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How to get rid of groundhogs under your shed

How to Get Rid of Groundhogs Under Your Shed

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are common in many parts of North America. These burrowing animals can cause significant damage to a property, especially if they decide to take up residence under the shed. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to identify groundhog activity, understand their behavior, and effectively rid your property of them.

Signs of Groundhog Activity

Knowing how to recognize groundhog activity is the first step in addressing the problem. If you suspect groundhogs are living under your shed, look for these telltale signs:
  • Burrow entrances: Groundhogs create distinctive holes in the ground near the shed, typically 10-12 inches in diameter. These entrances may have a mound of dirt beside them.
  • Plant damage: As herbivores, groundhogs love to feast on vegetation. Look for damaged plants, nibbled leaves, or eaten fruits and vegetables in your garden beds.
  • Daytime sightings: Groundhogs are most active during the day, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon. If you spot a groundhog scurrying around your property, it's a clear sign of their presence.
Groundhog damage near garden and shed

Understanding Groundhog Behavior

To effectively deal with groundhogs, it's essential to understand their habits and behavior. Groundhogs are found throughout much of North America, from Alaska to Alabama. They are most common in the northeastern and central United States, as well as parts of Canada.

Groundhogs are diurnal (meaning they are most active during the day) and prefer habitats with a mix of open areas and forest edges, such as fields, pastures, and residential yards. 

They prefer to eat plants and can consume up to a pound of vegetation daily. Groundhogs are also true hibernators, spending the winter months in a deep sleep underground.

Addressing a groundhog problem promptly is crucial to prevent extensive damage to your shed's foundation and surrounding landscape. As their tunnels expand, they can cause soil erosion and create hazardous sinkholes.

Finally, it's important to note that, groundhogs can carry diseases like rabies, making them a potential health risk to humans and pets.

Methods to Get Rid of Groundhogs Under Your Shed

The first thing you can do to get rid of groundhogs is make your property less appealing to them. This essentially means removing potential hiding spots and food sources.

Trim tall grass, remove brush piles and debris, and keep your lawn tidy. Protect your garden with fencing, and consider using raised beds to minimize damage to your plants.


The most effective long-term solution is to seal off any potential entry points under your shed.

Use heavy-duty wire mesh or metal flashing to cover gaps and openings, making sure the material extends at least 12 inches underground to prevent burrowing. Secure the mesh with stakes or screws to ensure the groundhog can't push it aside.

One-Way Doors

If the groundhog is currently living under your shed, install a one-way door over the main burrow entrance. Products like the Rhino Excluders allow the groundhog to exit but prevent it from re-entering, effectively evicting it from your property.

Make sure to leave the one-way door in place for at least a week to ensure the groundhog has left before sealing the entrance completely.


Repellents can deter groundhogs from your property. Natural options include castor oil-based repellents, predator urine (such as coyote or fox), and ammonia-soaked rags placed near burrow entrances.

Chemical repellents containing the active ingredient thiram can also be effective. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and reapply after rain or heavy dew.

Garden fence to get rid of groundhogs under and around shed

Other Recommended Maintenance

Preventing future groundhog intrusions is just as important as removing current ones. To keep your property groundhog-free, use these maintenance practices:
  • Regular inspections: Periodically check your shed and its surroundings for signs of groundhog or rodent activity, such as fresh burrows, droppings, or plant damage. Identifying issues early allows for a quicker response and less potential damage.
  • Yard maintenance: Keep your yard tidy and less inviting to groundhogs. Regularly mow your lawn, trim bushes and hedges, and remove piles of debris or wood where groundhogs might hide. Maintain a clear perimeter around your shed to eliminate potential burrowing spots.
  • Monitoring: Keep an eye out for groundhog activity in your neighborhood. If you notice groundhogs on adjacent properties, take proactive measures to protect your own yard before they have a chance to move in.

When to Call a Professional

In some cases, it may be necessary to contact a professional wildlife removal service. If the groundhog infestation is severe or widespread, or if you're unable to locate and seal all potential entry points, it's best to seek expert assistance.

Additionally, if you're uncomfortable handling the removal process or the groundhog appears sick, injured, or aggressive, prioritize your safety and contact a professional who can humanely remove the animal.


To protect your property from groundhog damage, recognize their presence quickly and act immediately. Combine sealing off access points with repellents and altering the environment to deter groundhogs. Keep your shed and yard well-maintained to prevent new infestations.

To get expert advice or browse top-notch pest control products and wildlife control supplies, look no further than RNS Products.
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