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What are the Common Problems that Groundhogs Cause?

Groundhogs otherwise known as whistle pig or woodchucks are known to burrow in fields and pastures, along fences and roadsides, and near building foundations or the bases of trees, leaving mounds of soil at the dig site. Groundhogs are primarily active during daylight hours, usually feeding in the early morning. They are strict herbivores and eat a variety of vegetables including soybeans, beans, peas, carrot tops, alfalfa and grasses. When not feeding, they are known to sunbathe during the warmest periods of the day.

They use burrows for mating, hiding from predators and hibernating. One branch of the burrow system leads to a nest chamber containing dried grass. This dead-end nest chamber is sealed with soil during the winter and serves as a hibernation chamber.

Groundhogs are also excellent diggers with dens ranging from simple and shallow dwellings, to extensive tunnel systems twenty-five to thirty feet long, and two to five feet deep, with two entrances. Their nesting chamber is usually at the end of the main tunnel, and they also make a toilet chamber somewhere within the tunnel system, helping to keep their living space clean.

They Can Damage Farm or Garden Crops

Groundhogs can be quite a nuisance especially because of the nature of burrows that they dig. Generally, groundhogs may cause great damage to the crops when they dig under the soil, which can lead to destruction of the roots. They occasionally eat garden or field crops and can cause considerable damage in a very short period.

They can Cause Damage to Farm Equipment

They burrow holes and mounds dirt that interfere with the operation of several types of equipment used on the farm. The burrowed holes can also pose threat to livestock and other farm animals, it can sink any farm equipment, and farm animals may stumble upon the holes and dens – that can eventually leave the farm animals injured.

They can Cause Damage to Buildings

Extensive damages is usually caused by their digging habits as they usually make burrows that are very large, especially in areas that are habituated by human beings. Apart from damaging agricultural crops, these burrows can tamper with the original foundation of buildings.

They can Damage Electric Wires and Cables

Apart from causing destructions via digging, groundhogs will also gnaw on absolutely anything; in most cases, they usually gnaw on underground electric cables in the name of sharpening their teeth and claws which end up causing electrical problems. It is important to get rid of the groundhog problem before they cause extensive damages to your property.

Threat of Carrying Rabies

Groundhogs rarely come in contact with humans and therefore pose no major public health hazards. However, they are capable of carrying fleas, ticks and rabies. However, rabies can also be a major concern for people who have groundhogs on their property. The key factor that helps get rid of these nuisance animals is by completely getting rid of their sources of food. At times, it may be challenging to completely do away with their sources of food because they are herbivorous that are very diverse.

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