|Having problems with groundhogs? All
Wildlife Removal Service can help...
|Many times homeowners think they see the
same groundhog living in their yard for
years. Suddenly the homeowner is shocked -
why has that same groundhog become so
much more brazen THIS year? Or they can't
believe it - that same groundhog had babies
this year! Well, the homeowner will also be
surprised to learn... while all groundhogs do in
fact LOOK THE SAME, they are not THE SAME
GROUNDHOG year after year.
|As it turns out, groundhogs are on the bottom of the food chain and they have a
very short life span. The average lifetime of a groundhog is only one and a half
years. So when you have groundhogs living in your yard, you have to remember
that it’s not “the one groundhog," as many homeowners tend to say. And getting
rid of "the one groundhog” will not solve your problem.
The groundhog is an animal that hibernates through the winter. Depending on
the weather, they will come out of hibernation around the middle of March.
Roughly 35% percent of groundhogs that go into hibernation do not make it
Groundhogs are herbivores (plant eaters) and are not generally aggressive
animals. However, they will defend themselves if a human gets between them
and their home. Groundhogs protect themselves by running down into their
burrow. If that hole is blocked by a predator or unknowing person, the groundhog
will produce a nasty bite if they feel that is what's necessary. Homeowners should
also be wary of momma groundhogs. Like an good mother, the momma
groundhog will do whatever she needs to do to protect her babies. Litters of 2 - 9
babies are born around the end of March or early April, although they will not
venture out of the den for up to 6 weeks.
On average, one groundhog will excavate approximately 700 pounds of dirt in
the creation of one den - and a single groundhog may have 4 or 5 dens spread
over their territory! Over time and left to their own devices, groundhogs will cause
tremendous damage to yards and household structures. They live under sheds,
decks and their support columns, freestanding garages, sidewalks, slabs (such as
those that hold air conditioning units), and along fence lines. They will undermine
these structures with their continuous burrowing and excavation of dirt. At All
Wildlife Removal Service we had one instance of a groundhog burrowing up
against the foundation of a house leaving such a bad pitch that when it rained,
water would enter the groundhog's hole and leak down the basement walls!
In wintertime when groundhogs are inactive, their dens are attractive to other
nuisance for other ground-dwellers, such as skunks. It is common for a skunk to
enter a groundhog hole and make side-tunnels, therefore causing a yard to
have a dual occupancy of both groundhogs and skunks.
Tunnels under grass can cause injury to both humans and animals such as
horses and cattle. Unfortunate injuries to animals often result in the need to end
their lives. Public areas such as college campuses and school fields run the risk of
entering a litigious situations if someone is injured due to poor ground upkeep.
There are two ways to handle a groundhog problem. The first to simply capture
(trap and remove) the nuisance groundhogs that are living under your structure.
However, with a trapping/removal-only program we will only provide a 3-day
warranty against other animals getting in because, as we mentioned before, a
quiet groundhog den is an attractive place for occupancy by many other
animals including new groundhogs.
At All Wildlife Removal Service, we believe that setting traps alone is not a
sufficient solution. In fact, it is a waste of your money!! You will not stop
groundhogs from making your yard or garden their home. As you get rid of one
groundhog, another will just move in! (Similarly, if you have a groundhog tunneling
in your backyard that lives under your neighbor's shed, having us come out to
capture that animal is - that's right - a waste of your money. As long as there is a
den under the neighbor's shed and direct access to that den, another animal will
come along to inhabit it.)
Which leads us to the second, and infinitely more effective, way to get rid of
groundogs living under your deck or shed. An exclusion on that structure (in
conjunction with a trapping and removal program) will prevent future animals
from gaining access. In an exclusion, a trench is dug around the structure below
the ground, then wire is attached to the bottom of the structure and led down
into the ground in an L-fashion, so that the wire looks like a book laying on its side.
The trench is then back-filled, leaving your structure with a permanent barrier to
keep groundhogs, skunks, and other ground-dwelling animals out - for good! In
the case of a proper exclusion, we offer our full 1-year written warranty against
new animals gaining access under the structure.
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