Have you ever wondered what groundhogs are up to when they’re running around your yard? Most people don’t know that these animals can cause a lot of damage. It often takes an NJ groundhog control specialist to remove them humanely. Still, their lives are fascinating, and National Geographic has given us an inside look.
All About the Groundhog
The groundhog is sometimes referred to as a woodchuck. It’s a marmot, and also a member of the squirrel family. They grow to weigh about 18 pounds, and from head to tail their length ranges from 24 to 35 inches.
During the warmer months of the year, groundhogs spend their time eating as much food as they can. They’re herbivores, so your garden is one of their favorite places to dine. After the first frost of the year, they hide away and snooze until springtime. Their fat helps to sustain them through the colder months of winter.
When to Call a NJ Groundhog Control Specialist
Groundhogs might be cute, furry and fun to watch, but they can also cause big problems. Given the right circumstances, they have been known to chew through underground wires. So even though they’re fun to watch, it’s best to find a professional who can help you remove them without causing harm.
At Stern Environmental, we’re eager to help you if you have a groundhog problem at your home. Contact us today.
While groundhogs are part of the squirrel family, they tend to be larger, nearly two feet in length and a weight of 10 pounds or more. The most distinctive feature of groundhogs, or woodchucks as they’re also known, is their powerful front feet used for digging burrows.
A groundhog’s burrow may reach as deep as five feet. There is often more than one entrance, and they are expanded to accommodate the groundhog’s growth. Eventually, a fully developed network of burrows can cover anywhere from eight to 66 feet.
Since groundhogs are herbivores, eating mostly vegetation, they can cause major damage to vegetable and flower gardens. Their burrows may also extend under sheds and other outdoor structures
DIY NJ Groundhog Control
Keep groundhogs out by surrounding gardens with a sturdy four-foot fence that reaches one foot below ground. Add an electric fence wire four to five inches off the ground to prevent groundhogs from climbing over. Live traps can be set with fresh fruits or vegetables as bait.
Groundhogs do plenty more than just predict the weather. They also destroy gardens, fight with pets, and may even spread disease. They’re cute, but there’s plenty to know about groundhogs:
Groundhogs are diurnal. Unlike opossums and other large rodents who are nocturnal, groundhogs sleep at night and conduct business during the day.
Groundhogs have winter homes. From October to March, groundhogs enter deep hibernation. They even make a special burrow just for the winter! Other small mammals bulk up and become less active during the winter — but groundhogs truly disappear underground.
At home in the trees! They’re called groundhogs for good reason, but they also climb trees exceptionally well. They typically only climb when looking for fruits and nuts to eat.
They outsmart many repellents. Tricks like leaving dog hair around the garden can scare away other garden-eating pests. Groundhogs are smarter than most people realize and quickly figure out any simple deterrents like that.
Groundhogs often bring predator animals to the neighborhood. Foxes, bobcats, and other predators usually know to stay away from humans and their property. However, they might be tempted to come onto your property if they sense wild prey like groundhogs.
Home gardeners and businesses with landscaping know that groundhogs are more destructive than most people realize. Call Stern Environmental for professional rodent control and we can safely trap and remove groundhogs off your property while helping prevent future damage.
Groundhog Day is a pretty big deal in most parts of the United States. Whether you’re superstitious or not, it’s always fun to find out if the famed local groundhog is going to predict another six weeks of winter. If you’re lucky, the groundhog won’t see his shadow, and you can begin looking forward to spring approaching a little more quickly.
Last year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took part in a ceremony on February 2 at the Staten Island Zoo. As a part of the ceremony, he held Charlotte, who was dubbed as “Chuck” for the occasion. While he was holding her, she wriggled free and slipped out of his grasp. She fell to the ground and later died from internal injuries.
This year, the zoo has decided to do things a little bit differently, which is perfectly fine with the Mayor. Instead of holding the groundhog, the rodent will be on display in a plexiglass case. Mayor de Blasio is happy about the new arrangement; especially since other New York City Mayors have been bitten in the past.
Groundhog Day is a lot of fun, but having groundhogs tearing up your yard sure isn’t! Some of them carry rabies, and that can be a big problem for that spring garden you’re so proud of. Regardless of when spring finally arrives, if you have a groundhog problems, please contact us right away.
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.