrow to prevent the gas from escaping.

What buyers say

The purchasers seem to be satisfied with this product, saying that it works fast and is safe for garden vegetation. Still, some customers are worried about the gasses being able to kill the plant roots. So just to be on the safe side, do not insert the cartridges into burrows situated near valuable plants. Other buyers note that the gas cartridges do kill large woodchucks and help in the case of a severe infestation.

Shake Away Repellent Granules | Best Groundhog Repellent

Shake Away Groundhog Repellent: photo

Based on the dry coyote urine, this repellent literally sows fear among a broad range of animals, including woodchucks. They will perceive the smell of predator urine as the sign that the territory was marked by coyotes and avoid the area in the future. The solution comes in granules, which are waterproof, meaning they will still work after the rain. It is easy to apply. All you need to do is sprinkle them around the plants and trees where woodchuck damage was noticed.

For about $30, you get five pounds of long-lasting granules that can cover up to 2,500 linear feet. However, you will have to apply the solution several times to achieve the desired result. Another strong point of this repellent is that it is environmentally-friendly. While having quite a strong smell, the substance is not toxic and is absolutely natural.

What buyers say

Buyers rate the product highly, pointing out its value for money and the scent. Some of them claim that it worked on groundhogs while others note that they had to reapply the solution several times to stop these rodents digging burrows. Although the repellent is weather-resistant, one of the customers suggests protecting the granules from the rain by putting them in salt shakers and hanging them near the fencing.

Havahart 1045 | Best Live Groundhog Trap

Havahart Best Live Groundhog Trap: photo

Although there are many other products that are advertised as groundhog traps, a bulk of them do not actually work on these rodents. The reason for that is the wrong size. Yes, these traps will hold a groundhog and keep it alive but they do not have enough extra space to lure the animal inside, which is the most difficult part of trapping. That is why you should choose a trap with the length of no less than 35 inches.

With the weight of a little more than 11 pounds, this live cage measures 36 x 10 x 12 inches, meaning it is spacious enough for a large groundhog. The size is not the only strong point of this item. What I like about this trap is the two-door construction allowing animals to enter from either direction, thereby increasing its chances to be captured. Made from galvanized steel, the wire mesh has small openings and is resistant to rust.

What buyers say

The buyers like this live trap, with more than 60% of them giving the product 5 stars. Among other advantages, they highlight the possibility to use both doors at a time to lure more canny woodchucks. With both doors open in the cage, an animal looks through the trap and think it will be able to go through it safely. This will help to catch even those animals that have experience of being trapped.

Premier PoultryNet Electric Fence

Premier PoultryNet Electric Fence: photo

A physical barrier provides reliable protection from any unwanted intruder, given that you choose the right product and install it properly. With the height of 48 inches (4 feet), this electric fence is tall enough to prevent a woodchuck from entering your property. More importantly, you will be able to bury one foot of the construction into the ground, otherwise, these whistle pigs may try going under the wire as they are excellent diggers. The electric fence is 1,000 feet long and comes with built-in posts, so it will take you less than half an hour to install it around your property.

What buyers say

This electric fence is very popular among customers. Apart from being really powerful, it is the only humane method in woodchuck control that is 100% effective. One of the buyers reports hearing loud squeals every now and again, but what he likes about this fence is that it neither kills nor injures animals.

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