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Banishing the groundhogs!

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  • Banishing the groundhogs!

    Anyone ever have success with ridding your farm of these creatures? How did you do it? We have holes everywhere! I have heard of people who smoke them out and shoot them, fill their holes in, poison them (not of fan of having poison laying around!), I have even heard of someone who put their natural predators urine in their hole to scare them away. What works and keeps them away!

  • #2
    Rodenator type thing, or a .22 is your best bet. We've used smoke bombs and *sometimes* they work.

    The best was when we had someone come out who had a homemade Rodenator and he spent two hours blowing up all the holes. We didn't have ground hogs for a couple years after that.

    Now I have a rifle with a scope. I picked off my first one for the season last week. It's war!
    2016 RRP Makeover Competitor


    • #3
      I've posted this many times. I converted two old hay fields into pastures, and both were riddled w/groundhog holes. I first tried the smoke them out thing, didn't work, then tried the neighbor with a gun shooting them thing, didn't work. Finally I tried this (learned on a homesteading list): pouring used kitty litter down the holes, waiting a few days, then filling in. Worked like a charm, first time, every time.

      Apparently they are fastidious animals and are repulsed by the disgusting kitty litter. And who wouldn't be?

      As long as the grass is mowed, they don't come back. They like the tall grass b/c it offers some cover from predators.
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      • #4
        I have done this with success! First the dirty kitty litter on several occasions down several holes over the period of a couple weeks. I checked all the holes for footprints etc. When I found none I got a neighbor with a back hoe to dig them out and then fill them in. I did six or seven dens at the same time.

        Have never had them come back to those holes. They are still around in other places though. Luckily there are many predators around that keep the numbers down.


        • #5
          Mr. subk has an ongoing war with our groundhogs. He's determined his logical mind and creative genius will win the day--so far the groundhogs are way ahead.

          Here's a list of what he's tried includes: picking them off with a varmint rifle, smoke bombs in the holes, filled all the holes but one and piped tractor exhaust down them, tried to hit one with the truck (with the whole fam damily aboard! ) then he piped ammonia and bleach down the holes. (Think WWI poison gas--not recommended to try this at home!)

          Since the groundhogs seem to have stayed out of the pastures and pretty much live in the woods I don't have a strong opinion on the whole thing. For some reason he has a vendetta. I've thought about sending him the link to the Rodinator, but I figure if he's focused on ground hog eradication he's not focused on doing something else that will probably bug me.


          • #6
            Rottweilers. We're not winning, but we're not losing either. They bring them (and the skunks) in to be praised.

            And Megan's hell on skunks with the truck (they don't run) but you'd have to be a Formula I driver to hit a groundhog anywhere but the road.

            I love the kittly litter idea. I'm sceptical, but I'd sure like to be wrong. What the hell, even if it doesn't work I get rid of the sour litter.

            PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not mix bleach and ammonia at home. The chlorine will come out of the hole faster than you can get away from it, and the likely death is yours, not the ground hog's.


            • #7
              Another vote for the used kitty litter technique - works like a charm.

              A fellow groundhog unenthusiast told me about it - her farm was riddled with the creatures when she bought it - she and her hubby have 10 cats - so they tried it thinking that at least it was one way to dispose of groundhogs. Worked like a charm.

              So I tried it where the dang things were tunneling in under my barn (egads - not using poison or a gun or traps there!). Crazily enough - it worked!!!

              So, anytime I come across a hole in the pastures - it gets filled with used litter! And the horses HATE the odor - so they give the kitty-litter-filled-hole a wide berth (ULTRA BONUS).

              Gotta love a cheap and easy solution!

              (PS - my BF thought I was drinking the first time he saw me do this - but as both he and his horse live here now, he has come to appreciate how well it works!).
              Originally posted by SmartAlex

              Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.


