Popular Methods of Groundhog Eradication: Poisoning, Shooting, Fumigation

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 6 minutes.
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Even though, woodchucks are cute, when these burrowing rodents become pests in our area, most of us will have the desire to eradicate them.

Oh, woodchucks… These pesky invaders can easily find their way into your gardening or lawn, eating your plants and vegetables and digging destructive burrows. There are many forms of groundhog damage control available to farmers and homeowners. Lethal methods are one of them.

Don’t know how to choose the right way of eliminating destructive woodchucks? We know how. Below we provide several methods to kill woodchucks along with other useful eradication information.

Shooting option to eliminate woodchucks

If best groundhog deterrent and repellent options don’t work, consider shooting. This method of lethal woodchuck control can be considered as a good option only if you live in a removed location. If you live in an urban area shooting might be illegal.

Check with your law enforcement center to find out if you aren’t breaking any laws by shooting the pest rodents.

Although landowners can use the shooting to reduce the groundhog population or to maintain a low population of groundhogs where necessary, shooting is not the best way to eradicate groundhogs. Remember a woodchuck that has been shot but not killed can be much more aggressive and dangerous. What’s more, this pest can present a real danger to pets and children if it gets away.

If you still want to use this method of woodchuck’s eradication, consider buying these two great woodchuck guns:

  1. Cooper Firearms varmint extreme
    Cost: $2,255
    Cooper Firearms varmint extreme
  2. Windham Weaponry Varmint
    Cost: $1,295
    Windham Weaponry Varmint

Lethal Trapping Ideas

Groundhogs have been a big problem for farmers for years. They easily destroy plants. In fact, these rodents will feed on practically anything.

Groundhog kill trapIf you are not interested in trapping a woodchuck alive, you can use kill traps – used by experts – that can be set right over woodchucks’ dens. So how do these devices work? These heavy steel traps work quickly by snapping shut over the groundhogs head leading to a rodent’s death.

Conibear traps are the most widely-used steel traps to kill burrowing rodents. They almost instantly kill a woodchuck that tries to move through it. But these traps should only be used in the places where you are certain the woodchuck is the only animal that will enter.

Conibear traps are usually placed just inside the burrow, to trap the burrowing rodent as it enters or leaves. If you are searching the most effective woodchuck killing trap, consider buying this:

  • BodyGrip 220 – effective killing trap suited for woodchuck. The trap holds strong animals with the help of two springs in the shape of a “V”. It is recommended to place the trap alongside the den.
    Want to make the set easy? Purchase BodyGrip Trap Stand. The device will help you to set a woodchuck lethal trap up in a “standing” position.
    Killing trap for woodchuck

Poisoning: Method of Fumigation

Want to know how to get rid of pesky groundhogs forever? When it becomes difficult to resolve the groundhog problem with standard woodchuck control approaches, many people turn to woodchucks’ poison. So, how to poison a groundhog?  First of all, you are to know that different types of poison for groundhogs, you can buy on the market, work in various ways.

Groundhogs fumigationsThe most effective, quick and effortless way of groundhog eradication is fumigation. This is a method under which fumigants – gaseous pesticides – are used to poison the woodchucks within.  The best time to use fumigants is in late April or early May. The most widely used fumigant for woodchucks’ eradication is Methyl Bromide. Another popular form of groundhog’s poison is Strychnine. This poison works by suffocating the pest rodent.

Gas cartridges can be used to treat burrows at any time.

Fumigation: step 1To control woodchucks you are to purchase gas cartridges that are very effective in killing burrowing rodents. The cartridges work by producing carbon monoxide gas that kills the groundhog by depriving it of oxygen.

Where to buy Gas Cartridges: at some garden centers or at local farm stores.

How to carry out fumigation method correctly?

  • Find all the entrances to the woodchuck burrow and plug all but one with soil that will lock in the gas.
  • Prepare the gas cartridge for placement by following the instructions on the label.
  • Light the fuse.
  • Put the gas cartridge inside the hole.
  • Cover the hole to prevent the gas from escaping.

