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How to Kill Groundhogs - Is Poison the Answer?

How To Kill Groundhogs - These rodents are often quite cute, and many people who don't have a yard or garden will simply view them as attractive animals that aren't really worth worrying about, but once you have a groundhog in your yard or garden this can be a very different story. The main issue that is caused by these animals is that they love to dig, and their natural inclination is to create several large burrows with tunnels connecting each one, so naturally you will see how this can have an impact on the garden itself. There are many different ways that people can deal with this kind of problem, and there are lethal tools available that can be used to kill problem groundhogs.


Traps That Can Be Used To Kill Groundhogs

There are different types of traps that can be used to kill groundhogs, but the most effective are the body grip traps that are set over the entrance to a groundhog's burrow, which will then catch the animal when it leaves the burrow. These traps are set with a very strong spring mechanism which will crush the body of any animal that triggers the trap, so if you do have domestic pets then you will need to ensure that they stay well away from the area, otherwise they may be killed by the trap by accident.

When it comes to trapping groundhogs, most experts will recommend carrying out the work in the spring, shortly after the animals have come out of hibernation, because this will be before they have given birth and you have a whole family of the animals to deal with.

Poisoning Groundhogs

Like many other animals, using poison is one way that can be used to try and kill a groundhog. There aren't really any specific groundhog poisons that have been formulated to kill the animals, but using other poison such as rat poison will still kill the groundhogs, as the substance is toxic enough to kill most small animals of that size. Most people who do try to use poison to deal with their groundhog problem will usually sprinkle the poison outside the hole of the animal, where it cannot miss the poison as it goes in and out. This does also mean that any other animals that are passing through the same area of the yard or garden may also encounter the poison, which can cause problems.

Problems With Using Lethal Methods To Deal With Groundhogs

One of the biggest issues with using traps or poison to kill groundhogs, or even hunting them with a rifle in rural areas, is that you will need to deal with the animal's carcass in order to prevent any disease from spreading, and to ensure that other pest animals aren't drawn by the decaying carcass. While this can be straightforward when you have used a trap, poison won't necessarily kill the groundhog straight away, meaning that you will need to search around the yard or garden to find the carcass so it can be removed and disposed of. The other problem with using poison is that it is an indiscriminate killer, and there is a possibility that other animals such as pets may gain access to the poison, which makes for a much more unpleasant situation.

Preventing Groundhogs From Getting In Your Yard

Prevention is a far better method of solving a groundhog problem than having to deal with the animals once they have started digging their burrows, so whether you have removed the animal or are worried about groundhogs coming in to the yard, there are steps you can take. The most important thing you can do is to install a wire mesh fence around the yard or garden so that the animals can't get in, and when it comes to installing the fence, as groundhogs are burrowing animals it is worth embedding the fence around six inches under the ground, to prevent them from digging their way in.

Trapping And Other Methods Of Removal

The real solution to a groundhog problem is to catch the animal and then remove it a good distance away from your garden, and this is actually something that you can do yourself, or in more challenging cases you may need to employ a professional. Placing a cage trap with a few vegetables inside as bait can often be successful, while steps such as washing the cage to remove any human scent can help make the trap more successful. Pre-baiting is another way to catch problem animals, and this is done by placing the trap with the door open, and placing food there for the animal over several nights, before finally setting the trap with the bait, which will hopefully catch the groundhog. Once captured, take the groundhog to a new location well away from other domestic properties and gardens, preferable over ten miles away from your garden.

Go back to the main Groundhog Removal page for more information about how to kill groundhogs. Is poison a good way to exterminate groundhog?
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