What is the best groundhog trap? Buy only branded products made from high-quality materials. Cheap and flimsy trap won’t be able to keep a strong and furious woodchuck within the cage, while branded models aren’t actually very expensive. Choosing between live traps and lethal ones, I recommend buying the former. Not only is it humane, but it is also safe for your pets and children. On top of that, lethal traps for groundhogs are illegal in some regions of the U.S., which makes their usage limited. When looking for a live trap, opt for a model that is more than 30 inches in length so that you could catch groundhogs of any size. Another thing to consider is the number of doors. Keep in mind that a single-door trap is less likely to entice the animal inside the cage. We believe that Havahart 1045 Groundhog Trap fits these criteria best.
This method of groundhog control has obvious advantages and is recommended by experts as a way to deal with a limited number of these rodents. What is good about trapping is that you can use live traps to catch and then release woodchucks somewhere far from your house. So if you prefer humane methods of pest control, this option is definitely for you!
Traps work great in situations where there are no many woodchucks in the area. If your property is regularly attacked by an army of woodchucks, trapping will be of little help as you will catch only a small portion of these unwanted visitors. Still, you can use this method in dealing with heavy infestations as a supplementary measure. For example, experts recommend against inserting gas cartridges in groundhog burrows situated close to the house or any other building because this isn’t safe. In this case, you can combine two methods and use poisonous gas where it is allowed and place traps where fire hazards exist.
Meanwhile, experts warn that using live traps to catch groundhogs can pose health risks to those people who come into contact with the trapped animal. In particular, groundhogs can carry rabies, Powassan disease, tularemia, and other diseases. This is because of ticks that live in their fur and can bite a human upon touch. That is why you should never touch the caught animal, nor should you approach the trap without proper protection.
Woodchuck traps differ by their size, construction, and the number of doors, but the most significant distinction lies in the purpose of the use. While live traps are meant to keep the animal alive, lethal traps are designed to kill or injure the captive.
- Live Traps are available in the form of a cage and generally, have a robust wire mesh preventing the rodent from gnawing through it and escaping. That is why sturdy construction and quality materials matter much when it comes to cages intended for trapping groundhogs. These animals have large incisors and sharp claws, so keep in mind that you won’t be able to get away with a poorly-made and flimsy trap. Let alone the fact that this thing is meant for the outdoor use and, therefore, must be resistant to rust.
Depending on the groundhog species, you can choose a live trap measuring 24 to 36 inches. However, I recommend buying the larger one because spacious cages are more attractive to the target animal, making it feel safer and thereby increasing the chances of it being caught. Note that while no permit is needed to trap groundhogs within your property, you will have to ask for the landowner’s permission before releasing the captured animal on their property.
- Lethal traps are illegal in many regions of the U.S., so check your local legislation before considering this method. However, in some areas, placing body-gripping traps to catch groundhogs is permitted by the law. But even then, you may need a trapping license and will have to follow certain regulations, say scientists from the University of Wisconsin.
The most important part of trapping is attracting the animal. To place the proper bait, you should know what kind of food woodchucks prefer. Fresh greens, peas, apples, peaches, and tomatoes are usually the best choice for this purpose. Bear in mind that they like ripe and sweet food, which is why strawberries and sweet corn will also serve as tempting bait. Another way to learn your woodchuck’s diet is to look at what vegetables this animal eats in your garden — you can never go wrong with that!
Where to place a groundhog trap? Set a trap near the groundhog burrow or around the house. Dr. Alan T. Eaton advises placing a trap right at the entrance of the burrow as the most effective way to catch the rodent. More importantly, this approach will allow you to trap a woodchuck without baiting. Make sure that you not only place it at the entrance but also create a barrier. Put boards and other items above the mound so that groundhogs could leave their nest only through your trap.
Below, you will find three best woodchuck traps at a price ranging from $45 to $80. We have reviewed both live and lethal options so that you could find your best trap depending on your preferences and the level of woodchuck damage.