              • #8
                I am so going to try that used kitty litter trick!
                2016 RRP Makeover Competitor


                • #9
                  Originally posted by oldenmare View Post
                  Another vote for the used kitty litter technique - works like a charm.
                  Thank you! I think some people think I am nuts when I tell them about it, but it really is extremely effective! I like that it is cheap, EASY, humane and effective -- can't get any better than that.
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                  • #10
                    Then theres the bubble gum theory, they eat it and can't digest it and ..we have Hog fest, 2 guys 2 really fancy guns, pick em off all day for several days steady and then fill in dens w/ alot of rock and dirt.

                    Ater 5 years they now tunnel in the tree lines and stay out of the pastures.

                    Wen we start seeing a few stray into the pastures we have another shooting party. 1 den in pasture in last 5 years!!


                    • #11
                      We shoot the groundhogs so we don't have to shoot the horses. It is an unpleasant task but one that is worth it to me. I can't justify a drawn out "humane" battle royale during which the horses are at risk.

                      Just hope we see them in time.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                        We shoot the groundhogs so we don't have to shoot the horses. It is an unpleasant task but one that is worth it to me. I can't justify a drawn out "humane" battle royale during which the horses are at risk.

                        Just hope we see them in time.
                        The kitty litter was much faster, and more effective than shooting for me. (I don't leave the open holes for weeks, I wait a few days -- 3? 5? -- and then fill in the holes)

                        (I did all this *before* putting the horses into the fields in question).

                        Humane doesn't always have to equal "less effective" or "slow".
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                        • #13
                          Yes, I'm definitely going to try your kitty litter trick next time I see a groundhog hole! Don't they just dig in a few hundred yards down the field? Where do they go?


                          • #14
                            Does dirty bedding from the stalls work as well as kitty litter?

                            I don't have cats, but I have plenty of dirty bedding from the horses.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                              Don't they just dig in a few hundred yards down the field? Where do they go?
                              Not sure where they go, but there are a lot of hay fields, corn fields etc around here and I'd guess they go there. I do know one moved across the street into my neighbor's field, a weekender from NYC. She asked me, "did you see the woodchuck in the field?" And I said "Yes" thinking how awful they were. Before I could say anything, she said "Isn't he cute? I hope he stays!" So . . . .to each their own
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                              • #16
                                I've had a number of local guys (known to me, of course) come hunt groundhogs. Was NOwhere near as effective as the used litter treatment - especially in deterrence over the long run.

                                I don't know where they go - into the neighboring woods or hay fields or perhaps the vineyard - as long as they are out of my horse pastures, then my dogs tend to keep the numbers in check. Dogs, however, not allowed in with horses (I have a couple of horses that will kill a dog).
                                Originally posted by SmartAlex

                                Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.


                                • #17
                                  I'm definitely going to give it a try next time I get a groundhog, I hate shooting things.

                                  Now, any way to get rid of possums without shooting them? Ugh, I've got a nasty one that keeps lurking on my deck and my darn dog won't do his duty and kill it, so I'm beginning to think I'll have to. I dread it but the thing won't go away.


                                  • #18
                                    In my experience they won't dig in established pastures...

                                    at least ones small enough the horses/mower keep the grass at a relatively short height. We filled in a hole when we established a new pasture from a hay field and have not had ground hogs return or had them at all in older established pastures. They are in our adjacent hay fields.

                                    I may fence one of the hay fields that has a couple of holes and have considered just fencing off the holes, that way the critter has no reason to dig another somewhere else. I haven't noticed any new excavating in the hay fields where they are currently living in years -- they just use the same tunnels.


                                    • #19
                                      Ok, so does the litter work with squirrels too? Where I board is completely overrun with squirrels this years and I can't even count the holes in my girls pasture. BO keeps saying she'll do something, but its not happening.
                                      Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


                                      • #20
                                        For groundhogs there are two simple ways.

                                        The Tennis Ball treatment. Take a tennis ball and soak it in kerosene. Put it on a shovel, light it and roll it down the hole (phosgene gas) very well and is cheap.

                                        There's a ground hog/mole killer that fills the holes with propane and then ignites it...bye, bye!
                                        "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"