How To Get Rid Of GroundHogs

Posted 4 months ago by Vani Kambali in

Disney and these animated movies have made a lot of animals quite cute but that is just not true. Can you ever imagine a lion being super cute and crying? No right? Well, same is the case with a Groundhog. The groundhog that appeared adorable in Groundhog Day isn't the same in reality. In fact, they can become a real pain when it comes to getting rid of them. 

A lot of people don't know what a groundhog is or confuse it with a squirrel. They might look like animal that you would want to keep as a pet but trust us, you don't want them. And if you spot them, the first thing you must do is get rid of them. 

However, before jumping onto the ways through which you can get rid of the groundhog, it is important that you know what they are.

How To Get Rid Of GroundHogs

What Is A Ground Hog?

Ground Hog or otherwise known as wood chuck, these adorable looking animal survives by feeding on plants which is why it is important that you get rid of them. Any sort of plantation can be destroyed in the nick of time if you have a groundhog under your sleeve. They are typically found in low-elevation forests, small woodlots, fields, pastures and hedgerows however, they can very well enter your houses too. Ground Hogs can live a maximum of 6 years but their average is 2-3 only. 

There survival through plants is the reason why you should and must have them far away from the home. If you are a farmer or loves growing plants at home, we recommend getting rid of them in order to protect. They use their incisors and claws to protect themselves whenever they spot a predator so be careful when catching them. 

When it comes to their features, there are a couple of them which will define them the most. The groundhog usually weighs about 5 to 14 lbs. Their fur is gray brownish and they are short with strong feet. They usually go into their holes or climb trees in order to protect themselves from predators and are originally originated from Canada to the southern U.S. 

There are multiple ways you can keep them captive. And as horrendous as it may sound, keeping them captive is good for ground hogs too. It increases their life span to as long as 12 years in a captive environment. Let's look at the ways you can get rid of them.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Ground Hog

There are a lot of ways and methods that you can use in order to get rid of the hog. You can do this all by yourself and you don't even need much help from professional when it comes to these. Well, you must be thinking that you will have to, in order to get rid of them, kill them. Well, no! You don't necessarily have to kill them in order to get rid of them. We understand that it will break your heart to kill something this cute so here we are, bringing to you, ways through which can get rid of them without harming them one bit.

  1. Box Trap
  2. Creating Vibrations In The Ground
  3. Smoke It Out
  4. Ammonia Effects
  5. Garlic And Pepper Treatment
  6. Urine
  7. Fencing
  8. New Food Source
  9. Sanitize Your Space
  10. Lime
  11. Repellents
  12. Talcum Powder

Box Trap

Box trap[1] has been the most traditional way of trapping animals since time unknown. It works brilliantly with ground hog as well. This is also the most humane way of trapping the animal because this way, you can leave them to a foster home[2] or if you find them cute enough, then you can for sure keep them at your place with observation of course. You can also choose to release them far away if both of the options mentioned above seems too much of a hard work. The best part about the ground hog is that they are normally not harmful at all but can bite if they sense threats. So make sure that when you are dealing with them, you wear thick gloves and keep your hands covered to avoid any sort of bites. 

Steps To Trap The Ground Hog

Step-1: The first step is to prep the trap. Make sure you wear rubber gloves[3] and try to keep yourself scent proof because if the hog senses that a human has come in contact with the trap, they will most definitely not come in contact with it.
Step-2: One more positive factor when it comes to ground hogs is they usually have visible burrows[4] where they usually reside and come out only when they have to feed themselves. So, keep the trap 5-10 feet from their burrow so that as soon as they come out, they will get trapped.
Step-3: Just like you wouldn't go into something that looks like a trap, ground hogs will not too. You will have to camouflage[5] it in order to make it look like grass or ground. They survive by eating grass so there is a great amount of chance that this will trap them. Cover the trap with mud, grass, twigs[6] and branches and place a small brick to keep the trap from moving which will scare the hog away.
Step-4: If you have ground hog at your house then you must have spotted them because they were feeding onto the things that you were growing at your backyard. Notice what that is and place those things on the trap as well. Make sure that you place your bait[7] way inside so that they have to go all in, in order to get it which ensures that they get trapped.
Step-5: Once you have set everything, we recommend observing the cage as often as you can. There is a heavy chance that the hog will get super agitated and hurt itself in the trap. So keep a track and as soon as you see them in the trap, cover it with a towel to keep them calm, pick it up and keep it a little away from your body in order to protect yourself from any sort of a disease. Take it in the car and make sure someone is holding it at all times. Also note that you must be wearing thick gloves at all times in order to protect your hand from bites.
Step-6: Now drive to at least 5 miles a distance from your place and opt for a place which is covered with trees and grass as it will make the hog feel comfortable and this way they won't come back. 

