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Hello, on Saturday, we lost half of our garden to a ground hog. We had a rabbit fence up but somehow ‘Phil’ got into it. He didn’t go under it and I don’t think he can fit through it. Well today during the six o’clock hour, we lost the other half of the garden except for the red bell pepper. What would you recommend we do to win our battle against Phil? Also, do you think that some of ours plants will battle on? He ate pumpkin, squash, lettuce, tomato, and celery. The vines are still there but not much else…

I’m always sad to hear of this situation but many of us have hade the same thing happen at one time or another. Let’s start with the fence. A fence can exclude a woodchuck (groundhog). You’d need to start with a 5′ fence and bury the bottom foot of it at a 90 degree angle away from the garden since woodchucks will dig underneath a fence. This may deter a woodchuck but, since they climb, it is also suggested that an electric fence also be installed down low to discourage them from climbing. Another approach is to use rodent smoke bombs. This is tricky since you need to find and block all exit burrows before igniting and placing the leathal smoke bomb intothe main burrow. If just one exit is left open, the woodchuck will escape and may reinhabit the burrow again later. Then there is trapping. NY allows leg and body traps but you’ll need a trapping license to purchase and use those. You can use a live trap like a Hav-a-Heart but then waht to do with the living woodchuck. In NY it is illegal to transport or release wild animals unless you are registered to do so. I’d have to suggest that you hire a licensed pest removal person to trap and remove the woodchuck and improve your fence. Consider getting a dog. Here’s a website that has great information on woodchuck control:…. http://www.extension.org/pages/Woodchuck_Damage_Management Whatever is left of the garden will try and grow and you may get some squash and pumpkins tomatoes and peppers the woodchuck is removed.

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