Do They Cause Damage?
Damage from ground hogs is usually limited to burrowing and feeding on desirable plantings. They are seldom aggressive and will usually retreat when approached. In Pennsylvania, they are considered a Rabies Vector Species (RVS) which means they can carry the rabies virus.
Do I Have An Infestation?
Ground Hogs live in burrows which are about 5-6” in diameter. Burrows can be found in wooded areas, fields, brush lines, hillsides, under sheds and porches. Often large amounts of excavated soil will be piled at the burrow entrance making it easier to locate. Burrows can be up to 30’ long and almost always have a secondary entrance, or ‘bolt hole’. They typically leave the burrow 3 times a day to forage for food in fields and gardens and do not venture out after dark.
What Can Masters Touch Do?
Locating the burrows is critical to controlling ground hogs. Traps can be placed near burrows and feeding areas to capture them. Because of the RVS status, we are required to euthanize all captured ground hogs. In some cases, when burrows are far enough from structures, gas cartridges can be used to treat the burrows. Poison baits are not used for ground hogs.
How Can You Help?
Screening the sides of sheds and porches with the screen extending several inches below ground and extending out @ 12” underground can help keep ground hogs out. Reducing clutter and brush piles, and keeping lawns and fields cut make these areas less hospitable for them to burrow.
Females have 1 litter per year and will give birth in March-April with litters usually having 2-3 young. Young are independent in 8-10 weeks and are often seen foraging with the parent.