Make sure you opt for a live trap instead of a lethal one which can kill the hog. It is not something that we want. The live trap will automatically shut the door as soon as the hog will enter it. Also, note that hogs love cantaloupes[8] so you can very well use them in order to trap them in.

Creating Vibrations In The Ground

While this seem like a very weird way of dealing with this problem, it actually works. The vibration can be created either using lawn windmills[9], spinning pinwheels, or a vibrating sonic device. All you have to do is place them close to their burrows. This will just make them come out of their burrows and then it will be easier for you to trap them and then leave them somewhere far away. This is a great method to combine with the one mentioned above. You can keep the trap right outside the burrow and create the vibration so that as soon as the vibrations are created, the hog can come running out from there and get trapped in the cage. 

How to Install A Vibrating Stake 

Step-1: First, dig a hole in your yard. Make sure it is deep enough so that the vibrating stakes[10] fit well.
Step-2: Now, all you have to do is slip the stakes into the hole.
Step-3: Make sure you don't hammer it as it can damage it.
Step-4: Just use it as often as you want in order to get rid of the ground hogs. 

The reason it works is because it is invisible to eye and the hog will not be able to spot them and the vibrations will confuse them and make them come out of the burrow.

Smoke It Out

Smoke is also a great way to get rid of the ground hogs. The fumes work very well. What it does to the ground hogs is that the fumes suffocates[11] the hog in the burrow and kill them. We know this might not be the best way to treat them but if you are someone who has a farm or likes growing vegetation, we can totally understand your frustration with them. So, while we still suggests opting for other methods to get rid of them, if you don't have any option, then you can use this method to get rid of them permanently. While you might be wondering which way to do this, the easiest will be using a gas bomb. If you cannot find that easily, you can also use other natural methods to do this. All you need is strong and large amount of gas which will suffocate the hogs. This will need your observation however. What you have to do is wait for the time when the ground hog is inside the burrow and then cover all the burrows except for one. Now, all you have to do is drop the gas bomb into the burrow. This will suffocate the hog and kill them within no time. 

Note: Make sure you cover the burrow as soon as you drop the gas bomb in the burrow. 

Ammonia Effects

Yes, you have heard this term a lot when it comes to hair color. We are sure you would have seen how ammonia is harmful when it comes mixed in the hair color. However, when it comes to ground hogs, it will help you and you will thank us for introducing you to it. This is also the easiest method to get rid of the ground hogs. All you have to do is buy it from the market and fill the burrow with it. While no one knows what actually happens to them, weather they die or move some place else, but a lot of people have reviewed that after using the ammonia[12], they never spotted the ground hog ever. However, make sure you use them multiple times in order to get rid of them permanently. 

How To Make The Solution 

Step-1: Ammonia is a chemical and hence the first step will be to use a glove in order to keep your skin protected.
Step-2: Now, all you have to do is mix 1 part ammonia, 1 part dish washing agent and 3 parts water. Mix it really well so that all the ingredients mixes really well into each other.
Step-3: So now, all you have to do is pour this solution into the burrow, this will create the fumes and ultimately make the hogs die. If you don't want to use this method, then you can also spray the entrance of the burrow with this solution.
Step-4: This should do the job but if you want to intensify this solution, you can add Castor oil and cayenne pepper to it and do the same procedure.

