Snacking Groundhogs : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Any tips for keeping groudhogs out of the garden? We already do the Havahart cage. I was actually looking for a tip that would turn them away as they approach and before they start snacking.


-- Jo Schaefer (, May 05, 2001


I have heard that pouring USED kitty litter down their holes works to at least get them to go some place else. One year, in order to find all their holes, we stuffed a burning oily rag into one hole then watched for there the smoke came out to locate other holes.

-- Dianne in Mass (, May 05, 2001.

One friend of mine used the cat litter treatment very successfully with a groundhog that had just moved into her neck of the woods. Another friend tried it with a groundhog that had been around for awhile to no avail. One of my neighbors (whose garden is in the BACKyard) urinated in the groundhog hole and the little bugger left for tidier digs! The friend of mine used to work for his father all summer doing pest control, the majority of which was groundhog removal, so you have a lot of company! The only groundhog I've had in my 3 acres of prime Maine swampland settled under my compost bin, so I emptied it and he decided he needed more secure housing and left. (I'm fortunate here since burrowing animals here would need to be aquatic!)

-- Sheryl Adams (, May 05, 2001.

Hello Jo, Not to be cruel or anything but,.... our gardens produce a goodly amount of produce, giving us an annual savings of $1000 or more a season. With that in mind I make sure that the varmits do not eat my garden. If fencing does not stop them, then my 12 gauge will. Sincerely, Ernest

-- (, May 05, 2001.

The ONLY way to keep them out of the garden, short of terminating them, is to bury your fencing at least a foot into the ground. 1 foot below and 3 feet above will cure the problem. It has for me. I cannot shoot them as I'm in a populated area in MA and the law is I have to be 500 feet from a dwelling to use a firearm. Also have tried just about every method of repelling them and none works! I even had one in my garden with my dog only about 6 or so feet away. The dog was napping but I still wouldn't think any critter would chance it but they did! Boy did I give my dog an earful!

-- Bob Johnson (, May 05, 2001.

if you cant shoot it,, how about trapping it,, with a kill trap? Or conatact HOOT,, get advise about building his varmit zapper

-- stan (, May 06, 2001.

Lead poisoning is absolutely the best system. If you are limited to your havahart, the problem is getting them into it. Best bait in my opinion : broccoli! GL!

-- Brad (, May 06, 2001.

The problem with catching groundhogs in a havahart is not getting them in there, it is keeping them in there. I had groundhog problems and I bought a havahart to catch them and move them. I baited them with lettuce and baby carrots leading up to the trap and then into the trap all the way to the back. The groundhogs thought it was nice of me to provide such a tasty meal and promptly went into the trap. I was so excited and hurried out to pick up the trap and move it elsewhere for release. Guess what. As I got about five feet away from the trap the groundhog shoved his strong front feet at the trap door and the trap sprang open. I did this about ten times and every time the groundhog got out. The trap is not defective. I have caught possom in there and released them. The problem is that the groundhog has such strength in his front feet that he can spring the door open again. This year I think we are going to have to resort to lead poisoning although I don't really want to kill them. I am putting up an electric fence first so hopefully that will take care of the problem. Good luck to any of you with groundhog problems. You have my full sympathy.

-- Colleen (, May 11, 2001.

If the Havahart doesn't work, we use the poison gas bombs. I hate doing that but they eat us out of house and home.

-- amy (, May 11, 2001.

Colleen - you DO have a defective trap! The "locking mechanism" should drop down into the notch such that any pressure from inside the trap would actually hold the door closed with MORE force. It is IMPOSSIBLE to open a properly tripped havahart from the inside. Are you sure you don't have a Chinese copy?

-- Brad (, May 11, 2001.

I agree with Brad, very defective Havahart. We have trapped literally hundreds of racoons, possums, and woodchucks with ours. No way they should be able to get out of the trap with a "strong arm". I have watched racoons, rather clever little creatures, play and pull on the latching mechanism to no avail. And, for bait for the woodchucks, we have had the very best luck with TWINKIES!!! Got them from the surplus bread store and caught a whole bunch of them. Good luck!!!

-- diane (, May 11, 2001.

We have a bad chipmunk problem this year and they are setting off our woodchuck/large animal havahart as they go in for the food and escape through the wires. I haven't caught one woodchuck with the havahart yet, due to the chipmunks--hence we are resorting to the bombs to rid of the woodchucks. Re: the chipmunks, I went out yesterday and bought a chipmunk havahart, put it in the basement to catch the one that keeps coming in--something set it off and escaped, probably a mouse! I'm having the worst luck with the havaharts this year.

-- amy (, May 11, 2001.

Hotwire run just up off the ground will keep the 'hogs out of the garden, you can get special "varmint zapper d-cell battery run electric fence kits" from most farm supply stores, or Jeffers or K-V vet supply catalogs, 1-800-JEFFERS.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, May 15, 2001.

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