The groundhog is an omnivorous animal which is also known as woodchucks and whistle pigs. They are in the same family as squirrels. In the United States, there are six different kinds of woodchucks and marmots. Moreover, these animals often get into cropland and vegetable gardens, where they eat plants or destroy them.
Even though groundhogs move slowly, they run quickly to their burrows when they sense danger. At the same time, hawks, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, dogs, and people are the main things that eat groundhogs. But each year, many groundhogs are killed by cars and trucks. So, read on to learn more about groundhogs and woodchucks and how to get rid of them.
What Do Groundhogs Look Like?
Groundhogs can be 16 to 22 inches long and weigh anywhere from 5 to 13 pounds as adults. Their bodies are thick and round, and their fur is brownish grey. Their tails are short. Groundhogs have four legs and long, curved claws on their front feet that help them dig burrows.
Ground hog Habitat
The groundhog, or Marmota monax, is the most well-known type of woodchuck. It lives mostly in the east of North America but also in the northwest. On the other hand, the other five species are all in the West and are called “marmots.”
Most of the time, groundhogs live in open and closed forests and bushy places. In farmland, they live near creeks, pastures, and wooded areas where they can make large networks of burrows.
Groundhogs are known to dig burrows in fields, and pastures, along fences and roads, near building foundations, and at the base of trees. Furthermore, they leave mounds of dirt where they dig. Moreover, groundhogs are mostly active during the day and usually eat first thing in the morning.
Besides, they only eat plants. Some of the vegetables they eat are soybeans, beans, peas, carrot tops, alfalfa, and grasses. When they aren’t eating, they often lie in the sun during the hottest parts of the day. Groundhogs are one of the few mammals that really hibernate. This usually begins in late fall, around the end of October, and lasts until late February.
So, if you are thinking about when is Groundhog Day, here is the answer. People all over the country celebrate Groundhog Day on February 2. The holiday is based on the idea that a ground hog will come out of hibernation to “predict” the weather.
Thus, winter will last for another six weeks if the ground hog sees its shadow and returns to its hole. But if the animal doesn’t see its shadow, it means that spring is almost here. Moreover, the most popular Groundhog Day event is the one in Pennsylvania with Punxsutawney Phil.
How to Get Rid of Groundhogs
Groundhogs sometimes live in crawlspaces, so it’s important to check the outside of the house for ways in, like broken vent covers or holes in the foundation. Homeowners should use caulk to seal all cracks and holes, fix any loose siding, and put a mesh cover over chimneys and other openings that aren’t covered. If you think you have a groundhog problem, talk to a pest control expert about the best way to get rid of them.
Groundhogs sometimes make their homes in crawlspaces, so you should check the outside of your house for broken vent covers or holes in the foundation. Thus, homeowners should use caulk to seal all cracks and holes, fix any loose siding, and put a mesh cover over chimneys and other openings that aren’t covered.
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Because of how they eat and dig, groundhogs are considered a pest because they can damage gardens, farms, orchards, and field crops. When they dig, they have been known to damage building foundations, dig holes in lawns, and chew on underground wires, which can cause power outages.
Groundhogs don’t usually interact with people, so they don’t pose any major public health risks. However, they can carry fleas, ticks, and even rabies.
Do Groundhogs Hurt You?
Groundhogs rarely attack humans. But they may attack if someone threatens them or if they think their babies are in danger. A few people were hurt when groundhogs attacked them, but the injuries were not that bad.
What Does A Groundhog Eat?
Groundhogs are mostly herbivores, which means they eat plants from people’s gardens. But they may also eat things that bother us, like grubs, snails, and other bugs. People say that they even eat baby birds and other small animals.
Are Groundhogs Friendly?
Most of the time, they don’t like people and will run away if one comes near. Groundhogs are not dangerous. They don’t interact with people very often, so there aren’t many reports of problems with them. Groundhogs would probably run away if they saw you.
Will A Groundhog Fight A Dog?
If they are out in the open, they may still run, but if the dog is fast enough, they may have to stop. When you get close to them, they are completely different animals. They will stand their ground and fight, just like they do in traps, except there is no wall between the ground hog and your dog.
Will A Groundhog Bite?
Are groundhogs aggressive? These animals aren’t usually mean to dogs or people, but they will bite back if you threaten them. If one of them bites you, the wound probably won’t be life-threatening. But you might want to see a doctor right away to avoid problems that may be because of rabies.
Do Groundhogs Mate For Life?
Groundhogs don’t stay with the same person for a long time. During mating season, males and females only interact by copulating. Adult males and females in Ohio hang out together all year, often from one year to the next.
Do Groundhogs Carry Diseases?
People know that groundhogs can carry the rabies virus. If you get bitten by one, you should go to the hospital right away and get the rabies vaccine. Tularemia: Insects also spread tularemia to ground hogs.
Do Groundhogs Eat Rabbits?
Yes, groundhogs eat both plants and animals, and they have been known to attack and eat rabbits. Even though groundhogs don’t usually eat rabbits, if they are hungry enough, they may attack a nest of baby rabbits or even an adult rabbit.
Parvaiz Yousuf is a senior SEO writer and editor with an experience of over 6 years, who also doubles up as a researcher. With an MSc zoology degree under his belt and possessing complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge, he works as a science journalist for a US-based website and Asian Scientist (A Singapore-based magazine). He also works as Director of Wetland Research Centre, Wildlife Conservation Fund YPJK since 2018. Besides, he has several publications to his name on cancer biology and biochemistry in some reputed journals such as Nature & International Journal of Molecular Sciences, & magazines such as Science Reporter, BUCEROS BNHS, and has an abiding interest in ornithology. He also worked as a Research Associate for JK Policy Institute.