The largest of these pests is the woodchuck. The average adult's body is about 18 inches long followed by a tail 4 to 5 inches in length. They weigh between 5 and 12 pounds and, although they generally feed on the ground, they are good climbers and may be seen in trees or on split rail fences sunning themselves.

Woodchucks live in dens in the ground which may have as many as 5 different openings. One or more of the openings will be in the open and appear to be well-used but there will be others that are hidden nearby for fast retreats.

Unlike the Eastern chipmunk which stores nuts and seeds for winter feeding, the woodchuck relies solely on body fat to survive the winter. They nod off into hibernation in late fall and awaken again in the spring.

Reproduction occurs in mid to late April with the average litter being 3 to 5 young. If woodchucks become pests, it is better to control them prior to the addition of the young who will eventually want to establish burrows of their own in the area.

Critter Management Options:

Exclusion - Change Habitat - Trap - Repel - Poison

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

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