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Old June 4, 2018   #1
Nan_PA_6b
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Default Temporary Ground Hogs

A few days ago, I found my lettuce and beans eaten. All of it in one night. Next day, I saw the most adorable and profoundly stupid baby ground hog in the yard. Its siblings were nearby. They were just small enough to fit through the mesh of the deer fence.

My fix was to pile dried grass and weeds (all of which I have plenty) against the inside of the fence to a height of about 10-12". Now they can't easily access an open mesh entry/exit. It's not a very
strong barrier, just a visual one.

It only has to hold up until they're too big to fit through the holes. Then I'll have almost a year to put up some chicken wire or other smaller mesh to deter next year's babies.

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Old June 4, 2018   #2
AlittleSalt
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Groundhogs also known as woodchucks. If it weren't for television and the internet, I wouldn't have a clue about them. I know moles, voles, and things that dig tunnels ("Holes" would have rhymed, but wouldn't be accurate) I know about squirrels, but never had one bothering the gardens. They ate your lettuce and beans, so they must be a pain for us gardeners.

I would like to know more about them - that's part of why I replied.
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Old June 4, 2018   #3
HudsonValley
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Lots of groundhogs here... They really are cute (but destructive)! Today an enormous one ran pell-mell through the yard; I didn't know something so round could run so fast! (A hawk was circling overhead.) To deter them from using my garden as an all-you-can-eat buffet, I use a combination of Repels-All, Liquid Fence, and deer netting, but disguising the scent of your garden goodies with garlic, cayenne pepper, and epsom salt reportedly works, too.
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Old June 4, 2018   #4
PhilaGardener
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Sorry to hear that, Nan; they have been a terrible problem for me. Adults, at least, can just snip through plastic fencing so you need metal mesh. I have battled them for years and finally put up 4 foot metal fencing (2x3"), with 12" of chicken wire (1" mesh) at the bottom. At the bottom, the fencing goes below ground and bends out in an L shape and is weighted by cinder blocks so they can't go under as easily. Think Maginot line when you build defenses against these destructive animals. Good luck!
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Old June 4, 2018   #5
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
Sorry to hear that, Nan; they have been a terrible problem for me. Adults, at least, can just snip through plastic fencing so you need metal mesh. I have battled them for years and finally put up 4 foot metal fencing (2x3"), with 12" of chicken wire (1" mesh) at the bottom. At the bottom, the fencing goes below ground and bends out in an L shape and is weighted by cinder blocks so they can't go under as easily. Think Maginot line when you build defenses against these destructive animals. Good luck!
It might ought to be better than the Magiot line or they will just go around it.

Historically one of the biggest wastes of time money and manpower any country ever came up with.

Now back to our regularly scheduled groundhog thread.

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Old June 4, 2018   #6
clkeiper
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terrible creatures! I know no one wants to hear... "Shoot them" but they are a seriously destructive pest. not only the damage to the garden the burrowing and homes they make are detrimental to large animals ( falling in and breaking a leg) farm equipment can break hitting a hole and people can step in a hole and hurt themselves if not beak something. they dig under barns and foundations under decks etc... I am not Walt Disney turning any of these pests human with cute little faces and dialog between us and them. Farmers ask people to come shoot them in their fields.
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Old June 4, 2018   #7
brownrexx
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Salt, I am not sure that you have woodchucks in TX. I think that people here view them similarly as Texans do armadillos. They dig holes all over the place. The ARE somewhat cute but can cause a lot of damage and really do not have any natural enemies other than dogs and cars so they seem to overpopulate. The adults are the size of a small dog or a large cat.

I have had them taking bites of my tomatoes in the summer when it is really hot and dry but usually they do not bother my garden too much and they stay out in the fields eating grass and weeds. The main reason that farmers hate them is that their holes are not highly visible in fields and farm equipment can break axles or animals such as cows and horses can break a leg by stepping into one.

