15 Ways to Outsmart Pesky Groundhogs Without Harsh Chemicals


Yard under siege by pesky groundhogs? Don’t despair! Ditch the drama of traps and harsh chemicals. We’ve got 15 ingenious, groundhog-beating methods you can use to reclaim your garden peacefully. From leveraging the power of scents they despise to creating an un-burrowable paradise, here are the ways to outsmart those furry squatters and restore harmony to your outdoor haven!

Remove Edible Attractants

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Avoid leaving out fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts because groundhogs love to visit places with lots of edibles. Open trash cans and compost bins are like a five-star restaurant for them, so keeping your grounds clean is essential. You can also try stashing your veggies in wire cages. You’ll force them to find greener pastures when you stop their free lunch. 

Take Away Their Shelter


Clear out any brush piles, rock piles, or dense vegetation where groundhogs might take shelter. Please fill all the holes or tunnels they have dug with soil or rocks. Then, you can remove grasses or debris from where they hide. These measures can make them detest your area and seek new habitats since it could be more conducive for them.

Seal All Entry Points

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Locate and block off openings under sheds, decks, or other structures to prevent groundhogs from establishing burrows. You can use some heavy-duty wire mesh or metal sheet to block the entrances to their tunnels. The best method is creating a one-way exit door (you can find these online) that allows them to crawl out but stop re-entry.

Set Up Physical Barriers


You can secure your premises with a sturdy wire mesh fence. Ensure it’s at least 3 feet deep and 3-4 feet high to prevent groundhogs from burrowing underneath or climbing over. If you want to add electric fencing, use a strand six inches before the fence and four inches above the ground. You can also guard specific plants or crops that they tend to target.

Use a Botanical Barricade


Groundhogs hate pricks due to the discomfort. You can plant thorny bushes like barberries or roses along the perimeter of your garden to discourage them from breaking in. This efficient combo of pain and disgust will make your yard a no-go area for these animals.

Apply Repellents


Natural repellents like garlic, pepper spray, castor oil, or predator urine can be effective. You can also consider commercial repellents containing capsaicin or castor oil if available. If you can sprinkle them around burrow entrances and reapply them after rain, they’ll find a place with less stench to crash.

Drain Stagnant Water


Groundhogs are like us – they love a good pool party and need water to survive. If you have stagnant bodies in your compound, you’ve given them the ideal getaway for them. Draining puddles or bird baths will create an inhospitable environment for them. This simple step will also prevent mosquitoes and other pests from breeding.

Ammonia Soaked Rags


Soak rags in ammonia and put them at the entrance of their caves and other entry points. You can also pour ammonia directly into burrows to discourage them from staying. The pungent odor repels groundhogs without harming them, providing a non-toxic and effective solution to encourage them to find a new home.

Plant Deterrents


Some plants like daffodils, garlic, lavender, or marigolds have strong scents that groundhogs dislike. They emit unpleasant odors because of the compounds they contain, encouraging them to seek alternative habitats without causing harm. Plant them strategically along the perimeter of your premises or near burrow entrances. This method is safe and environmentally friendly.

Sprinkle Blood Meal

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Blood meal can be a double win for your yard! Sprinkle it around your garden with some Epsom salts or talcum powder to irritate groundhogs. Besides being natural, blood meal is also a slow-release fertilizer, boosting your plants’ nitrogen levels. Win-win! Ensure you reapply after rain to keep your defenses up.

Drive Them with Noise and Vibrations


Groundhogs are sensitive to noise and vibrations. You can place radios, wind chimes, or vibrating devices near their burrows. Ultrasonic devices with high-pitched sounds can also discourage them from staying in the area. It’s like moving away from a loud, lousy neighborhood.

Use Sprinklers

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Disrupt their sense of security and force them to leave your property. Place the sprinklers in strategic areas around your compound, focusing on where they visit the most. When the groundhog approaches, the sensor triggers the sprinkler, startling it with a sudden spray of water. This harmless approach works well as they must find a drier place to hang out.

Set Live Traps


Although trapping groundhogs might sound extreme, doing it the right way is kinder than ending their lives. Set up live traps near groundhog burrows or along their pathways with bait like fruits or vegetables. Once trapped, relocate them to a suitable habitat away from residential areas. Ensure you check local regulations and consult wildlife authorities before trapping and releasing them to ensure you don’t break any laws.

Create Alternative Feeding Areas


Groundhogs love to eat! If you need help removing them, make your compost pile super inviting or create a new buffet away from your plants. You can create a “diversion garden” outside your yard with weed and their favorite foods like apples, lettuce, or dandelions. Once they’re chowing down in their new spot undisturbed, they’ll leave happy, and your premises will become groundhog-free!

Professional Help

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If the problem persists, calling in the experts may be the most brilliant move. Your best bet is local wildlife control services or pest management professionals trained to handle the groundhogs. They can advise you on the laws, offer resources that can help, or safely remove them from your property to a more ideal location.


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