How can I get rid of a groundhog that is destroying my fence?


We installed a nice wood fence with pickets spaced 2" apart and a bottom rail that is almost flush with the ground. The purpose of the fence is enclose a small yard for my very small dog. A big ole nasty groundhog is digging under the fence in various places to get in the yard. The holes it digs are plenty big enough to allow my dog to escape if she wanted to.

Today, it got in and couldn't figure out which way to get out (can't fit through the pickets) so it started to try to chew its way out by biting the pickets!

I have avoided planting anything, like pansies or vegetable plants, that would attract the groundhog. No seeds or birdfeeder. There is an oak tree that drops acorns, but they're all over our neighborhood. So why is he coming in?

We also paid a wildlife removal company to trap the groundhog. $200 and 2 weeks later, no success with that.

Someone else recommended sprinkling Cayenne pepper on the outside perimeter of the fence. Tried that. Nope, he's probably enjoying tacos or something!

I suppose I could bury wire around the perimeter to discourage this thing? Is there another way? Would strong-smelling plants, like rosemary, planted outside the fence discourage this animal? Other suggestions, that don't involve ballistics, please?

  4 answers
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Nov 05, 2018

    They go more for plants and leaves and things like a veggie garden. I had trouble with one years ago when I lived in a house that was just blocks from the center of the city. A neighbor in the apartment next to my house saw them from their 3rd floor window. He started putting out his veggie waste and leftovers in the empty lot on the other side of the house and it never came back. When he stopped doing that, they stayed in the lot eating all the weeds and things that were growing there. Needless to say, he got all the produce he wanted from my garden as they came ripe. There must be something you have growing in your yard that he really likes. I hope this can help you, Catherine! You could try burying chicken wire or something where he always tries to come in, hard to say if he would find another spot or not, or just give up. I had a two foot chicken wire around my garden and it just slithered over it and bent it down for easy access.

    • Catherine Gilbert Catherine Gilbert on Nov 05, 2018

      They are pesky critters! I don't grow vegetables, and saw the groundhog pull out pansies I planted last spring when we moved here. So there is nothing I know of that's in the yard. Just regular grass, which there is plenty of outside the fence too. Lots of weeds for him to munch on the hillside where his burrows are. The fence is cutting off what used to be part of his territory (before we moved here) is all I can figure. Sorry! Not sorry!

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Nov 05, 2018

    Wow, what a problem. Maybe a row of large rocks along fence line.

    • See 2 previous
    • Catherine Gilbert Catherine Gilbert on Nov 05, 2018

      Oh! Good idea. Were these rocks that you could carry yourself? And put in your car? The thing did already "excavate" under one rock that's about volleyball size where I blocked his favorite entry. He's made 4 other digs under the fence since then.

  • Mary Mary on Nov 05, 2018

    not sure about this but might try Blood meal, sold at gardening and DIY stores. Sprinkle along out side area of fence. Reapply after rains and watering.

    • Catherine Gilbert Catherine Gilbert on Nov 05, 2018

      Okay. Thank you. I can try that, but it would need many re-applications since it's been raining a lot here.

  • Sharon Roscher Sharon Roscher on Nov 05, 2018

    I totally feel your pain! We just recently had new beautiful sod layed in our backyard and now we have raccoons that are on the hunt for grubs under the lawn! We've finally resorted to "Coyote Urine" that smells to high heaven (and is a natural predator) and that helps...but still hasn't totally deterred them! Good luck. We've had to bar our little Maltese pups from the lawn area...don't want them smelling like coyote :)

    • Catherine Gilbert Catherine Gilbert on Nov 05, 2018

      Oh wow! You have it worse that I do! Isn't that aggravating?! I've heard of coyote urine, but the odor may be a problem since the fence line is only about 25 feet from the kitchen window and screened porch. Yuck! But maybe if I do it now, while the windows are closed, the darned thing will move on and not be here in the spring? And, we have coyotes around here. Maybe I'll put up a "Diner Open" sign with a photo of this fat groundhog on it and they'll help me out!