Making and Using Groundhog Repellent
If you are looking to use groundhog repellent, then chances are pretty good that your garden has already suffered from the effects of your outdoor squatter. Before you start to prepare to repel the groundhog, you need to make sure that it is definitely a groundhog that you’re dealing with. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that you are harboring a groundhog…
Signs that You Have a Groundhog
The best way to ensure that your repellent will be effective is to positively identify the critter that is tearing up your lawn. Your first clue to a groundhog is likely to be open holes in the ground. These are entrances to the groundhog’s burrow, which is the place where he will stash his collection of food and hibernate from October to February. Groundhogs become active in February and by April they will already have a litter of babies. You might also notice the groundhog’s tracks in the mud. They only have four toes and have a gait that is spaced anywhere from four to twelve inches apart depending on the size of the groundhog, as they can weigh anywhere from four to about fifteen pounds.
You might also notice that some of your garden vegetables have been pilfered. A single groundhog can eat over a pound of food a day, and they love peas and beans. A sure sign of the presence of a groundhog would be missing leaves from the tops of carrots. Bite marks may be present on the top of the actual carrot itself. Of course, you can’t get a more definite sign than to actually spot a groundhog yourself. They typically come out in the early morning, but you may find them out and about throughout the day.
Making Homemade Groundhog Repellent
After confirming that you indeed have a groundhog on your property, then you may want to carry on with the idea of using groundhog repellent. One of the most effective types of groundhog repellent involves sprinkling the ground with the urine of its natural predator—which would be a cat. Although you can buy repellent from the store that contains kitty urine, it can be just as effective (and much cheaper) to just use your own cat’s used litter. If you don’t have a cat, you might enlist the help of a friend or neighbor who does own a cat. The used litter should be sprinkled around and into the burrow openings. After the area is liberally sprinkled with kitty litter, cover all of the burrow entrances. This works best if you use moist (aka: fresh) kitty litter.
You can also create a homemade stink bomb to drive the groundhog out of its burrow and away from your property. Pour some ammonia or chuck some mothballs into every burrow entrance. Once the burrow has been abandoned take care to refill the entrances very deeply with dirt and pack it down so that the groundhog is not tempted to re-inhabit the burrow.
Another trick is to mix a tablespoon of hot sauce in a gallon of water. Shake the solution well and spray the plants that are attracting the groundhog. If there are no plants around, try spraying around the burrow holes as well as the perimeter of your yard.
Last, but not least, you could always invite an outdoor cat to come live with you. This may sound like a death sentence to the groundhog, but the chances are much higher that the groundhog will sense the presence of his enemy and flee the area at the best opportunity. Having a cat live on the property will not only get rid of your current groundhog but it will also ensure that others do not come around in the future.