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Groundhogs & Woodchucks

Groundhog/Woodchuck Appearance: A woodchuck, also known as a groundhog, is a small rodent weighing approximately eight pounds and growing to be close to three feet in length. These animals appear in a variety of brown hues, with their fur divided into two distinct layers. The undercoat is generally darker and consists of thick fur, while the outer layer is longer, coarser hair made to deflect water and fine debris. Woodchucks have long bodies supported by powerful legs, and are capable of impressive digging and short bursts of speed. Scissor-like teeth aid the animal in breakdown of vegetation.

Groundhog Biology: Groundhogs (Marmota monax) are rodents, and adults average 8-10 pounds. They give birth in spring to 3-6 young. They can live up to six years in the wild. They are primarily herbivorous, eating a wide variety of plants.

Groundhog Behavior: Groundhogs are diggers. They excavate tunnels and burrows underground, in which they live and raise young. The tunnel may have up to five entrances and 50 feet of total tunnel distance. They create a den to live in, and to hibernate in. They are primarily active during the daytime. They can climb and swim, but they mostly stay in fields, foraging. When they sense danger, they retreat for the tunnel. Woodchucks can create a wide variety of vocal noises. They grow fat during the summer, lethargic by autumn, and in winter, they hibernate. They emerge in spring and start the mating process.

Nuisance Concerns: Woodchucks are considered agricultural pests, since they love to eat a wide variety of crops. However, their burrowing habits often cause a bigger problem. Horses can break their legs by stepping into burrows, and when a groundhog digs under a house or deck, the removal of soil can undermine the foundation.

Groundhogs are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of digging and eating crops. The most common complaints include the following:

  • Large burrow next to homes, garages, and sheds

  • Large burrow under deck

  • Garden/landscaping being eaten

For these reasons, many people wish to have this nuisance animal trapped and removed.

Groundhogs have been known to carry a variety of diseases such as:

  • Tularemia- Bacteria spread to humans through infected ticks.

  • Lyme Disease- Bacteria spread to humans through infected ticks.

  • Powassan Disease- Virus spread to humans through infected ticks.

  • Rabies- Virus spread by biting or scratching

  • Intestinal Roundworm- Parasite creating intestinal issues in humans and dogs.

  • Fleas- Insects infesting cats and dogs

Give us a call today if you are dealing with nuisance Groundhogs. We offer Free Home Evaluations to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. Call Pest Pros at 269-993-0051

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