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View Full Version : HELP!! Groundhogs have TAKEN OVER!!



Runnerandrider
Jul. 8, 2010, 11:52 AM
I was at my new farm this week getting it ready for the horses, fixing fence and all that good stuff, when I came across a TON of groundhog holes in several places (including one spot that had to have 7 or 8 within 5 feet). There are also holes toward the edge of 2 of the stalls. At one point I looked up and counted 5 of them running toward the brush!! What do I do??? I move my horses in in approx 3 weeks. As background, the farm is about 60 acres and has been empty several years, and is in central VA. Thank you in advance!

SMF11
Jul. 8, 2010, 12:30 PM
The only way I have found to get rid of groundhogs is to (I'm serious) pour used kitty litter down the holes, wait a couple of days, and then fill the holes in with dirt.

I tried using one of those poison smoke bombs, and it did not work, they came back. I tried my handyman shooting them, same, they came back. The only thing that got them to move was the kitty litter.

I've read that they are fastidious and are so repelled that they move. Whatever it is, it works for me and I've now cleared three big fields (about 20 acres) over the years of them.

mkevent
Jul. 8, 2010, 03:19 PM
Agree with SMF-used kitty litter does work.

Also wanted to add that keeping the fields mowed also helps. Mine have moved from the pastures to the other side of the fences, so at least that's a bit better. I haven't been able to get rid of them entirely, but at least there are no ground hog holes in the pastures anymore.

TooManyChickens
Jul. 9, 2010, 09:13 AM
My solution was to grab short 4x4's, planks, any type of wood that you can stuff down there (we're in the midst of construction so wood was abundant), and check for nails. Make sure they get stuffed in there deep, nothing close to poking out at ground level, just enough to plug the hole way down in there. Then I took loads of manure and just dumped it on top. Worked like a charm!

I tried kitty litter but found that I went through so much of it, and this was just a cheaper option.

SunkenMeadow
Jul. 9, 2010, 09:26 AM
Ugh, they are like gross large fat rats arent they? I need Jack Russells in ground hog hunting size....

ToiRider
Jul. 9, 2010, 10:24 AM
My insurance agent told me that groundhogs will destroy the foundation of a barn and make the roof sag eventually. He told me to get rid of groundhogs at any cost from around the buildings. Luckily, I don't have any.

As an aside, I was harrowing my field last night and stopped to investigate a small animal burrow. Turns out they had uncovered an old broken off metal fencepost that was sticking out of the ground, just as the perfect height for a horse to injure itself terribly. First time I've ever been thankful for an animal burrow! I immediately got a shovel and dug that out, but it makes me wonder how many more are out there, waiting for me to find.

Couture TB
Jul. 9, 2010, 10:57 AM
You too huh? There are about 30 holes around the stable we just moved into. Evil little buggers!

SunkenMeadow
Jul. 9, 2010, 11:02 AM
I had one sitting in front of my front door the other day and I almost vomited... my husband is pulling out all his Caddyshack tricks to try to get rid of them... I am ashamed to admit the one method that has worked...

judybigredpony
Jul. 9, 2010, 11:12 AM
I tried kitty litter but found that I went through so much of it, and this was just a cheaper option.

Ummm it has to be "Dirty" kitty litter.

Also emptying porta John refuse works spectacular if you have a horse show and get them pumped out.
Yeah I know seriously gross and possible sanitation laws but they leave as move to another state.

the smoke from the bombs doesn't penetrate all the dens with in the tunnel.

I heard moth balls work well?? Someon suggested bubble gum, they it and get sick??

TooManyChickens
Jul. 9, 2010, 11:16 AM
I know it needs to be dirty.. but for the amount I needed to fill the holes, my cats couldn't keep up with the demand! Even with multiple litter boxes sitting out!

Aven
Jul. 9, 2010, 11:18 AM
Find some working JRT owners. They would be THRILLED to take care of your hog problem!

amoore
Jul. 9, 2010, 02:26 PM
Disclaimer: I am an animal/creature lover. I capture bugs and carry them out of the house instead of killing them. HOWEVER, when it comes to "gophers" (thank you Caddyshack), I feel no mercy. They have terrorized our small farmette for the eleven years we have lived here. We tried to co-exist with them. I fenced off two large sets of holes for them so my horses could be safe and the gophers could have their home in the field. Mistake. They undermined our barn, ate our entire veggie garden, chewed the legs of a table I have in my tack room for mixing feed, and multiplied year after year. This past spring, I had had it. I realized that I now had NINE areas fenced off in my pasture to preserve these inflated rodents. As luck would have it, we had a mason working at our house who is also an avid trapper. He was eager to take on the project and boy were we eager too! Between the end of May and yesterday, we have trapped fourteen of the monsters and we only have 5 acres of pasture! I have been able to fill in and un-fence the majority of the holes. We can actually mow the entire pasture again! See, the problem with just filling the holes with kitty litter or other matter is that they are persistent. They will just go dig another hole somewhere nearby. This does not really solve the problem. If they have a good food source and feel safe, they have no reason to truly leave the property. Once you fill in the hole and see no activity and think you are safe, wrong! You just have to go find the new hole(s)! We tried for years to use more "peaceful" methods- all sorts of other animal manure, even husband peeing around the holes, and all it did was push them to dig a new hole. I hate to say this, but trapping and killing them is the only way to truly get rid of them.

