They may look cute and fuzzy; but a groundhog can lay waste to your backyard garden plot in a single night. All the hours you spent digging and planting and the money spent on seeds and plants can be destroyed in a matter of hours by a hungry groundhog. These herbivorous rodents have a taste for leafy green vegetation but won’t think twice about feasting on your expensive landscape plants and ornamental grasses. They can also cause serious damage to lawns when they use their sharp talons to dig for grubs and snails.
Native to New Jersey and common throughout Eastern and Midwestern states, groundhogs, called woodchucks in some areas, are members of the marmot family. Adults are brown with short bushy tails, weigh between 4 and 9 pounds and grow to an average length of 16 to 26 inches. These rodents typically live in underground dens in forested areas but in suburban areas will burrow under porches, decks and sheds. Dens harbor fleas, ticks and mites which can migrate indoors or onto pets when dens are built under homes.
Fierce defenders, groundhogs can carry rabies, presenting a serious problem for New York City, Long Island and New Jersey homeowners, particularly in late spring when litters are born. For your safety, humane groundhog removal should be performed by an experienced New Jersey wildlife removal expert.