Groundhogs: any tips for keeping them out of the garden?
June 5, 2014 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Groundhogs. I've tried every folk wisdom trick under the sun — used cat litter, hot sauce, extra fencing, whirligigs, trap and release, stinky sprays, you name it. Now they're climbing my six-foot privacy fence. Any tips? Over half of my garden has been eaten in the past two days. I have 14 six-by-four beds, so that's a lot.

These guys are invincible and relentless. Gardening is my passion, and I'm about ready to give up on it. I'm not opposed to killing them, but here's the thing: there are always more.

Looking for success stories and any hacks I haven't tried.
posted by shiggins to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sometimes you have to kill the bastards. Lethal traps will solve your problem.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:42 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Call an exterminator. Fill their burrow with carbon monoxide.
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:45 AM on June 5, 2014

I trap and release about 10 miles away. Then I try to obliterate the burrow. It's true that eventually another will move in (there's a river across the street); repeat. Raised garden beds have 4' chicken wire, but that's only somewhat effective.
posted by lathrop at 6:57 AM on June 5, 2014

Response by poster: There aren't any burrows on our property. We just had our yard entirely re-graded, which got rid of their burrows. They're coming from nearby — not sure where, though. The neighbors are having issues, too. I think it's kill time.
posted by shiggins at 7:07 AM on June 5, 2014

presumably razor wire topping your privacy fence isn't desired, but ought to stop them from coming over the fence.

are your garden beds fenced too?
posted by TheAdamist at 7:21 AM on June 5, 2014

A ring of electric fencing (its pretty cheap to get the tape stuff) will deter all but the most determined fence climbers.
posted by rockindata at 7:41 AM on June 5, 2014

I had aggressive squirrels who couldn't be deterred by anything but blood meal.
posted by jessicapierce at 7:51 AM on June 5, 2014

This is the second time today I've had the opportunity to offer this same possible solution. We don't have ground hogs here but do have skunks and other pests. Maybe this might work for you.

I've used a different version of the Orbit motion sensor activated sprinkler shown here to deter animals from our home garden. I think that Orbit markets three different versions which all use the same motion sensor but have different support and sprinkler attachments. The sensors can be set for day, night, and always activation. With good water pressure the sprinkler can cover a 30' radius area. I modified mine by adding hose lines with additional sprinklers to cover different areas. The rainbird sprinkler head on the unit makes a noise which I think helps add to the effect for deterring the undesirable critters.
posted by X4ster at 11:36 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Are they coming from a neighbour's place? If not, I would attach some colourbond metal panelling to the fence to stop them climbing up. If it your neighbour's place, see if he would agree.
posted by GeeEmm at 3:46 AM on June 6, 2014

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