Food sources can attract squirrels and groundhogs. If this happens, these pests can wreak havoc on your property. From burrowing your yard to weakening structures, squirrels and groundhogs are difficult to spot and get rid of.
If you own a garden or tend to a yard, you may be nodding in agreement at this point. Below is a guide to keeping pests like squirrels and groundhogs from undoing all your proud backyard hard work:
Indications That You Are in Need of Pest Control
Groundhogs and squirrels in your yard can be a cause of serious distress. Gardeners and farmers especially face a threat of their green-leaved plants and crops being chewed up by these animals.
Here are four ways to tell if your garden is infested by squirrels and groundhogs:
- Bite marks and underground holes that store food
- Gnawed fruit trees and semi-bitten crops
- Siding that indicates scent marking: a behavior animals display to mark their territory
- Munched-on hoses in motor vehicles and underground power cables leading to power outages
- If your bird food starts to disappear quickly, it is safe to assume that squirrels in your garden are feeding on it.
How to Prevent Infestation
Preventing squirrels and groundhogs from infesting your yard or garden is crucial to safeguarding your property. Without pest control, these animals can cost you hundreds of dollars’ worth of loss. Here are a few prevention methods you can deploy:
A fence made out of wood or iron will do the job, but there are a few more things you need to be careful to prevent squirrels and groundhogs in your yard.
These include not having any openings larger than 2 inches between metal wiring or wood planks in your fence, digging the fence two feet deep into the ground, and giving it a slight curve to make it harder to climb.
2. Planting New Food Sources
This might seem like common sense, but introducing new sources of food may drive squirrels and groundhogs to those sources instead of munching up the plants in your yard.
These include cereals, bird seeds, sunflower seeds, cheese, and eggs for squirrels and clover, basil, beet greens, chrysanthemum, parsley, and green beans for groundhogs.
3. Clean Your Yard
Most squirrels and groundhogs will hog on the plants and crops in your garden if they can detect the scent of vegetation.
It is important to pick fruits and vegetables as soon as they ripen instead of procrastinating and delaying the process. In case you notice any dropped pieces or pieces of vegetables that have begun to rot, quickly rake them up to mask their scent.
Since squirrels and groundhogs are mainly herbivores, they can pick up the odor of food scraps in your trashcan. Make sure to empty trashcans in your house out instead of leaving them outdoors and seal them up properly.
What to Do If Your Yard Has Been Infested
While there are ways to prevent squirrels and groundhogs from infesting your yard, what do you when it’s too late, and they’ve taken over your property?
These pests are a big nuisance as they are difficult to catch- they burrow underground when they sense predators and resurface to feed on vegetation on the ground when no one’s around. Even if you find them moving in and out of their burrows, they will be too quick to catch.
While small, squirrels and groundhogs feed on-ground but also affect the soil, causing intense damage in the shape of chewed-up roots and cracked foundations in wall structures. In case of an infestation, here’s what you can do:
1. Pest Control
Groundhogs and squirrels are attracted to your garden due to the present vegetation, crops, and plants. Luckily, pest control repellents drive these animals far away from your property.
Since these pests have a sensitive smell, they know better than to stay in the yard unless they want to die. However, you cannot use sub-quality repellents as they will wear off very fast and bring back the squirrels and groundhogs.
The best way to do this is to contact a professional pest control agency that will look into the matter and provide pest control specialized to your need.
2. Eliminate Chances of Nesting
Since squirrels and groundhogs dig underground homes near thick bushes and tall grasses, it is important to clean up any leftover piles of leaves, wood, or vegetation. Maintain your garden by mowing it often and cutting the grass short.
You must also maintain your garden by mowing it often and cutting the grass short. Trimming back shrubs and bushes will ensure that the leaves are not too thick or sweeping the ground’s surface.
By filling in pre-existing holes in your garden, squirrels and groundhogs will be less attracted to nest in them. While you’re at it, ensure that your soil is moderately moist- most pests are attracted to drier versions of dirt. While this may be hard to follow with local watering regulations, we suggest doing the best you can and hosing down areas more prone to infestation.
3. Lay Out Traps
Laying out traps for squirrels and groundhogs is the most efficient way of getting rid of them. Once these pests leave your property, you can follow up with the prevention methods listed above to ensure they do not return.
Before you use a trap, check local and state regulations targeted towards trapping and releasing groundhogs or squirrels within your area. Then, wear gloves to leave your scent off the traps. Set the trap such as a mousetrap carefully, making sure that it doesn’t get caught in your finger. Cover it up with dirt, pieces of leaves, or fruit so that it doesn’t fly away or get displaced and can attract the pests.
If the trap catches any of these pests, make sure not to let them sit there for too long. They can hurt themselves by trying to escape or can dehydrate. It is best to release the squirrels and groundhogs in a manner permitted by the state. Try to release them into a wooded area far away from residential or commercial property.
Looking for an Affordable Pest Control Agency?
Worry no more, you will not have to replant your entire garden or get rid of all the crops that you have single-handedly grown. All you need to do is contact Ant’s Plus today, and we will guide you through the process of pest control.