Friday, November 4, 2011

Critter Culprits: Groundhogs Want to Feast on your Garden before Hibernation

One of the nuisance critter found on Long Island is the groundhog. Groundhogs, also called woodchucks or land beavers, are a part the rodent family, most closely linked to squirrels. They are herbivores, feasting on grass, vegetation and berries. Groundhogs have become a nuisance for local farmers and people with year-round gardens, looking for food. Since groundhogs hibernate in the winter months, they bulk up before they burrow underground. Most hibernation periods range from late October to March/April.

Groundhog nests can be as much as 5 feet deep and are complicated mazes up to 40 feet long to multiple exits. These web-like burrows can cause structural damage to buildings and foundations, as well as disturb the agricultural and residential development. Though they appear to be portly creatures, groundhogs are quite agile, able to climb and swim away from potential predators.

In late October, Quantico Marine Corps Base reported an overwhelming population of groundhogs. The local golf course, in Virginia, had minor success in the extermination of the groundhogs, but was unsure of exactly how many were under ground in the burrows. The grounds keeper is quoted as saying “In addition to damaging the landscaping, the tunnels can cause structural issues and damage utilities when they are under and around buildings.” To read an article on the effect of groundhogs on an area, go to

They may seem daunting to deter, but groundhogs are timid creatures. Several simple steps can keep them away from a year-round garden.
  • Smell/Taste – Groundhogs do not like spicy foods or smells. A few of these tips could trick the groundhog that your garden is not for public consumption
  • sprinkle spices around the edge of garden bed
  • Spray tops of vegetation with a hot sauce and water dilution
  • Motion/Noise—The movement of certain animals and birds will naturally keep a groundhog away from an area, but to keep other pest out as well:
  • Place paper/plastic windmills around the garden. These are cheap and will stop an above ground attack.
  • String a bell garland around the perimeter of your garden.
  • Use wind chimes to keep out all timid pests
Groundhogs are not the only pest this time of year to begin seeking homes for the winter. To keep unwanted house guests out call for a professional assessment of your home and property.
Suburban’s professional pest inspection involves:
Identifying the nuisance wildlife.
Locating entry points on the structure if possible.
Recognizing contributing environmental factors.

For more information on animal trapping for your home, visit If your home has suffered any damage from groundhogs, or any wildlife creature, we can repair those damages. We have carpenters on staff to restore the area to its natural state and prevent future issues. Call for your free estimate today, (631) or (516) 864-6900 or read about all our services at


  1. The picture is very cute..Anyways even how cute they are, they should be elimated in order to protect your properties.

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