If you’re wondering how to get rid of woodchucks, you’re not alone. Woodchucks, otherwise known as groundhogs, wander through backyards and damage property. Since they spend a lot of time in their tunnels, it can be hard to remove them from your property. Many methods promise to solve your groundhog problems, but which ones actually work?

how to get rid of groundhogs in your yard

Use Cat Litter

Groundhogs have many predators such as bears, raccoons and foxes. Among the predators are also household pets like cats and dogs. As so, used cat litter may help to get rid of groundhogs by signifying the presence of a cat according to University of Illinois Extension. Groundhogs rely on their sense of smell to find food and identify predators nearby. The odor may be enough to frighten them away. In order for this method to work, the cat litter must be soiled. If you do not have a pet, cat litter may not be a reasonable option. Additionally, it may take multiple applications for the smell to permeate the area. Even then, groundhogs may catch on and realize that there is no threat.

Build a Fence

Building a fence to rid of groundhogs takes a lot of work. Since groundhogs can climb up to three feet, your fence must be high enough to combat their abilities. Typically, fences should be at least four feet high with an additional 10 inches of material buried under the ground for stability. The material of the fence is just as important as the height. For example, hardware cloth can stand up longer overtime compared to chicken wire. That said, the proper materials can be more expensive and difficult to cut.

Clean Up

Groundhogs typically take shelter in woodland, farms and fields. In suburban areas, they may be attracted to parks and golf courses due to the shrubbery and grass. That said, they can also find interest in similar traits in your yard. This includes tall grass, excess weeds and wood piles. To help get rid of groundhogs, remove these features from your property.

Set a Baited Traps

Before attempting to trap groundhogs or any other form of wildlife, be sure to follow local, state and federal regulations. Baited traps may seem like an easy solution for getting rid of groundhogs. Rather than poison, these traps use fresh fruit or vegetables to lure the groundhog. It’s important that you create trust with the animal first. Ease them into the trap by setting out food without the trap for the first few days. This will allow the groundhog to recognize the food source as a safe and genuine option.

Location and timing are also important. Place bait traps near the burrow entrance to avoid attracting other animals. In terms of timing, traps should be set before daylight and picked up before dark. Additionally, they need to be checked every few hours. If this isn’t doable, consider another option.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not be allowed to release the animal elsewhere. Additionally, euthanasia laws may differ. As a best practice, contact a professional to help properly handle groundhog control.