Garlic And Pepper Treatment

If chemicals scare you a lot, you can always go for the natural ways of treating the groundhogs. The way it works is that groundhog hate the smell of both garlic[13] and pepper[14]. You can be very comfortable when it comes to using this as well because it is 100% natural. All you have to do is crush garlic and pepper both and fill it up in the burrow. Also, make sure that you cover the burrow as soon as you fill it up because if not then the smell of it will spread in the air and loose its total effects. Do this day after day till you notice them entirely gone. If crushing them is too much a task, you can directly buy the pepper and garlic spray and quickly cover the burrows again. The pepper spray can be very suffocating and this can make the ground hog come out instantly. 

So you have two options here. You can either clog the burrow quickly and make them die because of the suffocation or else, you can just keep the trap right in front of the burrow so that because of the suffocation they come out and instantly walk into the trap. You can further increase the effect and lay the garlic and pepper all over the garden and yard.


Okay, we know the first thing that will pop in your mind is how on earth will you use this method. Well, you can always get a cat and dog who can do this job for you. While we know this is not a method that will be 100% effective, you can always give it a try. They are also great predators to the groundhog. While you might be thinking how this will help, let us tell you how? The groundhog tends to move its place when they feel uncomfortable and not in peace. 

Having a dog and cat really help you in getting rid of them. You can try and make your pet urinate in the burrow, this will suffocate them and make them leave the burrow and go far off. If you can, then sprinkle the urine around the yard, this will also prevent them from coming back.


Fencing works really well when it comes avoiding the ground hog. The way a fence[15] will help is that it will prevent the groundhog from making a burrow in your yard. This is a prevention method. If you have a burrow already, this will not really help. So make sure you get this beforehand. There are multiple raw material that you can use in order to make the fence. You can use either wood or even petal depending on the standard of your societies privacy and standards. 

If you use a metal or a wood to make this fence for yourself, make sure that there are no gaps between them. Even if you have the gap, make sure they are not more than 3 inches. Also, make sure that you dig the hole at least about 2 feet deep in order to fix the fence. Try to give it a curve, instead of keeping it straight. This will make it difficult to climb.

New Food Source

This is going to be a trial and hit method. This will need you to create a vegetation a little far from your home in the hope that the ground hog will travel there and leave your space. This like we said will be hit and trial. It might work and might not even. One drawback with this however is that you will be putting in a lot of efforts without knowing if it will actually work or not. But if it does, it will work brilliantly. You will be providing them a warm home and not kill them but still get rid of them. For some, it might feel that you are giving the ground hog a place to feed and increase their population but it is still a better method of getting rid of them instead of killing them. All you have to do is irritate them a little with the smell or with the vibrations, and they will eventually spot this place and go running for it. There are some plants which the ground hog specifically love, something which you can plant in this new vegetation that you are creating for them. They are :

  1. Clover
  2. Basil
  3. Beet
  4. Zinnias
  5. Parsley
  6. Green beans
  7. Alfalfa
  8. Chrysanthemum

Opt for whichever seems economical and convenient to you and fill a particular area up with this particular plant. Considering it will be hit and trial, we recommend not investing a lot on this and rather choosing an option which is cheaper and easy to maintain. Oh yes, note that you will have to water them till they are fully grown if you really want the hog to get attracted to it. So opt for a plant which comes with bare minimum maintenance.

Sanitize Your Space

Sanitation is very important when it comes to dealing with hogs. Vegetation to you might just seem growing of things, however, for a ground hog, a dustbin filled with banana peels and food is vegetation too. This will attract them to your yard and once they are in, well, there is no way to get rid of them then. The way to deal with this will be to quickly pick up your raw waste and throw it far off. That's it. That's how much it will take for you to keep them far away from your land. An over flowing trash can also do the same so make sure that if you cannot throw the waste instantly, you at least have them well covered. 

Also, one way to avoid them will be by spraying some kind of a fragranced solution around the bin so that if you cannot clear the bin soon, they are at least not attracted by the smell which will make them come to you eventually.


Lime is also one the natural ways through which you can get rid of the ground hogs very easily. The way this works is that it burns the hogs feet and this cause them to get irritated and leave the place. Lemon is great when it comes to getting rid of the hogs. The best part is how natural it is. You will not harm yourself whatsoever by using the lemons but it will definitely help you in getting rid of it entirely. Also, you can spray the lemon juice onto the plants that the ground hogs are feeding on. The smell and the way it will make their feet feel will instantly make them leave the premises. 