The holes that they make are fairly flat and do not have a big pile of dirt beside it to make it more noticeable and they usually have several entrance and exit holes in one tunnel system.
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Old June 4, 2018   #8
oldman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
Think Maginot line when you build defenses against these destructive animals. Good luck!
Not to split hairs, but the Maginot line was over engineered, really expensive, and a terrible defense when it was actually needed :-)
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Old June 4, 2018   #9
TC_Manhattan
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Originally Posted by clkeiper View Post
terrible creatures! I know no one wants to hear... "Shoot them" but they are a seriously destructive pest. not only the damage to the garden the burrowing and homes they make are detrimental to large animals ( falling in and breaking a leg) farm equipment can break hitting a hole and people can step in a hole and hurt themselves if not beak something. they dig under barns and foundations under decks etc... I am not Walt Disney turning any of these pests human with cute little faces and dialog between us and them. Farmers ask people to come shoot them in their fields.
I have shot mine.
It's either that or have to shoot a horse when it's broken a leg from stepping into a 16" diameter entry hole. And those tunnels run deep.

I have almost done the same and would have broken my femur. Not pretty.

They are truly a menace to life and limb.

Had the excavator come last summer and dig out each burrow with the backhoe.
Literally dug out 20+ burrows in the pastures.
So far, no sign of anyone returning...
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Old June 4, 2018   #10
bower
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Back in the day, I had chicken wire fencing all the way around my large garden area to keep rabbits out. It was a constant struggle to keep it maintained and find where they made a hole to get under etc. Then one year I had it kept up really good, the mother rabbit brought her tiny one and got it into the "safe space" to live the good life. Yep even through chicken wire.
Nowadays I have my vegetables in small beds and only those areas are fenced and/or covered. Rabbits come and go, eat grass, oregano or whatever perennials they like, and they don't bother the small areas that are protected.
Anyhoo I wouldn't discount the cleverness of mother animals, to get their young into a protected fenced area. Finer mesh is a good idea.
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Old June 4, 2018   #11
SteveP
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I live in the city and there are 2 (that I have seen) adult groundhogs that have burrows within 100 yds of my house. The lady next door loves having them next to her property. She moved here after retiring from the CA state govt about 3 years ago and is a nice lady. She came over last week excitedly knocking on our door wanting to show my the 4 baby armadillos that were digging up her flower bed. She was so excited and happy. She looked at them as natures pets. I wasn't quite as thrilled. As long as they don't start tearing up my garden and flower beds I will leave them alone. But I won't be too sad if I see them sleeping in the middle of the road.
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Old June 4, 2018   #12
Nan_PA_6b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
Back in the day, I had chicken wire fencing all the way around my large garden area to keep rabbits out. It was a constant struggle to keep it maintained and find where they made a hole to get under etc. Then one year I had it kept up really good, the mother rabbit brought her tiny one and got it into the "safe space" to live the good life. Yep even through chicken wire. ...
About a week ago, DH saw the big mama ground hog hanging around outside our garden. She was doing just what you said: leading her babies to a safe buffet.
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Old June 5, 2018   #13
swellcat
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Default Resource Utilization

For those who may embrace the lethal route: http://wildliferecipes.net/Game_reci...ipes/index.asp . (Never tried this species, but rodents—rabbits and squirrels, as examples—can be delicious.)

Fly tiers will be very interested in the fur.

Remainders can be composted to feed plants next year.
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Old June 5, 2018   #14
Nan_PA_6b
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Interesting. Normally I catch them and release them in a wild area. But this would involve mama & 3 babies if I wanted to get rid of them.

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Old June 5, 2018   #15
bjbebs
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Groundhogs will eat a garden quicker than a family of deer. If you don't fence plan on feeding them. They are difficult to live trap but conibear traps work well over active burrows. They feed during daylight hours so they are easy to pattern. I've found the 11AM to 2PM time frame is a good time to set up and wait. They are smart and spook very easily. Lead from 30 yards out does the job.
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