With the sudden uptick in groundhog sightings, it is crucial that you know how to best catch these furry creatures. Here are some tips for catching a groundhog quickly and safely with minimal damage to your property or yourself

In the “do groundhogs abandon their burrows” article, it is stated that groundhogs are not known to abandon their burrows. They typically stay in the same spot for a long time.

Knowing how to trap a groundhog in your backyard, whether you name them woodchucks or whistle-pigs, is crucial if you’ve spotted the unmistakable damage they can inflict. However, there are a few things you should know before you start fighting this rodent.

Because knowledge is power, let’s start with an overview of your adversary.


Understanding Your Opponent

When it comes to capturing woodchucks, knowing how they behave will give you an advantage. If you decide to capture them, it will assist you in avoiding typical blunders and selecting the appropriate foodstuffs for bait. Remember that you’re in the middle of a conflict, and you’ll need to utilize all you’ve got.

A Groundhog’s Life

Herbivores, woodchucks eat a range of plant foods. In the wild, their food consists of a seasonal smorgasbord of wildflowers, followed by ripe fruits. They’ll also experiment with grubs and other protein sources.

They consume human meals in urban areas as well.

They are diurnal, which means they are active throughout the day. The warmer months of the year are critical for fat storage, which will help them get through their winter hibernation.

Groundhogs live a tranquil, lonely lifestyle of eating, sleeping, and eating again, while rodents may be thought of as rapid creatures racing about all over the place.

Woodchucks are creature of habit, and they like to stick to their routines by sticking near to their burrows. This makes it simpler to capture them since you can readily understand their everyday motions.

They spend their evenings and winters in burrows, which may lead to conflict with people if they dig them under structures—or your home!

Why Should You Be Aware of Groundhogs in Your Backyard?

Woodchucks aren’t aggressive, so don’t expect them to pursue your dogs or children around your yard. All rodents, however, represent a threat to people, particularly given the association between groundhogs and rabies.

Given their ravenous hunger, there is also a legitimate fear about the harm they might do to your garden or crops.

Signs that a Groundhog has taken up residence on your property

A woodchuck may be seen dragging its enormous 10-pound bulk through your yard. Other telltale signals that you have a resident animal are more likely to appear. They are as follows:

  • Your garden will be harmed
  • Holes in your house’s or outbuildings’ foundations
  • Chewing and digging marks
  • Tracks

Their front feet have four toes and their rear feet have five, as do many other creatures of comparable size. On both pairs of feet, you’ll see a substantial depression of their pads.

Groundhogs may do a great deal of harm. They, like other rodents, have a formidable pair of long incisors that continue to develop, especially given the size of the animal.

Now that you have this background knowledge, think about how you can catch your target and put a stop to the damage they’re causing.

Groundhog Capture Techniques

The legal status of groundhogs and municipal protection rules are the limiting factors when learning how to trap one in your garden. Much depends on whether or not the state considers them to be game animals.

This difference stops you from just laying a trap for them to fall into. All bets are off in favor of the landowner if the woodchuck is a nuisance animal, particularly if the pests are inflicting harm.

Regulations limiting your activities with game animals are often repealed, allowing you the flexibility you need to deal with a problem. It’s possible that you’ll still need a permission, but it’s usually a tiny price to pay in the long run.


Trapping is the most common method of dealing with groundhogs, unlike other game animals. We’ll look at both sides of this strategy: capturing the woodchuck and dealing with the fallout.

With a trap, you have two options. Either you’ll utilize a cage to live-trap them and move them somewhere, or the cage will do it for you. We’ll be straightforward and state that neither choice is appealing.

You may live-trap a groundhog using a single- or double-door device that you’ll bait with sweets like cantaloupe to entice the animal. They can’t get enough of the lovely aroma.

However, it’s not as simple as “set it and forget it.”

To avoid trapping non-targeted animals, for example, your bait selection is critical. It’s not always a winning tactic since many pests are opportunistic and will grab everything they can get their hands on.

You run the chance of catching creatures like raccoons, which represent a greater challenge—and risk—when it’s time to release them.

When You’ve Caught the Groundhog

There are two options available here. Either you must release the animal in accordance with your state’s laws and regulations, or you must dispatch it in accordance with the same rules.

