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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Groundhogs

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18 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Groundhogs

You’ve probably seen groundhogs in your yard and garden. And if you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered how to get rid of them.

While shooting them or using a lethal trap may be among the first things that come to mind, there are a few humane and natural ways to control groundhogs.

In this article, we’ll explore a few of the options that are available to you.


Groundhogs, or woodchucks, are closely related to squirrels [1]. Their furs vary in color, from yellowish-brown to black. They also have four legs and short tails.

Groundhogs are primarily herbivores, which means their diet mostly consists of plants. They’ll eat anything, from grass and berries to tree bark and roots.

Think clovers, dandelions, garden fruits, vegetables, etc., and they’ll eat them all. They will also eat insects if they run out of food options.

How to Get Rid of Groundhogs Naturally

If you think you have a groundhog problem, there are a few things (home remedies and more) you can employ to remove them from your yard and garden naturally.

Below is a list of some of those things.

1. Epsom Salt

One of the most common natural groundhog repellents is Epsom salt. All you need to do is sprinkle some Epsom salt around the areas where you’ve seen the groundhogs.

Sprinkle it at various corners in your yard, around the garden, and near groundhog burrows. They hate the taste of it, and eventually they’ll move on.

2. Kitty Litter

You may have heard that kitty litter can be used to keep groundhogs away. And it’s true—it is effective in repelling these creatures.

Therefore, place some used kitty litter in your backyard near the entrance of the groundhog holes. The pests will smell the kitty litter and decide to go somewhere else.

3. Predator Urine

Another remedy to repel groundhogs and other rodents like beavers is predator urine. You can buy products containing the urine of a predator like coyote online.

Just apply it around the perimeter of your garden to deter the groundhogs. They fear predators such as coyotes and foxes.

They also hate the smell of human urine.

4. Motion Detector Devices

Another safe and more humane solution to this problem is to use a motion detector device. These gadgets emit a loud noise when the animal approaches, which will scare it away.

And the best part is that they’re really easy to use. Just place them near their entrances and wait for the groundhogs to leave.

You can find a wide variety of motion detector devices on the market, so there’s sure to be one that’s right for your needs.

5. Row Covers

You can use floating row covers over your plants to help keep groundhogs and other pests out.

They work because the groundhogs will be denied access to your crops, so they’ll avoid your garden altogether.

6. Chicken Wire

Chicken wire fences are effective because groundhogs can’t climb them if you make them high enough. Another thing you can do is bury the chicken wire twelve inches underground so they can’t tunnel under it.

7. Traps

The Tomahawk Extra Large Trap is a good groundhog removal tool. It’s also very sturdy and will last a long time.

You can also purchase professional lures and baits such as Pro-Pest or Tomahawk CH to go along with the trap.

Place the trap in an area where you’ve seen evidence of groundhogs, and wait for them to take the bait. You can then decide what you want to do with the ones you’ve caught!

8. Scarecrows

You could also try using a scarecrow to deter groundhogs.

Scarecrows are a tried-and-true home remedy for scaring away certain pests, and they work especially well on groundhogs.

You can buy them pre-made or make your own out of an old t-shirt, some hay, and a wood frame. Just make sure you place your scarecrow in an area where the groundhogs are likely to see it.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar

You could also sprinkle apple cider vinegar near areas where groundhogs are a nuisance. It will get rid of them because they find the scent of it repulsive.

10. Castor Oil

Put a little bit of castor oil on a cotton ball and place it near the entrance of the burrow. The smell will turn off groundhogs, and they will eventually leave.

An even better method is to make a homemade groundhog repellent spray by mixing one part castor oil with three parts water. Shake it up and spray it around the burrows.

11. Hair Clippings

When it comes to getting rid of woodchucks, many people recommend using hair clippings. And it makes sense, right? These pests are scared of humans, so if they see someone around their territory, they’re likely to run away.

Ask your friends and family if they’re willing to donate hair. You can also reach out to your local barbershop or salon.

Once you have a good supply of hair clippings, it’s time to start spreading them around the territory of the groundhogs. The scent will make groundhogs think humans are in the area.

12. Garlic

Believe it or not, garlic is a natural woodchuck repellent.

Just take a few cloves of garlic and crush them. Next, scatter it where the groundhogs are burrowing. It won’t kill them, but it will make them leave.

Garlic repels certain animals because of its strong smell, and groundhogs are no exception.

13. Cayenne Pepper

The spicy smell of cayenne pepper will irritate the groundhog, making it want to get away as fast as possible.

So all you have to do is sprinkle some cayenne pepper around the areas where the critters are hanging out, and they’ll be gone in no time.

You can also make a DIY groundhog spray by mixing one tablespoon of hot sauce in a quart of water. Shake well and spray this pepper spray at problem areas.

14. Clean Up the Yard

The best way to keep groundhogs out of your yard is to make sure it’s clean and free of their food sources and hiding spots.

Therefore, remove bush piles and overgrown areas. This will make your yard less appealing to them.

15. Talcum Powder

Another groundhog control remedy is to spread talcum powder around the entrances to their burrows. They like to dig holes under sheds, houses, or porches.

Talcum powder works because they don’t like the scent of it and will eventually go somewhere else to live. Reapply the powder every few days, especially if it rains.

16. Agricultural Lime

Agricultural lime will also help deter groundhogs from coming near.

So, how do you use it? It’s pretty simple. Just sprinkle it around the edges of your garden and at the entrance of a groundhog burrow.

It will burn their feet when they step on it.

17. Repellent Plants

Certain plants also work perfectly well for repelling groundhogs.

Mint is a big one. These animals can’t stand the smell of mint, so plant some around your garden to help keep them at bay.

Other groundhog repellent plants include rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, basil, and chives. They hate the smell of these plants as well, so planting them in your backyard or around your garden is a good way to keep them away.

18. Bobbex-R Animal Repellent

An effective commercial product to try is Bobbex-R. This stuff is an earth-friendly spray that you can use at the entrance to any burrows or holes.

It works to keep away rabbits, voles, squirrels, deer, groundhogs, chipmunks, and others.


As you can see, there are many natural ways to get rid of pesky groundhogs without killing them. One is to make sure you’re not providing them with the things they need to survive and thrive in your backyard.

Try out the other methods mentioned above and see what works best for you.

Image via Flickr

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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