SMF11
Jul. 9, 2010, 02:43 PM
Well, it depends how much land you have and if there is another location they can go without doing any harm. Once I filled in the holes and used the fields as pastures (grass is low b/c it is grazed or mowed) the groundhogs never came back. Undoubtedly they moved elsewhere on the farm, but since we have lots of brushy wildlife corridors and fields without horses that is fine with us.

You must have very brave groundhogs to have them come into your tack room and gnaw on a table!

amoore
Jul. 9, 2010, 06:29 PM
Our barn has wooden floors except for the tack room which has a gravel floor. They dug up and under the floor and put a hole in the corner of the room. The table was in the corner above the hole. They used to pop into the room under the table, momma and babies, chew on the legs, then disappear every time I entered the room.

They ARE bold here. They are not even frightened of our Saint Bernard!

judybigredpony
Jul. 9, 2010, 09:26 PM
We shot em...and I have plenty of good hunters who are responsible that love to come and aim..pop..dead ground hog.
No season hunting law to contend with and my JRT don't chase them my big farm dogs don't even look at them...they like to all chase cats instead.....

maybedog
Jul. 9, 2010, 10:04 PM
Get a good ground hog killing dog. Once they realize there is a threat they will leave. If you were closer I would let you borrow Abbey lab/boxer grounhog killing machine. We have 200 acres and no more groundhogs. She got 5 that I know of earlier this spring and the rest hit the road.

bf1
Jul. 10, 2010, 08:47 AM
We shoot them as well. Honestly, you have to stand your ground. And the farmer that leases one of our fields has set kill traps. They ruin his equipment.

My husband stepped in one hole and almost broke his leg. He declared war. It was 4 feet deep. The good news is they don't seem to go in the pastures. The bad news is they multiply as fast as we can get them.

cssutton
Jul. 10, 2010, 09:59 AM
We shoot them as well. Honestly, you have to stand your ground. And the farmer that leases one of our fields has set kill traps. They ruin his equipment.

My husband stepped in one hole and almost broke his leg. He declared war. It was 4 feet deep. The good news is they don't seem to go in the pastures. The bad news is they multiply as fast as we can get them.

I occasionally shoot them, but I am not patient enough to sit all day for a shot.

Our pet dog died early this year and my wife saw this part beagle and part something else, suspected Lab, and adopted her.

We got lucky. She is a ground hog's nightmare.

She has killed eight already this year.

Really odd. She walks right past deer and rabbit. Totally ignores them, but goes after groundhogs like you would not believe.

Contack a JRT expert. Either get one, and they are not for the inexperienced dog owner, or get the JRT expert to put you in touch with a JRT owner who specializes.

There are people who put JRT's in the hole, track them with radios and then dig at the spot where the JRT corners the GH.

I have an acquaintance that called in a local group and if I remember the story correctly, killed 27 in one day.

If you can handle a JRT, get one and he will cure the problem while you do something else. Effortless. That is appealing.

CSSJR

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casper324
Jul. 10, 2010, 11:16 AM
When we bought this property the barns were not used in years........They were matted and as i walked them me and the mats almost caved in.......These rodents had the Hilton Hotel built under the stalls, under the mats. It took jack hammering out the stall floor to collapse the den, after he jackhammered and the dirt put back we actually needed to add 4 inches of stone dust to the floor.

My only defense since I am not a good shot is my dogs. Some people think it is a cruel was to get rid of them but IMHO one good shake and its paws up is pretty humane considering the alternatives.

bf1
Jul. 10, 2010, 05:03 PM
Well, you don't need to sit all day to watch for them. We tend to see them in the evening. Sometimes they are very bold and eat during the day, but usually we keep one eye on the fields from dinner until sunset. Until the crops grow that is. Then we wait patiently until fall.....

Aven
Jul. 10, 2010, 05:54 PM
Contack a JRT expert. Either get one, and they are not for the inexperienced dog owner, or get the JRT expert to put you in touch with a JRT owner who specializes.

There are people who put JRT's in the hole, track them with radios and then dig at the spot where the JRT corners the GH.

I have an acquaintance that called in a local group and if I remember the story correctly, killed 27 in one day.

Yes I have hunted some of my JRTs and that is exactly how it works. Not all JRTs will hunt, just usually the well bred ones (due to how showing rewards proven working dogs over any other dog)

Many working terrier people are dying for good sets to work their dogs.




If you can handle a JRT, get one and he will cure the problem while you do something else. Effortless. That is appealing.


I don't recommend this. Groundhogs can be NASTY. Dogs have been badly hurt and even killed by them. A driven working dog won't leave a hole if it thinks its got a critter cornered. They wont' come out to eat or drink.. If you have skunks you don't want a JRT who knows what hunting is about to roam free. A spray underground is VERY dangerous. I personally know people who have lost dogs to underground skunk sprays.

They are fantastic dogs (lol I breed and show them so I could be biased) and nothing out there will clear up a groundhog problem like a few good working Jacks, but its best to leave it to the pros.

cssutton
Jul. 10, 2010, 11:13 PM
I wrote that thinking about our dog who does not go in the dens.

She catches them on the ground.

She strikes like a snake, jumps back and waits her next chance and strikes again.

She is so quick she never gets nailed by the ground hog. It is a totally one way deal.

Actually we have never owned a JRT. My only knowledge of them is what my friends who have them have to say.

Our dog handles them the same way a snake dog kills a snake.

CSSJR