This is also a great way to get rid of them without killing and majorly harming them. All you have to do is juice out the lemon juice and use it directly. Don't dilute it at all cause it will weaken the effect. Use it as is and see how it works wonder for you. You can also pour the juice into the burrow directly. This will also make them leave the premises as soon as possible.


Repellents are a great and easy way to get rid of the ground hog. The main reason why you are attracting the ground hog to your yard is because of the vegetation. It could be the plants that you are growing or the sanitation which must be creating the problem. Keeping the repellent handy will be a great way of getting rid of the ground hog. The smell of a repellent is something that keeps the ground hog away. If you are buying a repellent directly from the store, there is a sure chance that they comes mixed with a fox or coyote urine which is the smell that will help repel the hog. It is also the smell which will irritate the hog and make them go away to some other property. This is great because you are not killing the animal and in fact just helping them move from one place to another. It is great for people who don't want to use chemicals or toxic ingredients because they have kids or animals who can directly get affected from it. 

Also note that repellent are diluted enough, so don't mix anything with it in order to intensify the effect. In fact, make sure that you mix it with other preventive methods to make sure that the hog never returns. This is also method which requires minimum efforts. All you have to do is grab the repellent whenever you are shopping the next time and spray it around and save yourself from the troubles that the ground hog can cause.

Talcum Powder

Talcum Powder is a great method when it comes to getting rid of the ground hog. Also, this is one of the most amazing treatment because it is far off from damage to the skin. The reason why we love it is the same reason why the ground hogs hate it so much. It is the smell. Anything which does not smell like vegetation and nature is something that irritates the hogs a lot. The talcum powder being the same. Plus the best part about it is how well and easily you can work with it. All you have to do is spread it entirely on the yard and the smell of it will keep them away. 

However, the problem with this is that it might keep the ground hog away but it will not prevent them from making their burrow. They can also get into it and save themselves from the smell. In this case, you can fill the burrow with it. However, it is not sure that it will prevent them from making their burrow whatsoever!

Tips To Keep The Ground Hogs Away

While now you have all the detailed methods through which you can keep the ground hogs away, there are some tips that you can follow which will help you preventing them in the first place and if you have got them, then you can use these to get rid of them as well. Note them down, and always remember, precaution is better than cure.

  1. The first and foremost has to be building the fence in order to keep the away. Get them dug deep in and make sure that they are high so that the ground hog cannot climb them and come in.
  2. Considering they hate fragrances, spill and spray the fence using garlic or pepper spray everyday and this will also help keep them out of sight.
  3. While the animals urine work wonders when you are looking to get rid of these cute but devilish animals, you will be surprised to know that cat or dogs hair work as well. All you have to do is keep them in a mesh bag, dig a hole and put this bag inside it. Make sure you keep this around the fencing. The reason why this works is ground hog can smell other animals or species smell and they will maintain a safe distance from them to live in peace.
  4. You can also stuff crushed garlic and pepper into the hole.
  5. Season play a very important role when it comes to Groundhogs. They hibernate from September to early October. Therefore, make sure that you harvest your vegetables as early as possible. This way you will be ensuring that by the time they start showing up, there will be no food left for them to feed on. This way you don't have to kill them and they can survive without harming your efforts.

While they might look really really cute, you cannot have them living in your life. Until and unless you are kind enough to let them eat the efforts that you put in, in order to make them grow. Getting rid of the ground hog is not easy, it needs intensive planning. You will have to plan, trap, repel and permanently exclude them from your lives. While some of the methods might sound really scary, trust us if you have these small creatures living in your home, they will not seem so deadly and you will very blissfully take them on. 

So, think and decide which method you want to adopt. Weather you want it to be chemicals which will obviously be harmful and also lead to the ground hog dying. Or else you can opt for natural methods which will be perfect if you have a kid or an animal at home to whom a chemical used can cause a lot of harm. Dealing with them is tricky cause they have strong feet and they know their ways of escape. So ensure that you have everything planned and you know how you will be executing it to keep them away permanently.

This article has been medically reviewed by Dr.Geeta Sundar on 01/07/19 

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