Neither scenario seems to be promising.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to just unleash your foe anyplace. Many jurisdictions require you to release it a few kilometers from where you captured it. Some folks may not let you to leave it in a park since it has become used to humans.

It’s just kicking the can down the road at that point.

We don’t believe we need to go into detail about the second option. To say the least, many individuals see trapping as a strategy to prevent this outcome.

However, until the animal is killed by your trap, it is your obligation to see it through to the Conclusion. If you can’t do it yourself, get someone to do it for you.

Trapping Techniques to Make Trapping Work for You

Groundhogs, like all animals, are very aware of their surroundings. They are aware of new things and will shun them. This characteristic has allowed them withstand hundreds of years of predator pressure, including human interaction.

They will be drawn to shiny stuff. To eliminate glare, which is a red signal to a cautious prey species, we recommend using a scrub pad. To add to the false impression of security, we suggest keeping the trap door open and the trigger disconnected.

Wildlife learns which items are dangerous and which are harmless via experience. It’s preferable to leave the trap unset than to have it activated incorrectly, causing the victim to become more aware of its existence.

No matter what kind of reward you put inside, you’ll have a hard time enticing any animal to go inside.

Follow Up on Groundhog Infestations in the Future

Whatever option you choose, we highly advise you to take precautions to avoid a repeat. Woodchucks, like other rodents, are opportunistic. You may have learned how to capture a groundhog in your backyard once, but there’s another one ready to pillage your garden.

The simplest method to avoid difficulties is to make your yard unpleasant to woodchucks so that they don’t see it as a good place to eat or rest. It’s not nearly as complicated as it seems. Simply remove the necessities of life to urge them to search elsewhere.

There was no food, no water, and no groundhogs.

Scavengers, like many nuisance animals, are on the lookout for a free food. Make things difficult for yourself. To keep woodchucks away, keep garbage cans in the garage and pet food and water bowls inside. After all, they’re just like you, trying to make ends meet. Allow them to hunt for that free lunch ticket somewhere.

Other items, such as compost bins full of food, might attract these pests. We like the idea, but the issues with scavengers outweigh the advantages.

Habitat Removal

We’ve already established that groundhogs are solitary creatures. Get rid of those enticing den sites that provide them with the anonymity they want to keep them away. For an animal seeking for a spot to call home, dense foliage and woodpiles offer great shelter.

Burrowing sites will be shared by a large number of animals. The spot that a coyote prefers one year can be ideal for a woodchuck the next year. Cover any openings you notice with soil or stones. Because most have many entrances, you won’t be able to trap them; instead, you’ll erect a barrier to keep others away from the area.

Keeping Your Garden Safe

We understand how gardeners fight pests on a daily basis. As long as there are veggies and scavengers, the fight will never cease.

But don’t make it simple. Groundhogs will avoid your land if you use fences and other obstacles. All wildlife strives to make the most of its resources. Any roadblock you erect to this aim is a point in your favor.

Maintain the area both above and below ground. Woodchucks have keen claws and will easily crawl beneath a fence with them.

Setting a Trap: Your Responsibilities

If you opt to set a live trap for groundhogs, you must check it regularly as a hunter, particularly during rainy weather. We realize how important it is for you to get rid of an annoyance animal. There’s no need to be nasty and make them suffer.

This is a serious choice that should not be taken carelessly.


We know how frustrating it is to deal with a pest that is both opportunistic and resourceful. The destruction they inflict is enough to make anybody angry over a missed crop.

Thinking like a woodchuck is essential to catching a groundhog in your backyard. It’s on the lookout for a dependable food supply. To halt the issue in its tracks, make sure your trap is that supply.

Groundhogs are a common pest in most backyards. They can be difficult to catch, and they will often run away if you try to approach them. The “how to get rid of a groundhog in your backyard” is the fastest way to kill one, as long as you do it quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do groundhogs like shiny objects?

A: Groundhogs like shiny objects. They are attracted to bright and reflective surfaces, so they will often explore them by running around in circles or biting the surface with their sharp teeth.

What is the best bait to catch a groundhog?

A: There are a few baits that work well for catching groundhogs. You can use peanut butter, cheese or bacon as bait.

How do you get rid of a groundhog fast?

A: Groundhogs give off a musky smell and they are considered to be pests. If you want your house or lawn back, the best option is to hire someone like Wildlife Aid at www.wildaide.org/

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