Are you one of the many people that are already counting down the days until winter is over? Some people thrive during the snowy and cold winter months while others struggle to get through it. If you do not like winter maybe you are a fan of Groundhogs Day. Every February that little groundhog pokes his head out to let us know if we are done with winter or if we have to endure some more chilly days. Other than Groundhog Day what do you really know about groundhogs?
Other Groundhog Names
A groundhog is also known as a woodchuck. It is part of the rodent family Sciuridae and belongs to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. They can also be referred to as a chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistlepig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weensuk, red monk, or siffleux. They are known to live in the Eastern United States, Canada, and Alaska.
What Do Groundhogs Look Like?
Groundhogs are the largest rodent in the ground squirrel family. Their head and body can range from 17.75 to 24 inches and their tail adds another 7 to 9.75 inches. They can weigh between 6 to 12 pounds. Their lifespan is about 3 to 6 years. They have brown fur; a found body with a busy tail; short, strong legs with curved claws for burrowing; small, round eyes and ears; a flat head; and two long, ever-growing incisors.
Groundhog Burrow Hibernation
Groundhogs live a feast or famine lifestyle. This means that they will feast all summer to build up their reserves of fat so that they can make it through the winter. After the first frost of winter occurs groundhogs retreat to their underground burrows and sleep until spring. They live off of their body fat during these months. During hibernation the groundhogs’ heart rate and body temperature are both very low.
Most often you can spot groundhogs on the ground but they are capable of climbing trees and swimming. They most frequently live where the woodlands meet open spaces, like fields, roads or streams. They eat grass, plants, fruits and tree bark. They eat approximately 1/3 of their weight in vegetation each day. Since about 1% of the time they will eat insects they are technically considered herbivores. Gardeners are not fans of groundhogs because they will eat their crops. If you do have groundhogs in your fields they can cause some serious damage to whatever you are trying to plant.
When Are Groundhogs Most Active?
Groundhogs are active during the day from the spring to the fall. Most of their activity occurs in the early morning and early evening hours. They typically will emerge from their burrows at those times in search of food.
They mate in the early spring after emerging from hibernation. Groundhogs will give birth to 2-4 kids. The baby woodchucks will spend the first two months of their lives with their mothers as they learn to become independent.
Groundhog Damage to Lawn & Home Foundation
Groundhogs can cause serious damage to agricultural and residential developments. Signs of damage from groundhogs are wide teeth marks on wood, plantings, or the lower branches of trees; mounds of soil outside a burrow entrance; deep holes in the ground or lawn; damaged or hollowed out crops; weakened building foundation; chewed tubing, wires, or irrigation systems; and groundhog tracks. If you notice any of these signs you will want to take care of it immediately before too much damage is caused.
Groundhog Rodent & Wildlife Control, Removal & More in Canyon Lake, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Timberwood Park, Leon Valley, Alamo Heights, New Braunfels, Selma, Live Oak, Converse, Universal City, Cibolo, Seguin, New Berlin, St Hedwig, Adkins, La Vernia, Elmendorf, Losoya, Von Ormy, Macdona & San Antonio, Texas
Getting rid of groundhogs can be a frustrating experience. We recommend that you use a professional immediately before expensive damage is caused by these rodents. Give A Five Star Termite and Pest Control a call today and we can help you get rid of your groundhogs as quickly as possible.