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Woodchuck Control and Removal

Woodchucks (Marmota monax)

Activity/Behavior:

Woodchuck Control and Removal The woodchuck is a member of the squirrel family. It is also known as the ground hog. In general, woodchucks prefer open farmland and the surrounding wooded or brushy areas adjacent to open land. Burrows commonly are located in fields and pastures; along fencerows; stone walls, and roadsides; and near building foundations or the bases of trees. Woodchucks prefer to feed early in the morning and evening hours. They eat vegetables, grasses, and legumes. Preferred foods include soybeans, beans, peas, carrot tops, alfalfa, clover, and grasses. On occasion, the woodchuck’s feeding and burrowing habits conflict with human interests. Damage often occurs on farms, in home gardens, orchards, nurseries, and around buildings. Damage to crops and structures can be expensive. Woodchuck burrows are distinguished by a large mound of soil at the main entrance. Each burrow system has two or more entrances.

Dangers:

Gnawing on underground power cables has caused electrical outages. Burrows underneath sidewalks, or concrete floors can cause structural damage.

Removal and Prevention:

The most effective method for removing woodchucks is through trapping. Traps should be placed near burrows and along fence rows or buildings. The same principal applies with monitoring to ensure that all of the nuisance woodchucks have been removed. Once all of the woodchucks have been removed, it is recommended that rat walls should be installed to prevent further borrowing.