We have seen a ground hog... #145444 - Ask Extension


We have seen a ground hog... #145444

Asked August 05, 2013, 6:18 PM EDT

We have seen a ground hog in our backyard and suspect it has taken up residence under our deck (low level platform less than a foot above ground). There is no garden to be concerned about. Are there any other factors to make me want to drive the rodent away - or is it live and let live? Thanks Bob Nebuda

Hamilton County Ohio

Expert Response

While you are correct in that no garden means no feeding damage, I still would caution you against letting a groundhog live under your deck. Sometimes groundhog burrowing can be (or become after awhile) extensive enough to damage foundations. Presently with your deck, I'd be concerned about chewing damage. Groundhogs are rodents, with 2 sharp incisors that need to be constantly filed down, usually by chewing on wood or other hard materials. You can keep your eye on the situation but it may be hard to determine damage far underneath your deck. I recommend trapping the groundhog, keeping him in the trap, seal up the area under your deck, and then releasing him. You also have the option of euthanizing it, or contacting a wildlife control specialist to come and get it.
Here is a fact sheet with a few more options:http://www.icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/Woodchucks.asp
Hope this helps!

Marne Titchenell Replied August 06, 2013, 1:49 PM EDT

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