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When you are dealing with a groundhog infestation, the most effective way of dealing with the situation is by trapping the animals. Groundhogs are not small creatures, weighing in at between two and four kilos. This means that the trap and the method you use will need to be sturdy and durable, as some smaller or cheaper option may restrain the animal for a while, but may not permanently hold the groundhog.
Body Grip Trap Or Cage Trap
There are two types of trap that can be used, depending on whether you are looking to kill the groundhog or simply catch it so that it can be relocated elsewhere. Cage traps can be chosen to match those suitable for catching raccoons or feral cats, and the simple one door trap design is usually fine. The body grip traps are spring loaded and are usually metal, with those having a jaw spread of around six to seven inches being sufficient to deal with a groundhog.
Groundhogs are mainly vegetarian, only occasionally eating a few small insects, so fruits and vegetables are usually the most effective type of bait for this species. Fruits such as strawberries and cantaloupe cut into chunks can be good, while lettuce, peas and string beans are among the vegetables that the groundhog will be attracted to.
The groundhog is not a small animal, and can often carry parasites, so whether you are cage trapping or lethal trapping, it is important to wear thick clothes and a sturdy pair of gloves in order to protect yourself. You should also consider a mask to place over your mouth and goggles if the groundhogs are beneath a shed or porch, as you may need to go into a confined space where the animal will have been present.
Items Needed To Remove The Groundhog
If you are trapping the groundhog alive, then you will need a vehicle in which to transport the animal, and one of the best ideas is to throw a thick blanket over the cage itself, as this will confuse the animal and help to ensure that it remains fairly calm and docile. For those who are using lethal traps, then after you have removed the groundhog's carcass, placing it in thick plastic garbage bags is the most common method of disposal, with the carcass being double bagged to try and contain any scent from the animal's body.
For more information about What Equipment Is Needed To Trap A Groundhog?, you may want to read this guide that I wrote:
How to get rid of groundhogs
- my main groundhog removal information page.