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.

It's Personal

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.


My arch-nemesis

Wild Bill Hickock I Aint

I am a terrible shot. Let me confess this right at the beginning and up front.

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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Castor Oil

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 product.

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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