Identify the Signs of Groundhog Activity
Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are elusive creatures that are rarely seen out in the open. However, if you have a shed in your yard, they could be living underneath it without you even knowing it. They create extensive tunnels and burrows that can cause significant damage to your shed and yard. Here are some signs that can help you identify whether groundhogs are living under your shed:
1. Holes and mounds – Groundhogs dig extensive burrow systems that result in large holes and mounds of dirt at the entrances and exits of their tunnels.
2. Garden destruction – If you have a garden near your shed, groundhogs can cause considerable damage by eating the plants and vegetables.
3. Damaged shed foundation – Groundhogs can tunnel beneath your shed, causing damage to the foundation, and in extreme cases, toppling the entire shed.
4. Foul odor – If the groundhogs have been living under your shed for a prolonged period, a foul odor may begin to emanate from the area.
5. Chewing marks on shed – Aside from their digging, groundhogs are also known for their ability to gnaw through wood. If you notice any teeth marks or other signs of chewing on your shed, it’s likely that you have a groundhog invasion.
If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to take action quickly before the problem escalates. Ignoring groundhog activity can result in irreparable damage to your yard and shed.
Remove or Relocate Food Sources
Groundhogs are herbivores, and they require a lot of vegetation to survive. This means that if you have a garden or any plants growing around your shed, you may accidentally be providing a source of food for the groundhogs. One of the easiest ways to get rid of groundhogs under a shed is to remove or relocate any food sources that may be attracting them.
Begin by clearing out any plants or vegetation growing near the shed area. This will remove their food supply and make them less likely to take up residence there. If you don’t want to completely remove the plants, consider transplanting them to another part of your yard where the groundhogs won’t be as attracted to them.
If you have a vegetable garden, be sure to harvest any fruits and vegetables as soon as they’re ripe. Leaving them out for too long can attract groundhogs, as well as other wildlife like squirrels and rabbits.
Another step you can take is to remove any pet food, birdseed or other animal feed that may be left outside. The scent of animal feed can attract groundhogs and tempt them to explore your property, looking for other sources of food. Keep all pet food and birdseed stored in airtight containers and out of reach of wildlife.
In addition to removing food sources, you may want to consider planting other types of vegetation that groundhogs find less appealing. Many folks have found success planting things like daffodils, alliums, and even hyacinths. These plants have strong scents that groundhogs find unpleasant, and they may help deter them from your shed area.
Install Fencing or Barriers
Groundhogs are known for their burrowing abilities and can easily create tunnels underneath your shed, causing significant damage. To prevent them from doing so, you can install fencing or barriers around the shed.
When it comes to fencing, galvanized hardware cloth with a mesh size of 1/4 inch is the best option as it is strong, rust-resistant, and can withstand the chewing of rodents. The cloth should be buried about 1-2 feet beneath the ground and extend at least 2 feet above ground level to prevent groundhogs from climbing over. You may also consider extending the fence outwards, about 12 inches from the shed to prevent groundhogs from digging their way around the barrier.
If you prefer a less obtrusive solution, barriers such as woven wire baskets or concrete-like barriers can be used. Woven wire baskets can be filled with stones or gravel and placed around the shed to prevent groundhogs from burrowing underneath. Concrete-like barriers, on the other hand, can be made by mixing concrete and pouring it into a trench dug around the shed. The resulting barrier will not only deter groundhogs but also add to the stability of your shed.
Whichever option you choose, ensure that the fencing or barrier is properly installed and maintained over time to continue to offer adequate protection.
Use Groundhog Repellents
If you’re looking for a humane way to remove groundhogs from beneath your shed, using repellents can be an effective solution. There are different types of repellents available in the market that can help deter groundhogs from staying in the area. One type of repellent that you can consider using is predator urine. This type of repellent works by making the groundhogs think that there’s a predator in the area, and it’s not safe for them to stay.
You can also try using spicy sprays to repel groundhogs. Spicy sprays work by irritating the groundhog’s sense of smell, making it uncomfortable for them to stay in the area. You can make your own spicy spray by mixing hot sauce or cayenne pepper with water and spraying it around the shed. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to reapply the spray regularly for it to remain effective.
When using repellents, it’s important to choose the right type of repellent for your situation. Consider factors such as the size of the area, the severity of the infestation, and the type of plants or vegetation around the shed. Additionally, remember that repellents are not a one-size-fits-all solution. A particular repellent may work well for one person but may not work for another.
Another thing to keep in mind is that repellents may not always be effective in deterring groundhogs, especially if the infestation is severe. In this case, you may need to consider using other methods, such as traps or exclusion fencing, alongside repellents.
Consider Hiring a Professional
If all else fails, consider hiring a wildlife removal professional to safely and effectively remove any groundhogs under your shed. While there are many DIY methods that can be effective, sometimes the situation requires professional assistance. Wildlife removal professionals have the training and equipment needed to safely remove groundhogs from your property, without putting you or the animals at risk. They will also know how to prevent future infestations, which can save you time and money in the long run.
When choosing a wildlife removal professional, be sure to do your research and hire a company that has experience dealing with groundhogs specifically. Look for reviews from previous customers and make sure the company is licensed and insured. It’s also important to get a written estimate before any work is done so you know exactly what you’ll be paying for. The cost of hiring a professional will vary depending on the size of your property and the severity of the infestation, but it’s usually worth the investment to ensure a thorough and safe removal process.
In some cases, wildlife removal professionals may also be able to provide you with preventative measures to avoid future groundhog infestations. This can include sealing off potential entry points and identifying areas where groundhogs may be attracted to your property, such as gardens or piles of debris. By taking these measures, you can reduce the likelihood of future groundhog infestations and protect your property.
If you’re unsure whether or not to hire a professional, consider the severity of the infestation and the potential risks involved with doing it yourself. If you’ve already attempted DIY methods without success, it may be time to call in the experts. Remember, when dealing with wildlife, safety should always be your top priority.