Every farmer’s worst nightmare is groundhogs. This is due to their voracious appetite. Have you ever wondered, “What do groundhogs eat?” Understanding what they eat can aid in control and prevention. We will reveal more in this article.
What are Groundhogs?
Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks or whistle pigs, are the largest members of the squirrel family.
The United States is home to six species of woodchucks and marmots.
These animals frequently invade cropland, and vegetable gardens, eating or destroying vegetables and landscape plants.
Although groundhogs are slow runners, they rush to their dens when they sense danger.
The main groundhog predators are hawks, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, dogs, and humans.
They typically have a burrow in the woods for the winter and a hole in grassy areas for the summer.
Groundhogs keep their burrows clean by periodically changing out the nesting found inside.
When these round creatures stand on their hind legs, they resemble small bears.
Groundhogs have sharp claws that they use to dig deep burrows into the ground.
They are solitary creatures that spend their summers and autumns eating and napping in the sun.
They can eat about a pound of food in one sitting.
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What do Groundhogs Eat?
Groundhogs, like most other rodents, are herbivorous, which means they eat mostly plant matter.
Groundhogs eat a wide range of plants, the majority of which are found in the wild.
They do, however, enjoy eating cultivated crops, which can earn them the ire of farmers and gardeners.
A groundhog’s diet consists primarily of vegetables, grasses, and berries, but they will consume other foods as well.
They will, for example, consume insects, mollusks, and even small birds.
However, they are not considered omnivorous because they eat these other foods only on occasion.
Groundhogs consume plants that are abundant in the environment.
Groundhogs, contrary to popular belief, do not drink water.
They stay hydrated by eating succulent (juicy) plants that dew or rain has wet.
Groundhogs can swim as well. Swimming allows them to avoid predators, and their burrows keep them safe.
Here is a list of the foods that groundhogs prefer:
How do Groundhogs Get Food?
Groundhogs rely on their keen senses to help them survive and find food in the wild.
A groundhog, in particular, relies heavily on its senses of sight, smell, and hearing.
Groundhogs will use their eyes and noses to find food after emerging from their burrows.
Their noses are very sensitive, which helps them find ripe vegetables.
Their sensitivity, however, is also their undoing, as many people leave out odorous substances that groundhogs find repulsive.
Meanwhile, groundhogs rely less on smell and touch to find food.
They typically build burrows in areas where food is plentiful and easily accessible.
As a result, they will frequently dig under fences or other barriers to reach the plants on the other side.
They are most active during the day, but only come out to forage in the mornings or evenings.
Groundhogs may bring extra food back to their dens after foraging.
Their desire to return food to their burrows stems from their instinct to store food for the winter.
Groundhogs Mating Season
Groundhog mating season takes place in early spring, around February.
Males emerge from hibernation in search of female burrows.
When he finds one, he enters. Males are said to do this to meet potential mates.
Mating season starts in the spring, and females give birth to two to six hairless, blind babies.
Kits, pups, and chuckling are the names given to young groundhogs.
When they reach adulthood, they usually abandon their mother to build their own homes.
Groundhog families split up in the fall, and the young reach sexual maturity after two years.
Groundhogs typically live three to six years in the wild but have been known to live for up to fourteen years in captivity.
Groundhog Removal Methods
Because groundhogs can make their homes in crawlspaces, it is critical to inspect the outside of the home for potential entry points.
Like broken vent covers or foundation holes.
Caulk should be used to seal all cracks and crevices and repair any loose siding.
Install a mesh cover over chimneys and other exposed openings.
If you suspect any infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional for advice on how to get rid of a groundhog.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Groundhog’s Favorite Food?
Alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lettuce, broccoli, plantain, and soybeans
2. What Do You Feed a Groundhog?
Grasses, clover, alfalfa, and dandelions
3. Do Groundhogs Bite?
They will bite in retaliation if threatened.
4. Do Groundhogs Like Human Food?
They are naturally attracted to human foods and leftovers!
5. Are Groundhogs Friendly?
Interactions within a female group are generally friendly
6. What is the Lifespan of a Groundhog?
Six years in the wild, 14 years in captivity.
7. How Smart is a Groundhog?
Groundhogs are an extremely intelligent animal.
8. What Time of Day are Groundhogs Most Active?
Early morning and early evening hours
9. What Month do Groundhogs Have Babies?
Early March to late April.
10. What are Groundhogs Good for?
Although groundhogs are considered a nuisance pest because their feeding and burrowing habits can cause extensive damage to home gardens and farms.
They rarely come into contact with humans and thus pose no major public health risks.
They can, however, transmit fleas, ticks, and rabies.
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