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Woodchuck / Groundhog Trapping Tips

You can use either a lethal body-grip trap mounted right over the hole, or a live capture cage trap. The lethal type of trap is guaranteed to work, but it's very dangerous to use, and should only be set by professionals with experience. It can also kill unintentional animals, and is illegal in many states. A live cage trap has a lower success rate, but if you set it on the groundhog pathway and bait it with tasty vegetables, you'll probably get the woodchuck, and then you can relocate it a few miles away.

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How To Trap A Groundhog

The groundhog is an animal that can cause a great deal of damage when they are living under or near domestic properties, and the best solution will be to trap and remove the animal. It is important to bear in mind that there are a number of states that have strict regulations about the trapping and relocation of wild animals, and that it is worth checking on the rules in your local area. Groundhogs may be cute animals that are an important part of American culture, but they can also be a great pest that can cause an awful lot of damage.

Using The Right Trap For Your Needs

The majority of people will want to use a live trap that will catch the groundhog in a cage, because this is the cleanest way to deal with the problem. The most commonly used trap for catching a groundhog will be the one door type that will be triggered as the groundhog enters the trap, causing the door to close behind the animal. These traps are available in various sizes, and a trap about a foot in height and two and a half feet in length will usually be sufficient. Although there are other types of traps that can also be used to catch the animal alive, the cage trap is the most common and most successful type of trap available.

There are also lethal traps that are available that can kill a groundhog, and these are generally traps that are spring loaded and will snap shut around the body of the animal when it steps on the trigger. The issues associated with using a lethal trap is that it is possible that it may be triggered by a cat or another domestic pet. Using a lethal trap will also mean that people will have to deal with the carcass afterwards, and this will often attract other animals to the area. Only lethal traps are good for killing this animal, groundhog poison is not a real product.

Positioning And Baiting A Groundhog Trap

Choosing the location for a groundhog trap is one of the most important things, and this will generally be near the burrow of the animal or the area of your garden that it is using to get in. For those who have a groundhog on their property, placing the trap very close to the entrance of the burrow will usually be best, and because of the amount of soil that is moved it will often be quite obvious where the animal is dwelling.

Using the right bait is also important, otherwise its possible that you may trap another animal instead of the groundhog. There are commercial products available, but many people have had great success using sunflower seeds, peanut butter and even corn, although cantaloupe is the bait of choice preferred by many people. Pretty much any fresh vegetables will do, such as broccoli. Once the trap has been placed near the usual path or the burrow of the groundhog, spread some bait on the floor in front of the trap, before putting more of the bait inside the trap to encourage the animal to enter.

Handling And Removing The Animal

The gopher is an animal that can carry a number of different diseases, so it is important to make sure that any contact with the animal is kept to a minimum. If you have used a lethal trap it is best to double bag the carcass in thick bin liners, and then to dispose of it in the garbage if local regulations allow this.

For those who have trapped a live groundhog, throw a blanket over the trap as this will help to calm the animal. Some regulations will ask that you take your groundhog to an authorized location, but if there is no such scheme in your state drive the animal at least 10 miles away from your home before releasing the groundhog.

Go back to the main groundhog removal page, or check out my how to get rid of a groundhog in the garden page or my how to get a groundhog out from under a shed or deck page. You can also read about marmot trapping if that's the burrowing animal in your region.

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