Removing Unwanted Company: Woodchucks in the Garden


(This post is the second portion to the previous posting.)

As for the woodchucks, you have a few different options.  The most common one that I have heard is people taking out the .22 and doing some target practice.  However, there are a number of more-humane measures that you can use.

–As you plan your garden and maintain the area around it, keep a lot of open space around it — remove any nearby bushes or tall grass and any keep it away from buildings that could be burrowed under. Woodchucks avoid open spaces because of predators.

–Frequent the garden often especially in the afternoon and early evening, as these are popular times for woodchucks to feast.

–Throughout the garden and around the perimeters, place garden ornaments, pinwheels, balloons, beach balls, or shopping bags that move with the wind and make noise. This MAY scare the woodchuck away. Notice that I emphasize the word MAY. Some woodchucks are pretty smart.  If you chose to go with this method, regularly move the items (every couple days) to keep them on their toes.

–You may try ammonia soaked rags hanging from posts, spread dried urine or bloodmeal, mothballs scattered around the outside, or cayenne pepper spray throughout the garden and perimeter. Of course all of these require upkeep on a regular basis or after irrigation/rain in order to be effective at keeping the woodchuck away.

–There are commercial sprays like Liquid Fence that have some success deterring the woodchuck. Again, these sprays must be continuously used.

–If you can’t get rid of the woodchuck, your best bet is to put up a mesh wire fence, 3-4 feet high. Do not attach the wire to the very top of the fence posts. Woodchucks do not like unstable fence. Fold 6-12″ onto the ground to discourage the woodchuck from burrowing under the fence. As for the gate, post some of the moving deterrents (listed above) to keep them away so they don’t come in under/around it.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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