How to keep woodchucks from burrowing and denning under my porch, deck, or shed in New Jersey | Woodchuck

How to keep woodchucks from burrowing and denning under my porch, deck, or shed

Step 1

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This simple approach will prevent woodchucks (groundhogs) from burrowing under your porch, deck, or shed. It also keeps out chipmunks, skunks, ground squirrels, and other burrowing animals.

To prevent woodchucks from denning under sheds and decks, screen off openings using sturdy galvanized wire or hardware cloth attached to the lower edge and then buried underground, slanting outward one to two feet.

Evicting problem woodchucks found denning under sheds and decks may prove difficult. It is possible to frighten woodchucks out of a den with persistent loud noise (like a radio) and odor repellents placed under the structure. You could also use motion-activated animal alarm.

Sealing all but one opening and installing a one-way door is another option. One-way doors can be made out of wood, or pre-made doors can be purchased from commercial sources.

When evicting problem woodchucks, take into account the breeding season and the potential for young being left behind and inaccessible under decks and in burrows, etc. Consider delaying removal of the mother until the young are active.

Step 2

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For buildings with buried foundations, this method will prevent woodchucks (groundhogs) from burrowing under your shed, barn, or crawlspace.  It also keeps out chipmunks, skunks, ground squirrels, and other burrowing animals.

Exclusion from buried foundations

For buildings with buried foundations, consider burying galvanized wire mesh next to the foundation approximately 4 to 6 inches deep and extending horizontally about a foot from the foundation.

Step 3

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Best times to evict woodchucks and what times to avoid

The best time to evict or exclude woodchucks is in late summer and early fall. Avoid time periods when woodchucks are hibernating or raising young.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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