While cute to look at and historically famous for their role in predicting the length of winter, groundhogs are typically not welcome around homes and businesses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. The reason is simple: these animals are considered a nuisance pest due to the extensive damage they’ create by feeding, burrowing, and digging through yards, gardens, and farms. To protect your home or business from groundhogs, you need to learn about the behavior of this pest, take steps for prevention, and find effective treatment options should an infestation occur.
What Are Groundhogs?
Often referred to as a woodchuck or whistle pig, groundhogs are rodents that are part of the Sciuridae family. The average size fully grown is 24 inches long and their weight can be as much as 14 pounds. Typically, groundhogs can be found in the central and eastern parts of the U.S., including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. These animals are classified as a nuisance pest and proactive groundhog treatment from a pest control expert is required to remove them from your home or business property.
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How Do I Identify Groundhogs?
As part of the rodent family, groundhogs resemble a much larger rat with a bushy tail. Many have described groundhogs as a cross between a small dog and a rat. These animals have little round heads with small round eyes and small ears located on the tops of their heads.
Most likely, you’ll be identifying groundhogs by the damage they’ve done to your home or business’s yard, garden, or plants. Wildlife control experts say if you start to notice holes about a foot wide with piles of dirt next to them and/or large bites out of your fruits or vegetables, you may have a groundhog pest problem.
How Do I Get Groundhogs?
Groundhogs are attracted to sweet fruits, lettuces, and other garden vegetables. If you’re growing these in mass as a farmer in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware or in a small garden, you may find a need for a groundhog prevention plan. Additionally, groundhogs like to reside in transitional areas where open fields meet forests and woodlands. Living in an area like this will increase your chances of attracting some unwanted visitors.
What Are The Effects of Groundhogs In and Around My Home or Business?
While groundhogs aren’t typically aggressive, they do classify as a nuisance pest due to the effects they can have on your home or business. Wildlife control experts state some of these effects and risks include:
- Deep holes in your yard that are unsightly and present a risk of tripping
- Damage to your crops, gardens, or fruit-bearing trees
- While not aggressive, if threatened, groundhogs can injure family pets and small children
How Long Do Groundhogs Live?
The average life span of groundhogs in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware is around three years. Some groundhogs in captivity do live longer, but this is mainly a result of protection from predators and enhanced and controlled living conditions.
How Do I Prevent Groundhogs?
To prevent groundhogs from invading your property, consulting with a pest control expert is your best option. Your other options are limited, as it’s very unlikely that you’ll move from the property or opt not to grow plants or trees that attract groundhogs. You’ll find many home remedies, including things like pouring ammonia on your property, using garlic or pepper, or even scattering human hair. The problem is these methods are untested and not ideal for groundhog control. Due to the nature of this nuisance pest, however, we highly recommend you seek the advice and help of the wildlife experts at Viking Pest, who will know exactly how to keep groundhogs away after we get rid of groundhogs from your property.