I woke to see my zucchini, yellow squash and sunflower leaves "gone". Are there any proven suggestions on how to keep groundhogs away? I do have a 3 ft chicken wire fence around my garden area. I don't know where the groundhog's home is. I have a trap set but would like some suggestions on things to spray or put on leaves or in garden.

  • 1
    If you can't shoot them, then this is the next best thing: rodenator.eu
    – That Idiot
    Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 1:44
  • Trapping and relocating is the only working solution.
    – zs2020
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 6:18

5 Answers 5


No products are currently registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as woodchuck repellents. Studies in Connecticut have shown that some commercial deer and rabbit repellents, as well as some insecticides thought to have repellent properties, were generally ineffective at preventing woodchuck feeding on crops.

Predator odors may be a useful repellent for woodchucks. For example, bobcat urine sprayed on the base of apple trees has been shown to reduce woodchuck gnawing by 98 percent relative to untreated trees. In addition, bobcat urine used in combination with electric or rope fences reduced damage to cabbage fields in New York. In this study, electric fences alone or electric fences with cloth strips sprayed with bobcat urine were nearly 100 percent effective at reducing woodchuck damage to cabbage. A single-strand rope fence sprayed with bobcat urine reduced woodchuck damage by 90 percent and is a simple, low-cost approach for homeowners.


Experiment l.—Consumption of leaves of acorn and zucchini squash treated with HotSauce Animal Repellent decreased 16.2 and 20.2% respectively, relative to pretreatment levels. However, these reductions were not statistically significant, and >2/3 of treated foliage was eaten (Table 1).

Experiment 2.--Consumption of Romaine lettuce was not reduced by application of Hinder, Cygon, or Sevin (Table 2).


It appears the best bet may be predator urine, such as bobcat. I wonder if domestic cat urine in used cat litter would work? There are also various recipes online containing cayenne, garlic, mustard, urine, soap, etc claiming to repel critters, but nothing that is proven to work.

A search around youtube revealed a news broadcast with tips on controlling groundhogs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlGFcyl4J4s

Note that its illegal to trap and relocate in many states. Check your state laws.

  • 1
    So the solution to hedgehogs eating your vegetables is to lace them with urine? Are there ways to protect your vegetables where people will still want to eat them when you're done?
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 19:48
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    I don't know, but the question asked if there were proven methods. The study said "single-strand rope fence sprayed with bobcat urine reduced woodchuck damage by 90 percent and is a simple, low-cost approach for homeowners." It doesn't say to spray the cabbage, just the rope.
    – Randy
    Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 1:49
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    @corsiKa a groundhog (yellow bellied marmot; aka woodchuck) is not a hedgehog (primarily interested in eating slugs.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 17:58

Groundhogs are pretty easy to trap. They have regular routes. Sometimes, you can see the grass matted down a little where they run. If not, I'd set it alongside (parallel to) the garden fence. I put 6" high boards feeding into the trap opening - like a funnel. No bait.

That said, are you sure it's a groundhog? My understanding and experience is, they're not nocturnal. Deer, OTOH ... Though, I'd think you'd see footprints in the garden soil in that case. And, a word of caution - you can catch some interesting things, esp if you leave the trap set overnight. Skunks and possums in particular.


We struggled with groundhogs at our local community garden for several years. We were not able to remove them, as the land owner would not allow it. We tried every solution we could find on the internet including cayenne pepper spray, creating a perimeter for the garden with ammonia and used kitty litter, shiny pinwheels and other moving objects to scare them, fences including an underground barrier. We even tried feeding the groundhogs outside their burrows with discarded produce, thinking they might take the easy food and not bother getting around the fence. No deal. Honestly, I think removal is the best, and maybe only, option.


It’s crazy putting time, energy, money into garden prep & planting only to have the little critter eat leaves, blossoms and the veggies. We have groundhogs.Wire fencing works. No rabbit fencing b/c the groundhog knows to jump above the closely spaced wire. My husband watched him do this.I had to hang 1/4” plastic fencing where the wider spaces started. Next to solve the burrowing under the wire,cut orange snow fencing about 18” wide and lay it directly on the ground butting up to the wire fencing.Use garden staples or ties to attach the bottom of the wire fence to the plastic snow fence. Finally,lay weed barrier cloth on top of the plastic fencing. 2 fold reason, #1 weeds wont grow up thru the plastic fencing #2 it’s easier to pull up for winter.Well worth the effort! Take that you rotten groundhog!!!!!!! Good luck folks

  • Thank you for your answer; if could include suggestions as to height, type of fencing & mesh size, types of fence posts, and supports, could also be helpful. We encourage you to take the Tour, and browse through the Help center, to learn more about how the site works! Thank you! Welcome to the site!
    – M H
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 4:26

I am trying some substantial white, plastic mesh, bunching it around the base of the tomato plants. Using 6" metal staples to hold it on the ground. I think animals get tangled up in it...

Also, the white cloth that you can place over vegetables to keep bugs away, might work? I am stapling that over new little beets and lettuce seedlings.

It is always something. Last year,chipmunks by the dozens. This year none to be seen. ?

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