The Ultimate Guide To Groundhog Repellents & Deterrents
Woodchucks, land beavers, whistle pigs, and the list goes on – groundhogs go by many names. Regardless of what you call them, these cute rodents are destructive diggers and can cause big problems in your garden, issues with your pool foundation, and can even compromise the structural integrity of your home.
Want to put an end to their digging once and for all? While a .22 will always work, there are some humane, highly-effective groundhog repellents designed to keep groundhogs safely at bay.
In this guide, we dive deep into the world of groundhog repellents and shed some light on five of the best groundhog repellents and deterrents on the market today. So, without further ado, let’s dig in (pardon the pun)!
- Type: Ultrasonic
- Coverage: Up to 7,000 square feet
- All-Natural: chemical-free
Best Groundhog Repellents
|Toro Solar Powered Ultrasonic Outdoor Pest Repellent|
|Sweeney’s Mole & Gopher Repellent|
|FEND OFF AGM-12 Mole and Gopher Repellent|
|I Must Garden All-Natural Groundhog/Woodchuck Repellent|
|Atlas The Giant Destroyer|
Toro 4-Pack Solar Powered Ultrasonic Outdoor Pest Repellent – Best Ultrasonic
Toro’s Solar Powered Ultrasonic Outdoor Pest Repellent repels groundhogs, moles, gophers, mice, scorpions, snakes, and a variety of other burrowing pests. Coming in a pack of four, each repellent uses ultrasonic vibrations and pulses to scare pests away and thwart their digging attempts.
These ultrasonic repellents can be used in your garden, lawn, or even in a field or pasture to keep groundhogs from destroying your plants, veggies, and even the ankles of your horses or livestock. Best of all, each one is completely solar-powered, so there’s no need for buying pricey batteries or lugging extensions cords around your yard.
How to Use
With no chemicals or poisons, you can also use them around children and pets. While each one is supposedly effective for up to 7,000 square feet, we recommend not testing these limits and placing them closer together to protect your entire garden area.
Also, make sure not to place the ultrasonic repellents near areas where water tends to pool up when it rains. However, there’s no maintenance involved after putting them in place. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and watch them work their magic.
- Easy to use
- No wires or batteries
- Clean and safe
- Prone to water damage
- Must prep ground prior to install
Toro’s Solar Powered Ultrasonic Outdoor Pest Repellent product works as advertised. From coverage and effectiveness to value and ease of use, this four-pack of ultrasonic pest repellents is a great choice for anyone not wanting to fuss with granules, liquids, gasses, and sprays.
Sweeney’s Mole & Gopher Repellent – Best Granules
This generous 10-pound bag of repellent granules contains a unique mixture of safe, all-natural ingredients moles, gophers, groundhogs, and other ground rodents simply do not like. In fact, the granules contain everyday ingredients like sawdust and castor oil, which are both safe, effective, and chemical-free. After all, you don’t want to kill the groundhogs. You simply want them to stay out of your yard or garden.
Thanks to its high specific gravity, the castor oil is able to penetrate into the ground. While doing so, it coats the groundhogs’ food sources, giving them an odor and taste they can’t stand. All in all, it’s an effective deterrent.
How to Use
You use Sweeney’s Mole & Gopher Repellent Granules by walking around your yard, garden, or property with the bag and spreading the all-natural granules around any areas you want to protect. The granules will then seep into the ground and work their way into the burrows.
- All-natural and eco-friendly
- No chemicals or inorganic compounds
- Simple, effective, and easy to use
- No need to pinpoint burrow locations
- Up to 10,000 square feet of coverage
- A lot of granules are needed
- Takes a few days to begin working
Sweeney’s Mole & Gopher Repellent is 100 percent safe and pretty effective at deterring groundhogs and other ground rodents from digging up any soil where it’s spread. While it may take a whole bag and a few days to work, these granules are a great all-natural solution we happen to like a lot, and chances are you will to.
FEND OFF AGM-12 Mole and Gopher Repellent – Best Tubes
These tubes are simple to use, environmentally safe, and contain no harmful ingredients, making them another great option for getting rid of groundhogs. The tubes work by releasing a potent garlic oil odor that groundhogs and other burrowing animals can’t stand, keeping them from calling your yard home.
The garlic oil solution is also time-released for long-lasting effectiveness. Plus, it’s non-toxic for people. However, although the tubes get buried into the ground, the main ingredient can be toxic for both cats and dogs, so use caution.
How to Use
Using FEND OFF is pretty simple and easy. You just take the cap off and stick it down in a burrow. Since groundhogs hate the smell of garlic, it will drive them away. Unfortunately, this means you need to know where they’re burrowing, and some clever groundhogs can just move to another spot in your yard. That said, you can stick as many in your yard as you like for optimal groundhog control.
