Doug Green's Foolproof Way of Controlling Groundhogs in Your Garden
Groundhogs are one of those big rodent pests that we have to deal with
from time to time.
I have my own history with these creatures that I'm pleased to share.
When we moved into the farm, groundhogs were a dime a dozen. They were
everywhere and I initially took a live and let live approach to them.
But then they started eating my garden.
Now, I have to eat that garden and if some rodent is out there munching
on my lettuce, I take it very personally. I want him to eat the clover
not the lettuce.
So, I did what country folk have done for years. I bought a .22 rifle
and started trying to kill them.
Wild Bill Hickock I Aint
I am a terrible shot. Let me confess this right at the beginning and up
The "hogs" were quite safe until I was within, ohhh, about 2 feet from
them and then I had a 50-50 chance of hitting them. Any beast that
would let me get that close was due for a Darwin award anyway. I
didn't get too many groundhogs.
The Old Beggar
One old (and huge) one lived under an old and unused outhouse. I would
take potshots at him and if I got too close he'd run for his burrow.
I'd sorta chase him over there hoping he'd be stupid and come back
out but no such luck.
One day, after spending several shells trying to hit him, he ran for
the burrow with me hot on his heels. I could hear him down there but he
wasn't for coming out.
So, being in an outhouse, I did what outhouses are good for. I pee'd
down his hole.
Thirty seconds later, I heard the most terrible growling and the old
boy came barreling out of the hole and the last I saw of him, he was
heading out to the hayfields.
It was an Eureka moment! From that day onwards, I pushed the groundhogs
away from my garden by urinating down their holes. If they wanted to
live out in the hayfield, that was fine with me but anywhere near my
garden and the 7th inning break was turned into groundhog warfare.
Over a few months, I totally eradicated the groundhog presence in my
garden without using a single shot or killing another groundhog. (I may
have grossed out a few of them)
I have passed this technique along to other friends and they all have
had similar results.
This obviously works much better if you are the male of the species and
can aim the urine stream down holes but I do have female friends who
have come up with solutions to that problem. And no, you're on your
own here – this is a family oriented website. Mostly, they get their
better halves to do the deed.
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On the other hand, Im told if you mix one ounce of castor oil with 10
ounces of water youll deter all kinds of pests.
According to the
castor-oil company, the castor oil does not kill the pests,
they simply do not like the smell of it and avoid the area. In one
study, not only did the rodents stay away, but rabbits, squirrels,
groundhogs, raccoons and skunks also stayed away.
I have not tried this
(we don't have enough soil
depth for them to live here) so I cant offer any support to this
Some gardeners swear by the ultrasonic torpedoes that you stick in the
ground for mole deterrence. Again, I have no experience with these.
But I no longer recommend 22-long shells.
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