Fumigation: step 2Remember, this method is only effective if the groundhog is actually in the burrow you fumigate. To test a burrow for activity, fill all entrances with grass or dirt clipping and check-in 12 to 24 hours. If a burrowing rodent is inside the burrow, it will surely come out to feed in the course of time.

Don’t fumigate burrows around or under buildings. The gas could leak into the building and harm humans.
Remember, gas cartridges should be handled carefully around flammable substances and areas as they create an ignition hazard.

It is better to observe the groundhog entering the burrow before fumigating. Treated burrows can be occasionally reopened by another rodent reoccupying the burrow system. Retreatment may be necessary if this occurs.

We suggest buying the following:

  • The Giant Destroyer by Atlas – are effective smoke bombs that produce a special gas when dropped into burrows. These fumigants will effectively kill groundhogs. The product consists of 4 tubes per card. The product has been used successfully for many years and can rapidly kill woodchucks and/or other burrowing rodents in their holes and burrows.
    Cost: $7.17
    Giant destroyer smoke bomb
  • REVENGE: Rodent smoke bombRevenge Rodents Smoke Bomb by Bonide – efficient, quick and reliable control on woodchucks. The product emits a thick suffocating smoke into woodchucks’ burrows.
    Cost: $6.77
    Where to use: on lawns, golf courses, parks, open fields, reforested areas, non-crop areas, meadows.

If you can’t solve your woodchuck problem in a professional manner, hire professionals. Remember woodchuck extermination should be legal and safe.

You can find further details of Groundhogs Control here.

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I have been working on pest extermination information for a long time and am excited to share this information with you. I also provide product recommendations for my favorite pest extermination products.
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  1. They are under my house. How do I get rid of groundhogs without harming us?

    • If you do not have pets that could be caught i would suggest multiple large 1 door live traps baited with cantaloupe or apples. Once caught you can release at a park, if this is legal in your area or simply shoot them with a .22 pistol. I would use multiple traps, you can get a 2 pack at a tractor or farm store near you. I set my traps on the outside of my fence since we have dogs. Good luck!

      • Don’t trap and release unless you have written permission from the land owner, and that includes parks and so called vacant land. In most states it’s illegal to to trap and release especially illegal to release in parks and it’s always illegal to release on someone else’s property without their permission. And don’t give me that ‘vacant’ property excuse, it’s still someone else’s property and you have no rights to dump your problems off there, as someone who lives ‘rural’ I have dealt with my fair share of people deciding my property is their vacant dumping ground and I have had several arrested for their illegal dumping. If the nuisance animal is a problem for your passing off your problem off to someone else without their consent else is not a solution! If you can’t bring yourself to trap and kill or just flat out kill then hire someone that will do the killing!

    • oil a coffee cup line it with sugar fill half with baking soda and put more sugar on top of cup

  2. I have a giant woodchuck under my barn where my old horse use to stay. And now that she’s gone the woodchuck decided to make it’s home under the barn. But we might get another horse soon, and I don’t want the woodchuck hurting the horse, or the horse falling in the hole. So If I used the gas method, since I don’t have the horse yet, would it affect the horse if we get it? Or should I just stick with the body traps and other poisons?

    • Did you get an answer? My barn has multiple holes in the dirt floor from groundhog. I have been trying to eradicate them for 6 years and am at my wits end!!!! Can you help?

  3. Does bleach or mothballs kill groundhogs ?? There all over my front n back yard

  4. Groundhogs will eat anything with sugar, I like using splenda because It does not attract ants. with sugar if you coat things using a spray oil like pam the sugar sticks to it. you can spray packing peanuts and they will eat the whole can of them. this might not kill them immediately but it sure does not help them either. The other thing that they will eat is Juicy fruit bubble Gum and this can not be digested. Using water or smoke bomb will work if escape hole is filled or not available. I like using a combination because they are not always in the mood of staying in their holes so that is why I like using sugar with things like baking soda which is the main ingredient in alka seltzer.

  5. If you leave out the bubble gum for woodchucks, how much do they have to eat to die from it?

  6. They wont die from any amount of packing peanuts or bubble gum. It goes in one end and out the other. Same as a human. Anything that isn’t able to be digested comes out of your body(or groundhogs body) in the form of feces.

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