The Habitat
How to Get Rid of Groundhogs For Good
How to Get Rid of Groundhogs For Good

Groundhogs, also known as marmots or woodchucks, can damage your lawn or garden. These rodents burrow into the ground to make their dens, eventually weakening the soil and causing damage to foundations, barns, and farm equipment. They're also herbivores, meaning they enjoy munching through your garden. Luckily, it's not too hard to drive groundhogs away, and there are plenty of natural methods that won't hurt the animals or further disrupt your property.


Human Hair

a groundhog in someone's mailbox Joe McDonald / Getty Images

While sprinkling human hair around your lawn might sound strange, it's an effective way to get rid of groundhogs. These animals don't like the smell of humans, so your hair repels them. To keep the clippings from blowing away, put some in a mesh bag, and secure it near their den.


Plants and Herbs

lavender garden HannamariaH / Getty Images

Some plants have a strong enough smell to keep groundhogs away. Lavender is an excellent choice to repel these critters, and mint, sage, basil, and lemon work just as well. Adding one or more of these plants to the garden will keep the woodchucks away and make a lovely addition to your green space.


Garlic and Pepper

groundhog burrow vovashevchuk / Getty Images

In addition to planting herbs, you can deter groundhogs with the smell of garlic and pepper. Because they hate the aroma, crushed garlic mixed with pepper will ensure they leave your garden and never return. Toss the mixture in the groundhogs' burrow, or make a spray and spritz your vegetables to keep them away.


Use a Box Trap

groundhog box trap saje / Getty Images

A humane way to remove groundhogs is to trap and release them. These animals aren't often aggressive but may bite if they feel threatened, so wear protective gloves while trapping. It's also vital to wear gloves while setting the trap so you won't transfer your scent. If a groundhog smells you, it won't go near the box.


Create Vibrations

groundhog in its burrow Spartak Dolov / Getty Images

Groundhogs don't like vibrations and will relocate if their home starts to shake. Lawn windmills or a specially made sonic device can scare them away if you place it near their burrow entrance. You can also keep groundhogs from returning by placing vibrating decor around the perimeter of your home.


Use Your Pet's Urine

groundhog stands in the grass RonOrmanJr / Getty Images

Dogs and cats are a threat to groundhogs, who will move somewhere else if they sense danger. Putting urine or fur near the entrance of their burrow should be enough to drive the groundhogs away. If you don't own a dog or cat, you could always ask a friend or neighbor if they would mind collecting some of their pet's fur.


Epsom Salts

groundhog in the garden daoleduc / Getty Images

To get rid of groundhogs, sprinkle Epsom salts near their burrow — the smell repels them. If groundhogs eat your plants or invade your garden, place a small plate filled with the salts near their favorite spot, and replace it after every rain. Epsom salts are available and affordable online or at most drugstores.


Castor Oil

woodchucks in the garden Jean-Paul_Lejeune / Getty Images

Castor oil is another natural way to rid your property of groundhogs. Pour some in and around the burrow to keep the animals from returning. Be careful not to pour the oil while the groundhog is inside its hole. Instead, keep a close eye for when they leave to search for food. You can find castor oil at the grocery store.



a groundhog sits behind the fence 2ndLookGraphics / Getty Images

Using ammonia doesn't harm the animals, but the smell will certainly keep them away. This method works best if you soak a rag in ammonia and place it near the burrow entrance. Resoak the rag every few days to keep the smell fresh and the groundhogs from coming back. Ammonia is a commercial cleaning product available everywhere.



a pair of woodchucks Rabbitti / Getty Images

Several repellent products help fend off woodchucks. One of the best is organic blood meal, a type of fertilizer. Add blood meal around the perimeter of your garden to keep groundhogs away. These products won't harm animals. Instead, they repel them with a fragrant odor. You can find repellents online or at home and garden stores.




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