Woodchucks have long been a problem for farmers. When populations surge, they will damage crops and food plots. Farmers have wide open areas on which they can practice woodchuck control by shooting. However, such control measures are not an option when woodchucks move in around our homes in residential neighborhoods. This problem seems to be on the rise. As woodchucks learn to live in populated areas, they have become more difficult to control. They have few natural predators and their shy personality makes them difficult to deal with. Around the home, woodchucks will feed on just about any plant or flower. Woodchucks will damage plants quickly with this feeding. They particularly like tomatoes, fruit or any ground growing vegetable. Most weekend gardeners will attest to the persistence these stocky creatures will demonstrate when trying to get to a certain crop they want.
WOODCHUCK BIOLOGY ^
Woodchucks are members of the squirrel family. They are the largest of all squirrels and are commonly known as woodchucks or groundhogs. Though distributed across the United States, there are some regions which don’t have any of the six species. Woodchucks are stocky. They weigh 5-15 lbs when mature and have short ears and legs relative to their body. In northern states, woodchucks will hibernate. They like to feed in the early morning and late afternoon. However, it is common to see them lying in the sun around their burrows. Woodchucks reproduce once a year and produce litters which have 4-8 young. Populations usually don’t grow too large yet they mere existence can cause economic damage. They will readily burrow under the slabs of homes which leads to structural problems. More devastating are the broken legs and other injuries horses and cattle sustain from stepping in a burrow. This is why horse farms, cattle ranches and any farm which has large livestock must keep woodchuck populations to a minimum.
BEST WOODCHUCK REPELLENT SPRAY ^
Around the home, most woodchuck problems are due to damage they cause eating plants. There are two ways to deal with this behavior. If they have a lot of other food available to them, you can treat desirable plants with a product called ROPEL. This spray tastes terrible and will stop the woodchucks from feeding on any treated surface. When other food sources are available, Ropel will cause the animal to find another plant for dinner. Simply spray the Ropel directly on leaves, flowers or whatever part of the plant the woodchucks are eating. Ropel is not a poison; it simply tastes terrible. Expect to get 2-6 weeks of results. Rain will break it down, but it has such a strong flavor that even trace amounts are usually enough to keep animals away. In a short period of time, the woodchuck will find another food supply to keep it happy. This will allow you to keep the plants you want to grow and not have to remove the woodchuck.
WOODCHUCK PROTECTIVE NETTING ^
Additionally, the installation of some ANIMAL NETTING will assuredly keep targeted plants protected. This light mesh plastic works great at stopping woodchuck, rabbit, deer, birds and any animal from foraging on plants, vegetables, fruit and anything you want to protect. Just wrap it up with the netting, cut it to size and you are done. The netting will let rain and sun filter through yet protect the plants underneath enabling them to grow right and preserve their production.
If there is little food available for the nuisance woodchuck, spraying Ropel may not work. This is because the need for nutrition and water is too great. Woodchucks will tolerate the taste if they are stressed and need food. Since they derive water from the plants on which they feed, bad tasting food may not stop them. If they are thirsty and are not able to get needed water and nutrition from adjoining vegetation, you will have to resort to trapping if you don’t install the protective netting.
WOODCHUCK LIVE TRAPS ^
Trapping woodchucks is easy. In most cases, all you need is the plant on which they have been feeding to use as bait. If you want to make the attractant even more alluring, use some broccoli. Woodchucks like this vegetable. Live traps need to placed alongside the burrows where the woodchuck lives. The LT111230 is a great trap for live catching. It is easy to set and carry and will fit any size woodchuck. Another trap to consider is the LT111236BD. This is a very unique design and may be the only one available which makes it perfect for trapping woodchucks. Many woodchuck dens have holes which go down into the ground. This trap takes advantage of this characteristic. First, the trap has sliding doors on the back and on the front. The back sliding door is good for quick access to where you have to bait the trap. It also comes in handy for easy release of trapped animals. The front sliding door will be used or not used depending on the type of set you want to make. If you want to use it like the LT111230 then you would simply remove the front sliding door, bait it and set it where you expect to have a woodchuck active. However, the real advantage of this trap is when you have a hole or den which has the woodchuck you want to trap.
By keeping the front sliding door in you now can use this trap for a set which is done directly over the hole! This is because the trap has no bottom in the front quarter of it’s design. When placed over the entrance/exit hole the woodchuck will have to enter the trap since it will have no where else to go. Once inside it will get trapped and the bottom entrance is NOT PART OF THE HOLDING SECTION. This prevents any possibility for the trapped animal to get away. This trap is so effective you generally don’t have to use bait it but we still recommend you do just to insure you have confused and distracted the target. This will make it all the more vulnerable. You will pay a little more for this trap but it’s effectiveness makes it worth the extra cost.
