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Groundhogs digging holes near run-in shed

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  • Groundhogs digging holes near run-in shed

    How important is it to relocate groundhog families, if they are digging holes under the run-in shed, hay shed, etc? Since the holes are against the sides of the sheds, they don't seem (to me) to be a potential hazard for a horse breaking a leg, or something like that.

    My husband has been catching them in a live trap and relocating. Is this really necessary?


    On another note, my husband has started trapping and relocating chipmunks who have apparently started making little (1") holes around the foundation/outside walls of the house. Is this necessary ?

  • #2
    We had groundhogs digging holes around our arena. Read somewhere that soaking a rag with ammonia and placing that at the hole entrance would deter them. That method worked very well. They had actually undermined a stall with their tunneling. Very important to deter them on your property. A few days after ammonianing all of the holes, we stopped seeing them around and so filled the holes with rocks once we could assume that they were clear of babies etc. A little easier to encourage them to vacate than to trap them?


    • #3
      The groundhogs are only going to keep reproducing, so what might not be an issue now could become one before long. I was like you when I first moved to my farm when I saw my first groundhogs -- live in peace. THEN they started digging into the roundpen, leaving holes that would have caught my horse's leg. BUH-BYE! I called in an exterminator to trap them; because I had barn cats he had to live-trap them, but he had a way to enclose them in the back of his truck & run the exhaust in there. I had no problem with that -- I think that was kinder than trapping them then dumping them in a new location that they didn't know & may not have been suitable for them, or already well-populated with other groundhogs.

      Chipmunks are kept under control here by the barn cats. I have seen their holes started under my stone walkways, and I would by far prefer NOT to have the stonework being undermined by rodents, no matter how "cute" they are.


      • #4
        so...what are you encouraging the ground hogs with to go inside the traps? I caught one with apples, but not the second one .... now i'm using the goat food, seeds, alfalfa pellets...any other suggestions? Can't catch the bugger... i didn't want to put those bombs down the holes but now i'm getting ticked...
        For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com


        • #5
          Those lovely holes that they are creating? If you fill them in, they will just dig them back out. Redneck way to get them to stay away from holes? Pee in them. Trap and relocate, or hire someone to do so. Groundhog holes + horse legs or foundation/floors don't mix.
          If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
          DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
          Originally posted by talkofthetown
          As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


          • #6
            I had groundhogs and then a fox w/ 2 kits ran them out and took over occupancy. Now I don't know what to do. When the ground hog were around, I just kept filling in the holes every couple of weeks figuring they would get tired and leave. Now I'm waiting for the babies to grow up a bit.


            • #7
              jmho and experience!

              In my sheds/garage.....biggest problem was that skunks move into the holes especially in fall after groundhogs hibernate. Skunks bigger problem. I feel like Caddyshack as I've been fighting them for a year UNTIL......
              did some research online and learned:
              1 - they stick around if there's a water source. In my case, the dogs water bucket. Thats useful alone to trap them IF you can. They eat lotsa veggies/melon/lotsa foods.
              2. Best thing to drive them out is to harass them into leaving. Smells and repeatedly filling in holes works. I moved mine elsewhere on the farm...for now.....I used kitty litter (nice smelly fresh used kitty litter) down the holes then filled them up then more around where entrance was WITH some bricks/rocks/boulders etc. Block all access points. My 2 cats box is a wonderful thing now!! I put it whereever I've seen them coming & going. In the past I'd used petroleum products, ammonia, anything with a strong smell. Read that fox urine good (smells like a predator!) also. You can buy that at a hunting shop. But my cat litter works. I'll keep replacing it every so often plus I'm recycling it!
              The way I see it; we need to close the holes because of other critters that might take up residence too.


              • #8
                I don't want to come off as another Mildot, but really, a shotgun and some smoke bombs. I was live and let live until I was shedrowing a horse and had a tunnel open up with us. Thank God the horse was smart. I don't want to be humane, I don't want to relocate. I want to erradicate.

                I do know of one guy that used a tanker of diesel and a match, but that ended badly, with contaminated land among other issues
                Originally posted by The Saddle
                Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                • #9
                  shoot the suckers, seriously they are cute but not around my barn, ring or pasture


                  • #10
                    I thought I was doing well against mine last year. Sometimes shooting 2 in a day and seeing far fewer in the pastures by the end of the season.

