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How To Get Rid of Groundhogs Naturally

Groundhogs — also known as woodchucks, whistle pigs or marmots — can do a lot of damage to your lawn and garden. Because they’re excellent diggers, they can weaken the soil, resulting in damage to your foundation. Since they’re herbivores, they also enjoy making a meal of the plants in your garden and can destroy all your hard work in just one afternoon. So, what can you do? If you don’t own a dog and you’re not comfortable with trapping and releasing, or worse, there are still a few of things you can do to rid yourself of the little varmints.

Epsom salts sprinkled near or around the burrow entrances or exits will keep the groundhog away. If your plants are being eaten, try placing a tin pie plate filled with the salts near the plants. Replace after a rain.

Castor oil poured in and around the burrow holes can be an effective way to discourage them because they hate the smell, but apply only when you know they’re not there — otherwise, they’ll just stay burrowed. You’ll have to keep vigil to see when they head out to find food.

Human hair clippings from your local salon can also work well because they dislike the scent of humans. Sprinkle clippings around areas where the groundhog frequents. To avoid it blowing away in the wind, place clippings in a fine mesh bag and secure it to a stake near the groundhog’s dwelling.

Used kitty litter poured around one of the den holes (but not the other) is also effective, as it smells like a predator. Leaving one exit hole scent-free allows them to escape rather than stay burrowed.

Offensive Scents: There are certain smells groundhogs absolutely detest, including cayenne pepper, garlic, lavender, and herbs like basil, sage, thyme and oregano. Just sprinkle some of the offensive scents around their den openings and be sure to replace after rain. Crushed garlic cloves made into a paste also works well.