Pests and Diseases forum: OT: Groundhog war!

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twitcher
Jun 20, 2013 8:35 AM CST
Can anybody help. A family of groundhogs lives under a neighborhood house. The house is empty but the beasts have discovered our garden next door and are destroying it. Research suggests that trapping is the only solution, but traps are expensive and iffy. We've tried the local gov. and law enforcement, but they all suggest living with the situation or to try fencing, which usually doesn't work. My blueberry crop is in jeopardy, so this is war. Anybody ever deal with this successfully?
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Jun 20, 2013 9:01 AM CST
Do you see holes? Do you have a cat?

I had holes where they came in. I filled the hole with used kitty litter and closed the hole and put a rock over.

They do sell ground hog spray that helps but if you are in fear of food products you cannot spray it on the fruit. Sprinkle some red pepper and if you have a carpet place near you ask them for their tac strips. I put them between all my beds and around the entrance.

Ammonia-soaked rags can be strewn along the perimeter of your garden, forming a stinky barrier to repel groundhogs.

Epsom salts can be sprinkled on the vegetation and fruits of your garden plants to render them foul-tasting to groundhogs. The good news about this strategy is that Epsom salts will also help some of your garden plants to grow better.

Another strategy that suffers from the same drawback is discouraging groundhogs with foul-smelling agents such as ammonia. Ammonia-soaked rags can be strewn along the perimeter of your garden, forming a stinky barrier to repel groundhogs. But even ammonia's smell fades eventually and a re-application will be necessary.

It was a big battle but they seem to be staying away this year. The tac strips also work for the rabbits. If they walk or hop on those boards they leave quick.

I thought it was the deer eating my hostas and it turned out I was getting more damage from the groundhogs than the deer.


http://landscaping.about.com/cs/pestcontrol/a/groundhog_day_...
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Jun 20, 2013 11:17 AM CST
Sorry Twit! Thumbs down
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Jun 20, 2013 4:32 PM CST
Hope you win! At least get them to go someplace else.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 20, 2013 4:45 PM CST
I wonder if the Plantskydd would work. Chris uses it with success. Just not sure about the groundhogs?
Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
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LabourofLove
Jun 20, 2013 7:22 PM CST
A .22 cal. works just fine!
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Glover, Vermont

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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Jun 20, 2013 7:26 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing On my!!!
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 20, 2013 7:54 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing We better start up a fund for bailing him out of jail, since he lives in the city limits. Whistling

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Jun 20, 2013 10:07 PM CST
Thanks, Cinta, for your suggestions and the rest of you for your sympathy. We have neighborhood cats, but I no longer have any. Ammonia is not a good option, as it fades and I do not have a daily presence there to renew it. Cost is also a factor. I'll have to look for a source of used kitty litter (or maybe get a cat myself!) I can't address the holes directly as they are on another property.

Since I was looking for a long term solution, I bought a nice trap. Got a good deal on it, only $35. (I'd rather have spent the cash on some Oro's) Its set up and baited, this time with watermelon. You are supposed to leave a trail from where the critter walks to the trap, then put more of the bait in the trap. We'll see on Sunday if it works. A neighbor says that we have 4 or 5 of them varmints as they are reproducing.

I am also putting up a fence, but that is a major pain as it gets in the way of garden maintenance (I have raised beds) and bought a bottle of repellant to use.

The tac strip idea sounds wonderful, but I fear I will get more injury than the varmints, as I have become a bit of a klutz in the bast few years.

I'd love to take up arms against these monsters, but its in a neighborhood. That would get me in serious trouble although when we called and talked to the police about the problem, we were told "If it was me, I'd shoot them, but I didn't say that!"

I got the trap at a local farm supply store. In discussion with store personnel, I was told a couple of sure-fire solutions that involve poison. Unfortunately the delivery mechanisms involve risks to other animals, including pets, so I'm not going to try them. I did hear that groundhogs love wild cherry pepsi though. Anybody know if that is true? If so, it would make a good bait for the trap.

It's all out war until they are gone. They've been there for several years and we had a peace treaty in place for all that time, but now they went and did a "Pearl Harbor" on me, the sneaky pests.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 20, 2013 10:45 PM CST
All I can tell you is the fence will not work. I have a fence that is why I asked if you saw holes. Mine dig a tunnel and come up over to my property. Just warning you. Do not get comfortable thinking you are safe after the fence goes up.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
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goldfinch4
Jun 21, 2013 1:01 AM CST
Oh Twit, this is really bad news. Other than shooting them, I've never heard of anything that really works.
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Name: Kate
S Wales UK (Zone 9a)
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Eviesmummy
Jun 21, 2013 1:45 AM CST
Crying Angry Oh no Twit, I hope that the trap works and you can get rid of them. Thankfully groundhogs are one pest that we don't have to deal with this side of the pond.
Kate UK
[Last edited by Eviesmummy - Jun 21, 2013 4:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jun 21, 2013 3:33 AM CST
Twit, can you give us photos of the damage? And maybe one of the groundhogs?

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Jun 21, 2013 6:23 AM CST
Kate, If I catch some, I could try to send them to you. That should be far enough away

Lynn, no pics so far. The rats run away when they see or hear me. I only get brief glimpses. Now, if I catch one....
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jun 21, 2013 7:39 AM CST
Hurray! Yes twit, catch one for us, um for you I mean. Big Grin
Name: Kate
S Wales UK (Zone 9a)
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Eviesmummy
Jun 21, 2013 8:32 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Kate UK
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 21, 2013 8:36 AM CST
They do say they are easy to scare I did not try this but they said pinwheels work.

In my yard there is a gravy chain of chasing.

The Deer chase the Turkey
The Turkey Chase The Groundhog'
I Chase everybody.

This is a pic..by the time I ran and got my camera he was already running away they had him surrounded.

Thumb of 2013-06-21/Cinta/c95f97

They had their babies out for a walk and he walked up on them and they went crazy on him.

Thumb of 2013-06-21/Cinta/9e63b0

After they chase them away they think they are king.

Thumb of 2013-06-21/Cinta/d20fdb
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Jun 21, 2013 10:01 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing That turkey is strutting his stuff!!!
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jun 21, 2013 10:07 AM CST
Twit, there is your solution. Get a flock of turkeys. Big Grin
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 21, 2013 11:30 AM CST
I have extra turkeys I can spare....You want some? Hilarious!

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