Havahart 1045 Groundhog Trap
I recommend this item which is, in my view, is the best groundhog trap on the market. All things are considered, all materials are high-quality and the price isn’t high. This trap is 36 inches in length, which makes it suitable even for huge woodchucks. Moreover, there will be enough extra space so that the rodent could feel safe and enter the cage without hesitation.
The item is heavy-duty and weighs about 11 pounds. The wire mesh has steel reinforcements and is resistant to rust. The mesh openings are smaller than in many other traps, which makes the construction more sturdy and reliable. Besides, small openings will prevent animals (not just groundhogs) from stealing the bait, which is very important because the trap without baits will be ineffective.
One of the most essential advantages of this product is that it comes with two doors. Why is it that important? First, an animal will be able to enter the cage from either side, depending on its route. Secondly, this gives an impression of open space and a groundhog can look through the cage. A nice product, isn’t it? As you can see from the feedback, customers rate this item highly, with most of them saying that this trap does work and catch target animals.
OxGord Live Animal Trap For Groundhogs
Havahart is the most well-known brand on that market, however, you may try products from another trusted manufacturer, OxGord. This company has been producing pest control devices and accessories for about 15 years, offering high-quality products at reasonable prices. With a length of 32 inches, this model is a little bit smaller in size than Havahart 1045 but is cheaper.
This trap also boasts a durable design, rust-resistant steel, and a simple bait system. What I like about this model is that it is absolutely safe for animals and designed so that a woodchuck cannot hurt itself while being in the cage. After being caught, the rodent will be desperately trying to escape, making movements that will most likely hurt it. This trap comes with smooth internal edges, meaning they will not cut the animal.
1/2 Dozen (6 PAK) Duke 220 Body Trap For Groundhogs
This lethal trap has a sturdy construction and is designed primarily for groundhogs. With a jaw spread measuring 7 x 7 inches, the device quickly kills and dispatches the caught woodchuck. As a reference, body traps have been used since the middle of the XX century and are still believed to be pretty effective.
The product weighs more than 13 pounds and is 12 inches in length. As for the size, this trap is enough for catching even large groundhogs. For instance, one of the customers said that using this device, he managed to catch as many as 40 woodchucks, some of which were really huge. Place these traps around the foundation of your house or in the garden but keep in mind that they kill indiscriminately. So before setting the device, make sure that neither your pets nor other non-target animals will have access to this lethal tool.
Fence your garden. This is another humane way to keep woodchucks away from your property. And yet, the construction should meet certain requirements to be effective against these rodents. First and foremost, choose an electric fence because woodchucks can climb and overcome barriers. Then, make sure that the fence is at least 3 feet tall as you will need to sink one foot of the construction into the ground. The latter will not allow the animals to dig under the fence.
Repel woodchucks. Another good alternative is using repellents and frightening devices. As for groundhog repellents, the most effective ones contain predator’s urine that creates the illusion that the territory of your property has been marked by a coyote or fox and harbors risks for groundhogs. You may also try solutions based on essential oils, such as the oils of cinnamon and geranium. The effect of these ingredients is not as powerful as that of the predator urine but they make the product more versatile, helping to get rid of other pests.
Place gas cartridges into groundhog burrows. Well, if these animals are frequent visitors to your garden and cause significant damage to your crop, killing them may be the only solution to the problem. Poisonous gas is the only effective way to eliminate several rodents simultaneously and, therefore, deal with heavy infestations. Besides, you will not make them suffer because woodchucks in the burrow will die from suffocation immediately after inhaling gasses.
Shoot groundhogs. You may not need to kill these nice furry animals en masse, but instead, you can focus just on the most active members of the colony that intrude your property, stealing vegetables and fruits. The downside to shooting as a method of protecting your crop is that you will have to keep your eye on the ball so that the intruder could not escape.
Table Of Content
- Why trapping groundhogs is a good idea
- What kind of groundhog traps are there?
- How to trap a groundhog: baits & placement
- Best groundhog traps
- What is the alternative?