Photo: Andrew Silva
WOODCHUCKS are found mostly in the Northeast and Midwest, inhabiting burrows in orchards, fields, sloping woodlands — and maybe under your porch. The burrows reach deep into the ground and usually have more than one exit. The woodchuck's main goal in summer is to eat as much as possible to store enough fat to carry it through the winter in hibernation. These herbivores enjoy clover and alfalfa, along with many young garden plants such as peas, beans, cole crops and lettuce. They'll also feed on tree fruits and ripening melons.
Prevention and Control
- Build a fence. For more information, read Animal Fencing Techniques. Pop-up covers are often effective, especially on raised beds.
- Make your yard less attractive to a woodchuck by removing brush piles, old stumps, and wood piles.
- Lure woodchucks away from your garden by planting favored foods such as clover and alfalfa in another area.
- Apply repellents such as hot pepper spray, dried blood, predator urine and talcum powder on plants to discourage woodchucks from feeding.