                    Having spent more time in the woods around the pastures this year I think I am probably trying to bail out the Titanic with a teaspoon. It looks like the groundhog Hilton out there.

                    Got any good suggestions for getting rid of 100s at a time?


                    • #11
                      Put used cat litter down the hole - they will move out and then you can fill the hole in.

                      I didn't know about his trick until after the summer my husband spent picking them off one by one with the rifle - it nearly drove my poor dogs nuts because the only angle he could get was from right outside the back door!


                      • #12
                        Know anyone with a JRT bred to work? They dispatch groundhogs well. I'd either use a JRT or a shotgun. They are cute, but they aren't going to relocate, they'll likely come back unless you took them super far, and then you are also making them someone elses problem.


                        • #13
                          Whenever I see a groundhog, I weigh my general live and let live attitude against the possibility of my beloved mule getting a broken leg from stepping into a hole.

                          Whenever I see cute raccoons or opossums around my barn or house (yeah, I do think opossums are kinda neat critters), I think about the diseases they could potentially transfer to my herd of mini donkeys, mule, or other pets. I remember the two times a raccoon family slaughtered 15-20 hens in a single night. That was sad and disgusting, horrible to clean up (the coop is now wired with hot wire so that hasn't been a problem for years).

                          I feel no remorse about trapping and killing these animals around my barn and pasture. There are plenty of other nearby places for them to live. Interestingly, even with a fairly diligent policy of permanent elimination, we don't seem to have made a dent in the average population year over year. Nature abhors a vacuum, I guess...
                          I ride a mule. I paint dogs.


                          • #14
                            It's hard!

                            Oh I have no qualms about dispatching them either but I don't have a gun and can't shoot worth crap anyway. My neighbors/friends say they'll do it but how do I coordinate this? I hardly ever see them to begin with. That's the hard part. Thank gawd my neighbor was able to shoot the skunk....lucky me!!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                              Oh I have no qualms about dispatching them either but I don't have a gun and can't shoot worth crap anyway. My neighbors/friends say they'll do it but how do I coordinate this? I hardly ever see them to begin with. That's the hard part. Thank gawd my neighbor was able to shoot the skunk....lucky me!!
                              Trap first, shoot in trap. Lot better chance of getting the job done right on the first shot (as unpleasant as it is to begin with). I have a HavAHeart trap you can borrow. Just give me a call and come get it. I will even feed you lunch!
                              I ride a mule. I paint dogs.


                              • #16
                                It is very important to trap and relocate/shoot ground hogs.

                                If not, your horse may break a leg. Also the weather will make the holes bigger ruin your building.

                                I did release a small young ground hog, but anything too large in my trap gets shot. If it had been an adult, I probably would have shot it. Dangerous to get out of the trap. I am not crocodile dundee.

                                There are no life deals with any epm makers, skunks, or coons. They get a well placed bullet.

                                I did catch a rabbit (no bait and an empty but open trap) but let it go FAR FAR away in a corn field.

                                Everything to be shot caught in my trap, is shot *in* the trap.

                                I have a cheap TSC trap. Works. I long for a havaheart trap. But my current trap has to prove failure, and that hasn't happened yet. Skunks are the worst on the trap for damage.

                                All holes I fill with horse and dog poop. Got plenty of both, and it is good exercise to get it.
                                Good luck!
                                Last edited by rmh_rider; Jun. 12, 2012, 04:17 PM. Reason: more info


                                • #17
                                  Groundhog deterrent ! Guaranteed!

                                  A hotwire 1 -2 inches off the ground around the base of the building will stop them. Make sure it never grounds out!!!
                                  Taking it day by day!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by vicarious View Post
                                    A hotwire 1 -2 inches off the ground around the base of the building will stop them. Make sure it never grounds out!!!
                                    That will sure keep snakes out of your chicken pen!
                                    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                                    • #19
                                      The used cat litter trick really works! I was skeptical but tried it and became a believer.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                        The used cat litter trick really works! I was skeptical but tried it and became a believer.
                                        Evidently, even though they love to eat whatever on the side of the road, when it comes to house keeping, they are neat freaks - go figure!