- 100 percent organic and all-natural
- Effectively repels both groundhogs and moles
- Easy to use
- You need to find the burrows
Made of garlic and soybean oil, FEND OFF is 100 percent natural and effective at repelling groundhogs, moles, and other burrowing critters. Despite needing to spot a burrow first, we also really like how simple they are to use. Just stick one of the tubes in a burrow and you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for a simple repellent spray you can just keep in the garage or cleaning cabinet with the rest of your supplies, this I Must Garden All-Natural Groundhog/Woodchuck Repellent is a solid choice. The environmentally-friendly spray is formulated with natural ingredients like pepper, thyme, garlic, and rosemary oil, all of which are proven to repel pesky groundhogs without causing harm.
Unlike many other groundhog repellents, there’s also no foul odor. The botanical herbs and oils in the spray are designed to repel groundhogs and not people. They’re also safe for pets. The spray is completely non-toxic and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Of course, this is a big plus.
How to Use
Unlike some of the other groundhog repellents and deterrents in this guide, you don’t use this spray directly in the burrow itself. Rather, you spray it directly on any vegetation you don’t want groundhogs to munch on. This makes it great for gardens. It’s also ready to use with no measuring or mixing required. You just pull the trigger and spray.
- Safe and all-natural ingredients
- Ready to use
- No foul odors
- Point-and-shoot simple
- Long-lasting and rain-resistant
- Only protects vegetation
- Won’t completely drive groundhogs away
I Must Garden All-Natural Groundhog/Woodchuck Repellent is a great all-natural repellent spray that works. With no foul odors or messy application, you just spray it on any fruits, veggies, flowers, and plants you want to protect. You might find a few groundhog holes in your yard, but it definitely does a good job of keeping them out of your garden.
The Giant Destroyer by Atlas – Best Gas
With The Giant Destroyer by Atlas, you won’t need a gas mask but the groundhogs will. This cartridge gasser is designed to kill groundhogs, gophers, moles, rats, skunks, and other tunneling and burrowing animals in their natural habitat.
Despite being designed to kill these pests, The Giant Destroyer doesn’t contain poisons. It’s made from all-natural organic substances and is completely biodegradable as well.
How to Use
To use The Giant Destroyer, you simply place one of the cartridges down in a groundhog burrow and let it get to work. With up to three times the gassing area of similar products, it can reach the deepest burrows. In no time at all, your groundhog problem can become a thing of the past.
- Very effective
- Made with organic, non-poisonous substances
- Easy and safe to use
- Large gassing area
- Four cartridges per pack
- Not the most humane option
Best Groundhog Repellents and Deterrents – Buyer’s Guide
If you know where groundhogs are burrowing on your property and want an effective way of getting rid of them once and for all, The Giant Destroyer by Atlas might be right up your alley. With a large gassing area and four non-poisonous cartridges per pack, it packs plenty of groundhog killing power.
What is a Groundhog Repellent/Deterrent?
Groundhog repellents and deterrents do what their names suggest: they repel groundhogs and deter them from digging up you’re your yard, garden, and property. Some come in the form of sprays or granules, while others use ultrasonic waves or non-toxic gasses to drive them away. Many people use them to keep groundhogs out of their gardens, vegetable beds, outdoor sheds, and other potential targets.
How Do Groundhog Repellents Work?
After you’ve identified groundhogs as the source of the problem, you need to pick the right repellent. Most repellents come in the form of granules or sprays that produce an odor, which groundhogs find unpleasant.
A groundhog will smell it and be repelled away or deterred from getting close to plants beyond the odor barrier. The best groundhog repellent sprays are organic and non-toxic, but some others contain substances like ammonia, which can be toxic to both groundhogs and humans.
Ultrasonic deterrents work differently. These little devices work by emitting high-pitched sounds unnoticeable to the human ear. However, the sound is extremely unpleasant for groundhogs, so they tend to avoid areas where ultrasonic deterrents are placed.
Ultrasonic Deterrents vs. Chemical Repellents – Which is Best?
While both types of groundhog repellents will keep pesky groundhogs from digging holes in your garden and nibbling on your spring veggies, each does so in different ways. Not surprisingly, chemical deterrents are more effective, but some varieties can be harmful to groundhogs, pets, and humans. Some, leave behind toxic byproducts as well.
Ultrasonic deterrents are pricier, but they’re not toxic at all. As mentioned above, they use ultrasonic pulses and noises to irritate groundhogs or scare them away. However, it’s important to do your homework and buy the right one in order to ensure the best results.
What are the Risks of Using Groundhog Repellents?
With many granules, liquids, sprays, and other types of groundhog repellents, there is some risk of ingesting chemicals or chemicals leaking into the soil. Although many of today’s repellents are non-toxic, like the ones we reviewed above, it’s a good idea to always check the ingredients just to be sure they don’t contain ammonia or other dangerous ingredients.
