Popular Methods of Groundhog Eradication: Poisoning, Shooting, Fumigation

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 25 minutes.
Updated: .

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? I know how. Below I provide several methods to kill woodchucks and other helpful eradication information.

The Best Air Rifle for Grounghogs: 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 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 maintain a low population where necessary, shooting is not the best way to eradicate groundhogs. Remember, a groundhog 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 groundhog eradication, consider buying these two best rifles for groundhogs:

1. Benjamin Marauder .22 Cal Air Rifle

See More ImagesBenjamin Marauder 22-Cal Air Rifle
Read Verified Customer Reviews

The Benjamin Marauder .22-Caliber is the perfect weapon for taking down groundhogs. This rifle is silent but deadly, with a 10-round magazine and incredible accuracy at 50 yards. As a PCP air rifle, it requires no expensive ammunition, just pellets, and air. I can attest to its precision, as my Marauder always prints dime-sized groups at 50 yards. If you’re looking for a top-quality air rifle that won’t break the bank, the Benjamin Marauder is the one for you.

2. GAMO Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle .22 Caliber

See More ImagesGamo Air Rifle .22 Cal
Read Verified Customer Reviews

The GAMO Air Rifle is the perfect choice for hunters who want a powerful, quiet, and accurate gun. Made in Spain, this rifle shoots a 10-shot group at 25 yards. The noise reduction feature ensures that you won’t spook your prey, while the decisive .22 caliber round makes short work of groundhogs.

Lethal Trapping Ideas

Groundhogs have been a big problem for farmers for years. They quickly 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 groundhog’s 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 where you are sure the woodchuck is the only animal that will enter.

Conibear traps are usually placed inside the burrow to trap the burrowing rodent as it enters or leaves. If you are searching for 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 lethal woodchuck 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, you are to know that different types of poison for groundhogs, which 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. 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 local farm stores.

How to carry out the 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 over 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 caves can be occasionally reopened by another rodent reoccupying the burrow system. Retreatment may be necessary if this occurs.

I suggest buying the following:

1. The Giant Destroyer Gas Killer

The Giant Destroyer Super Gassers are effective smoke bombs that produce a particular gas when dropped into burrows. These fumigants will effectively kill groundhogs. The product consists of 4 tubes per card. The product has been used for many years and can rapidly kill woodchucks and/or other burrowing rodents in their holes and caves.

See More ImagesSuper Gasser by The Giant Destroyer
Read Verified Customer Reviews

2. Revenge Rodents Smoke Bomb by Bonide

Revenge Rodents Smoke Bombs are efficient, quick, and reliable control on woodchucks. The product emits a thick, suffocating smoke into woodchucks’ burrows.

Where to use: on lawns, golf courses, parks, open fields, reforested areas, non-crop areas, and meadows.

See More ImagesREVENGE: Rodent smoke bomb
Read Verified Customer Reviews

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

You can find further details of Groundhogs Control here.

Did that help you to solve your problem?
10times has already helped!
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.


Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  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

    • they are tunneling under my house. How do i get rid of them for good?

  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.

    • Please help me!! I have tried bubble gum. It was not too effective. What is the sugar and baking soda method?? I need these jerks gone they are ruining my garden!!

  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.

    • I thought when the ground hog ate the bubble gum they die cause it plugs them up?
      Would like to know if it’s better to smoke bomb them, or bubble gum?
      Please advise

  7. Exclusion is the best way to keep them out live traps work but if it’s late May ,early June you’re going to have young and when they are mature the parents push them out of the borrow. Use thing for exclusion that the pest cannot knaw on .I use hard cement board to replace the plastic skirting on my mobile home. I dig a trench 8to 10 inches deep so that the rodents can not dig under it .If you do replace your existing skirting with cement boards make sure you install ventilation. Lack of proper ventilation in crawl space is VERY IMPORTANT. It is the ipm,approach to pest management less chemicals more exclusion and inspection.

  8. Which poison is the best fastest and most likely to work immediately. I’ve got one working around our foundation. I set a trap but our resident rabbit sets it off. We took the lettuce out and put it on the walkway for him but he continually sets the trap off even though its empty. He’s got some kind of problem. The groundhog is creating a disaster here. Please help.

  9. Try Giant Destroyer fumigating tunnel will kill groundhogs

Leave a Reply