BEST WOODCHUCK LIVE TRAP BAIT ^
If you order a live trap, pre-bait an area close to where you have seen the animal active or by its den. By pre-baiting, you will be getting the animal used to feeding at a particular location. This will prove helpful making it all the more easier to catch once the trap arrives. Additionally, the use of our special lure will make it that much easier to catch – particularly if there is a lot of food available around its den. TRAPPERS CHOICE FORMULA I and FORMULA II are two strong scented bait lures which work great at releasing a smell woodchucks can’t resist. Simply add an ounce or two on top of some broccoli or other leafy food they have been eating. Your catches will be quicker and more consistent. This is because the odor of the Bait is strong and will get the attention of any woodchuck that passes close to the trap.
Woodchuck Bait: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/woodchuck-bait
WOODCHUCK TRAILING SCENT ^
However, if the area in which the woodchuck has access is large, the use of some TRAILING SCENT can really help. This is another food based scenting lure but different in that it does not work on sight as much as it works on volatility and dispersion. It comes packaged in small eye-drop like dispensers which are designed to release single drops with good control. Use it by placing a drop or two at the traps entrance and then out and away from the trap. Squeeze a single drop every foot and in a line 10-30 feet out. The idea is to create a large area which smells good to the chuck. Once it enters the area it will find the scent trail you have created and follow it back to the traps entrance. This product works great when used in conjunction with our either Bait Lure Formula 1 or 2.
Woodchuck Trailing Scent: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/woodchuck-trail
Once caught, relocate the animal at least 5 miles away. Try to release it early in the morning in an area where it will readily find food and shelter. Since woodchucks are easy targets once removed from their den, you must be careful when relocating. If left with no food or ground suitable for a burrow, they will quickly die.
WOODCHUCK KILL TRAPS ^
If you are not interested in trapping the animal alive, consider a kill trap. These are devices generally used by professional trappers. They work by snapping shut over the animals head leading to an instant death. Woodchucks are easy to trap this way since the trap can be set right over their dens. When the animal tries to exit, it will hit the trigger of the trap with it’s head leading to its death. These traps come in many sizes but the BODYGRIP 220 is the best one suited for woodchuck. You will need to secure it to a stake which should be alongside the den. A tree or stump will do as well. The use of a BODYGRIP TRAP STAND may make the set easy. This device will enable you to set the trap up in a “standing” position, which could be helpful, particularly when the chuck is entering through some kind of access hole you might find through a fence or thick vegetation. The Trap Stand comes with either a long rebar stake for securing it to the ground or a wood screw for securing it to wood. Additionally, it is suggested that you attach the traps chain to another stake or other secured anchor. This will help prevent the chuck from falling back into the den with your trap. It will also prevent a predator dragging the trap away which they will do just to get a meal.
Use a pair of SETTERS to set the Bodygrip. The springs of the Bodygrip are quite strong and the Setters will give you much needed leverage. The good thing about this type of trap is that you are able to position it over the den which means the targeted animal has no choice but to exit to its death. This trap works well for dens which under patio slabs, barns, sheds and just about any structure. Be aware that they can injure other animals as well like dogs so be sure to use them where non-target animals won’t have access to your set.
WOODCHUCK ODOR REPELLENT ^
Since woodchuck dens have strong scents used for marking territory and mating status, most will attract attention. Other woodchucks, both male and female, will let curiosity get the best of them and seek out these vacated “homes”. Once it is learned that “no one is around”, they will quickly try to seize the property as theirs. For this reason it is important to fill tunnels and dens that are left after you remove targeted woodchuck. Failure to close these holes will most likely lead to some other animal finding it and then taking advantage of the vacated home. Though it is most likely that another woodchuck will find it, many other ground dwelling animals may try to move into such an area if given the chance. These animals include bob cat, rats, snakes, opossum, raccoon or gophers.
COYOTE AND FOX URINE WOODCHUCK REPELLENT ^
Though simply filling the holes with dirt will help, adding some COYOTE URINE or RED FOX URINE down the hole and to the fill dirt, as it is applied, will add the extra “scent” most any animal will detect. Such scents will set off instinctive warnings to these animals which will cause most to move away and leave. Coyote or Fox Urine found in, around or on dens is a sure sign of danger and most prey animals will heed the warning and move along. This little bit of extra work can go a long way at stopping future re-infestations.
Red Fox Urine: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/liquid/red-fox-urine
Woodchucks can become a problem around the home. In recent years, they have been found living around small gardens which are able to supply them with their dietary needs. Woodchucks will eat many fruits and vegetables, so expect them to be persistent once they find your garden. Stop them from feeding on your plants with Ropel. Live trap them with either a LT111230 or a LT111236BD if they continue to feed after Ropel treatments. And if you have no interest in catching the animal alive, get the Bodygrip Kill Trap.
CONTACT US ^
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. On Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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