Of course, there’s also the risk of the groundhog completely ignoring the deterrent. That’s why it’s important to follow the right advice from trusted sources like us. If not and you go with the wrong repellent or deterrent, your plats and garden will still be at risk.
How to Use Groundhog Repellents
Most groundhog repellents come with easy-to-follow instructions, but it’s important to follow them to the letter. If not and you do one thing wrong, you may find yourself in danger of ingesting toxic chemicals and/or not solving your groundhog dilemma. So, as with any outdoor pest control products, make sure to carefully read and follow the instructions.
Get to Know Your Enemy
Before you even read the instructions, take some time to get to know your enemy and learn your groundhog’s habits. If there’s a critter who’s really taking a liking to your vegetable garden, then the repellent will need to apply near the area. If your neighborhood groundhog is constantly digging under your shed, then you should place the deterrent or repellent there instead. You get the idea.
Signs of Groundhogs
There are a few different signs pointing to the presence of groundhogs, but a telltale sign is dug up the ground and a large hole. Believe it or not, some groundhog holes lead to burrows 20 or more feet underground!
Another potential sign of a groundhog is damage to the plants in your garden. Groundhogs especially like fruits, tomatoes, and sweeter plants. Plants and their fruits and veggies make up 100 percent of a groundhog’s diet, and you’ll often find leftovers from their vegan munchy attacks.
Additional Ways of Getting Rid of Groundhogs
If you’d rather dig through your pantry or take an alternative route to repelling groundhogs, there are some household items that may work to drive them away as well.
Did you know castor oil is the main ingredient in many groundhog repellents? Well, it is and you can buy it from your local store and try using pure oil by itself if you want. Just mix a teaspoon of castor oil with two cups of water and pour the solution down into the groundhog burrow. Then, cover the burrow with dirt.
You can also pour the mixture into a spray bottle and simply spray it around your yard or garden to keep groundhogs away. Like many ground rodents, they can’t stand the smell of castor oil, so they won’t want to be anywhere near your yard, let alone burrow in it. Just be prepared to do a lot of spraying.
Eggs also work. Yes, we said eggs. No one really knows why they work, but we’ve found they do work. You simply locate the burrow, crack an egg, and pour it into the groundhog burrow. We recommend doing two eggs rather than one for the best results. When finished, cover the hole with dirt.
A few days later, repeat the process, and then repeat it again a few days after that. After a week or two of doing this, your groundhog problem should be solved, at least for a little while. This method is a short-term solution, but eggs are cheap and it works.
Pepper is an age-old remedy for getting rid of problem groundhogs. Just sprinkle a healthy dose of pepper around your yard or into any groundhog holes and watch them run away. Just like the castor oil, you can also mix some pepper sauce with some water and pour it into a spray bottle. You can then spray away and make your yard an undesirable place for groundhogs to hang out or call home.
If you’ve spotted a groundhog burrow, you can also try smoking them out. The easiest way to do this is to use gas bombs, like The Giant Destroyer, and release them inside the burrow. However, you need to make sure they’re down in the hole prior to fumigating.
Once you know the groundhog is inside the burrow, fill each entrance (hole) with dirt except for one, and then set the gas cartridge off inside the hole. Afterward, quickly fill it with dirt to trap the gas and the groundhog inside. It’s not the most humane method, but it works.
Another strategy that works is to use cleaning ammonia. Just pour a jug down the groundhog tunnels and they won’t use them ever again. You may not find another groundhog hole in your yard for years. Just make sure to check for all of the holes. Groundhogs can have as many as six or seven different tunnels leading to their burrow.
Although ammonia is potent stuff, you may need to do this for up to a week to scare any groundhogs away for good. Also, you need to wear a mask and avoid breathing in any of the fumes yourself as ammonia can cause severe lung damage.
Do Groundhog Repellents and Deterrents Really Work?
Like anything else, it’s a mixed bag. Some groundhog repellents work well, some work okay, and some don’t seem to work at all. It all depends on which repellent product you choose and how determined the groundhog is to stay.
That said, we can honestly say, the repellents and deterrents above all work as advertised and do a good job of saying sayonara to groundhogs, moles, and other garden pests.
How to Make Any Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent Plan a Success
Even if you buy the very best groundhog repellent or deterrent in the world, you’ll never be able to fully keep them away unless you eliminate as many food and shelter options as possible in your yard.
So, in addition to investing in a quality repellent and showing the groundhogs who’s boss, clean up any debris in your yard, remove tree trunks and other wood sources, trim back plants, and harvest your crops as early as possible. By doing so, your groundhog repellent or deterrent plan will definitely be a success!