Groundhogs are quite interesting creatures. Although mostly known for their destructive behavior, these animals are actually part of the squirrel family. Measuring up to an average of 27 inches, groundhogs usually weigh between 13 to 15 pounds including all that thick fur. There are currently six types of species of groundhogs and they all love to invade cropland and attack vegetable gardens. While these guys are best known for creating and building complex dams, and predicting how much time is left before spring, keep reading on to learn all the fun facts about them.
An Animal of Many Names
Groundhogs have many aliases or nicknames. They can be referred to as forest marmots, whistle-pigs, or land beavers. Interestingly enough, a marmot is a very sociable creature, boasting with energy, while groundhogs tend to be loners and keep to themselves mostly.
Where They’re Found
Groundhogs are all over the map. They are most commonly found in the central and easter regions of the country. Where you’ll find them is somewhere where two types of habitats have meshed together. What we mean by that is they prefer a transitional area such as a forest that also has meadows throughout it. The reason for that is they go to look for areas that are well-vegetated as they are creatures who eat, eat, and eat for hibernation.
All the Food
That groundhog “diet” consists of them eating about ⅓ of their weight every day! Although their food habits are most known for being herbivores, sometimes they feast on insects as well, but that is much less common. During the summer and fall seasons, groundhogs don’t play around when it’s time to eat to prepare for hibernation. For those other months, they strictly survive off of all that food they took in until it’s time to do it again!
It’s a no-brainer that groundhogs are impressive when it comes to burrowing. Equipped with sharp claws, they have the ability to construct burrows up to 50 feet long! I mean these things are spectacular. It’s almost as if they are the contractors of their homes. They can build out different rooms and even create separate bathrooms. They are able to move about 700 pounds of dirt without breaking a sweat!
Are They Around?
While the facts about their burrows are fascinating, underground construction by these guys can cause serious problems for agricultural and residential developments. It’s important to pick up on clues that might give away that they’re closer than you think. They love to chew on things like wire or tubing, so looking out at cables, drains, or irrigation systems is a good idea. Because they are builders by nature, deep holes in a lawn or ground elsewhere could be a good indicator. And lastly, because food is very essential to them, and teeth markings on vegetables or crops may mean a groundhog is near.
Do you live in an area where groundhogs are present and cause destruction? Shumaker Animal Control will be happy to remove them from your residence or property. Our team is licensed and trained with over 25 years of experience in providing removal of groundhogs and other wildlife. We provide an easy and safe solution to remove any pest you may have in a humane and professional manner. Please call us at 443-854-8072 or visit our website to schedule a removal.