If you are a fan of Snorlax, then you’ll find groundhogs to be their real-life versions. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks look like cute big fat squirrels. These are very popular animals in Canada and North America. Let’s find out what are the natural habitat of these creatures and what is so special about it.
So, where do groundhogs live? Groundhogs (or woodchuck) are endemic to many regions throughout Canada, some parts of Alaska and Northeastern United States stretching from the Canadian shield through the East coast up to Georgia in Central America.
Groundhogs spend their most of the time resting inside underground tunnels known as burrows. They also use their burrows for hibernation which take place from October to March.
Groundhogs Geographical Distribution and Habitat
Groundhogs prefer to build long burrows in open country or large vegetated open fields. If you visit transitional areas or edges of woodland in Canada you can find so many burrows dug by groundhogs. They don’t want obstacles in their burrows in the form of rocks or tree roots, therefore, they choose these open grass fields for making their homes.
Groundhogs are rarely seen away from their burrows as in this way they can hide in their burrows quickly as soon as they are approached by predators. Their burrows in these specific areas also help them to find food due to the abundance of food in transitional areas.
Groundhogs generally like to live in transitional areas of low-elevation forests or large open pasturelands. They choose the soil very carefully. They make burrows in the soil that dries up quickly in case the rain falls during their hibernation period.
In some areas, they build their burrows for both winter and summer season in well-drained soil whereas, in some areas, groundhogs build separate burrows for summer and winter.
Groundhogs are found in large numbers all over the central and eastern USA. In fact, 2nd February is celebrated as the groundhog day all over the USA and Canada.
Groundhogs Near Human Populated Areas
Arkansas has an estimated 65,000 groundhogs that are a very large number for an average region. They are also present in many other human-inhabited regions in large numbers.
Due to their population near human-populated areas, they have led to a lot of property damage. Sometimes they dig burrows in the backyards, gardens, and can spoil the crops. They also weaken the foundation of buildings by digging long burrows near under buildings foundations.
As groundhogs come from the family of rodents their front teeth don’t stop growing. This can sometimes result in extra-large front teeth which can cause problems for these creatures to eat. To keep their teeth short they need to keep on chewing some hard things including wood logs, rubber pipes, cables, etc.
For this reason, they can chew anything that comes in their way. It includes wire cables, farming instruments, wooden chairs or tables, etc.
According to a report by UPI, a groundhog in Nebraska caused $1800 damage to a car. According to another report by stamfordadvocate.com, in March 2018, groundhogs were found digging up human remains in the famous Stamford cemetery.
Due to all these reasons, people have now adopted some measures to get rid of these rodents. Nowadays, there are many local services available to get rid of these woodchucks from your homes and backyards.
Groundhogs build their dens with so much hard work and intelligence that it is truly a masterpiece. These burrows have an opening on the ground surface which are commonly known as groundhog holes. In urban areas, these burrows can be found near building foundations, backyards, etc.
Groundhog holes openings have a diameter of around 11 inches and the complete length of the burrow can be anything between 60 to 90 feet. The burrows are 5 to 7 feet deep in the ground and are very complex in shapes with different compartments in between the tunnel.
Burrow usually consists of one main nesting compartment, one excretion compartment, and a few other compartments. Well-drained soil is used for making burrows.
In most of the regions, groundhogs have separate burrows for summer and winter. Summer burrows are usually built in grassy field areas whereas winder burrows are located in the wooded area. During hibernation, groundhogs block the entrance of the dens with the help of grass and soil so that they sleep for the winters undisturbed.
Groundhog Burrows In Your Backyard?
Groundhogs digging their burrows in cities has caused a lot of property damage over the past few years. If you start to see multiple holes in your garden, this is probably a groundhog digging into your garden.
Because groundhogs build large tunnels they can end up weakening the foundation of your house. Groundhogs can also damage underground pipelines that may cause more worries for you.
Nowadays, there are many local groundhogs removal services available in the cities that you can hire to get rid of these creatures. But these services cost too much. So, let’s find out 2 easy cheap ways you can remove groundhogs from your property yourself.
Pouring ammonia in the groundhog burrows is the easiest way to drive them away from your backyard. Immediately, after it, they run away and won’t be able to use those tunnels in the future. If you find groundhogs try to dig another tunnel pour this same ammonia solution into that too leaving no space for them in your property.
As ammonia solution is quite reactive and can cause irritation in the eyes and on the skin, please wear gloves and goggles to do this. Also, keep your children away from these burrows after you pour ammonia in the burrows.
Keep A Pet Dog Or A Cat
Groundhogs are really scared of dogs and cats as they pose a great threat to them. Therefore, keeping a pet dog or a cat can automatically repel away a groundhog trying to sneak into your garden and make a burrow there.
One another way if you can’t keep a pet dog or cat is that you can use their fur or urine to scare away the groundhog. Just pour the dog’s or cat’s urine near the entrance of the burrow and they’ll go away from your backyard.