Groundhog / Woodchuck (Marmota monax) Control & Removal
of Arjan Boer
The largest member of the squirrel family in Ontario, this diurnal (active during the day) rodent is primarily a grazer; eats vegetative parts of plants, bark and twigs if there is no green leaves available; their fond of fruits and vegetables and also will consume a few insects and young birds of ground nesting species.
Woodchucks are stocky little animals with a flattened head. They commonly weigh 2 to 4 kg, and large ones may be heavier in the autumn. They measure 40 to 65 cm total length, including a short bushy tail about 15 cm long. Fur colour varies from place to place and between individual animals. It ranges from yellowish to dark reddish brown, with an intermediate brown colour being the most common shade. The fur is usually grizzled in appearance because of light-coloured tips on the hairs. The belly fur is commonly straw-coloured and the feet black.
Every year voles (mice), groundhogs, rabbits and deer cause significant economic injury in orchards throughout Ontario. Damage may be serious, ranging from bark injury from gnawing, teeth sharpening or tree climbing to root damage caused by burrowing. These burrows may also be a hazard to equipment and people who may inadvertently step into the hole resulting in possible physical injury (i.e., ankle sprains, leg injury, etc.). Control of these nuisance animals is difficult and requires a long-term control strategy to be effective.
Preventative measures include Exclusion*. Control methods include Live Trapping*, Licensed Trapping*, Physical Capture*, Shooting*, Relocation*, and Destruction of the animal.
*For adetailed definition of each control method please see Animal Wildlife Control Services & Solutions »
Please note that, in contrast to almost all other Ontario animal control operations, as a licensed furbearer trapping company we are able to employ all of these control methods INCLUDING relocation or permanent removal of captured groundhogs.
Young groundhogs are born in April and May (in Canada, mainly in May) following a gestation, or pregnancy, period of 30 days. One litter, usually with four young, is produced per year. The young are blind and helpless at birth, about 10 cm in length and about 30 g in weight.