Rock chucks are indigenous to the western half of the United States. Cousins to the east coast woodchuck, rock chucks are more likely to reside in elevated landscapes and have been found throughout most of the northwestern states. They readily occupy rock piles and will dig deep descending burrows around these protective objects.
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THE PROBLEM WITH ROCK CHUCKS
Rock chucks will readily claim several acres for their territory. And they’re proven comfortable traveling great distances to find food. This is why they’re a nuisance. Rock chucks love most any garden grown vegetable and will readily graze leading to rapid crop loss and damage.
ROCK CHUCK LIFE CYCLE ^
Rock chucks start reproducing at 2 years of age. Colonies can support 10-20 individuals and they’ll mostly hibernate during cold winters. But if its warm, they’ll remain active.
New colonies develop when teenage males (1-2 year olds) move to a new territory and dig a new home. Once these bachelors have their new home, they’ll aggressively seek multiple females as mates. Male rock chucks will try to get 3-4 females to live with him and once they move in, breeding will start and continue all summer long.
Females typically produce 3-5 pups per litter so as spring turns to summer, they’re food requirements can become quite substantial. This is when conflict with man can occur. Especially in dry arid regions where succulent plant food is limited. In such areas, rock chucks will travel as far as is needed to find food.
USE REPELLENTS BEFORE ROCK CHUCKS COME AROUND ^
Rock chuck repellents should be used before you have an established den. They have natural predators like coyotes, fox, bobcat, cougar and timber wolf. And because they’re naturally afraid of these predators, one can use the urine of these animals as a barrier to keep rock chucks off your property. Ideally you should use a urine which is native to the area. In other words, if you have cougar or bobcat in your region, their urine will work. But if you don’t have timber wolves, it’s not likely rock chucks will know to be afraid and typically will ignore it.
So if you know of a nearby rock chuck population that lives just off your property, apply COYOTE, FOX, BOBCAT, COUGAR or WOLF urine to create an invisible “fence” to keep them off your property.
Do this by applying 1-2 oz of urine every 10-15 feet along the border of your property. Applications will remain active for 30-45 days and should be applied late winter through the spring and summer months since these are prime time for rock chuck migration.
For longer lasting residual action, use either CAPSULE GUARDS or LIQUID GUARDS to protect the urine placements. Either of these protective devices can be placed on the ground and when filled with urine, will effectively shield it from sun and rain.
BEST ROCK CHUCK SPRAY REPELLENT ^
Since rock chucks will sometime target specific plants in the yard, the use of urine alone may not be enough to chase them off the land. For extra protection, apply PEST RID GRANULES around plants, flowers and shrubs you want to protect. Pest Rid has an odor rock chucks don’t like and will avoid where its been applied.
After applying the Pest Rid granules, spray over them with PEST RID SPRAY. This will magnify the odor and keep it active for 30+ days. Also spray the plant making sure you cover all low lying sections rock chucks can reach. This is usually the bottom 2 feet of the plant.
ROCK CHUCK SOUND REPELLER ^
To protect large yards or if you want a more “permanent” solution for keeping them off the property, install ULTRA SOUND REPELLERS pointing at the area where animals are entering or where they want to nest. These devices will protect up to 5000 sq/ft and will emit a sound people can’t detect and pets won’t mind by default. They also feature an optional “audible” sound, a flashing LED light and wireless remote control key for easy “on/off” operation for when you need to walk the pet.
For rock chucks, you’ll need to position them pointed to where they are active. The motion detector setting will set the unit off if the animal comes to within 30 feet of the unit and the sound is effective for up to 75 feet out. The audible sound can be heard up to a football field away when turned all the way up.
The settings for rock chucks can vary but first, choose a time of day when to have it operating. This can be night only, day only or both. In general, they’re active during the day so most people will set it here to start. Next, set the “Ultra Sound” to Motion Detector, set the Motion Sensor Sensitivity to “30” and the Sonic Sound to “80”. If you set the machine to always on which is the “Constant” setting, turn the “Sonic Volume” to the far left which will eliminate audible sound. The Frequency (yellow knob) should be set in the middle. In general, using batteries and motion detection will keep them away and out of the yard but you may have reason to keep the unit on all the time if you have a lot of activity.
Units should be placed 1-2 feet above ground and pointed in the direction where animals are entering as well as “over” the turf you want to protect.
For easy installation, MOUNTING BLOCKS are handy. They can accept 1 or 2 repellers (picture to the right) and have a 1/2″ hole on their bottom so they will easily fit over a 1/2″ piece of rebar or any other wood or plastic stake. Ultra Sound Repellers will work fine by themselves as long as you have a good place to set them up. But we highly recommend getting the Units with Mounting Blocks in the kits we offer. Mounting Blocks allow you to place units anywhere and they will save time too.
We also feature several accessories for our sound repeller including POWER CORD EXTENDERS (33 FEET AND 66 FEET), CIGARETTE LIGHTER POWER ADAPTER, ALLIGATOR CLIP POWER CORD and AC POWER SUPPLY REPLACEMENTS.
LIVE TRAP ROCK CHUCKS FOR QUICK CONTROL ^
As well as Pest Rid and urine can work at keeping rock chucks out of the yard, sometimes repellents aren’t enough. This is because the lure of food is so strong most rock chucks will take the chance of passing through the regions where malodor is present because they need to feed. In situations like this, the use of a live trap will help. Its easy to set, highly efficient and one trap can last 10-20 years so its quite cost effective.
For rock chucks, the LT111230RD is usually large enough. Place the trap where you see trails, footprints or entry ways to your garden. Use a small amount of any plant or vegetable as lure (what the rock chuck has been targeting) and you should be able to trap them within a few days.
Now if the burrow is on your property, the LT111236BD live trap might be a better option. It features a “bottom entry” doorway which can be placed directly over their entrance/exit hole. This will effectively “force” them into the trap when they come out and makes catching them easy. This design is especially effective for rock chucks since one den can host several animals.
For either live trap, the fruit or vegetable they’re eating will usually be the best bait to use. But in cases where you’re not sure what they’re eating, go with some ROCK CHUCK FOOD LURE. This plant based food lure works well on foraging rock chucks and a tablespoon or two placed in a small plastic tray will do the trick.
ROCK CHUCK KILL TRAPS ^
Lastly, rock chucks can be controlled using kill traps. These traps are small but use strong springs to “compress” the animal when they pass through the trip mechanism. Set the trap over their den entrance/exit holes or where you suspect they’re passing through a fence or other border. The 220 BODY GRIP is the preferred size and will kill within seconds.
It will take a strong hand to set the 220 so to help the “beginner”, a pair of SETTERS will make the task easy.
ROCK CHUCK MANAGEMENT ^
Once the problem rock chucks are removed from your property, use one of the predator urines to keep new ones from foraging on your property. Rock chucks can be a problem once they start nesting or feeding on your property. Though Pest Rid can stop them from targeting specific plants, live trapping may be needed. Once removed, use some animal urine to make sure they don’t come back.
CONTACT US ^
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