Category Archives: Groundhogs

How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard

How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard

Want to know how to get rid of moles for good? We can help you solve the frustrating problem in your yard caused by moles.

Moles digging in your yard

Do you have holes appearing in your grass and suspect it is the work of a destructive mole in your yard?

You know moles are tunneling below the ground if you see a series of 3-5 inch rounded, raised ridges breaking the surface of your lawn, accompanied by small dirt piles.

Extensive damage may be caused, unless you trap or kill the invasive pests before they have the chance.

At first, little damage is caused. In fact, they eliminate the larvae of destructive insects, and naturally aerate the soil, so they’re not entirely useless. When they invade lawns and gardens, over time they will tear up large areas of your beautiful green grass and uproot your plants. Ridges will brown quickly because the tunneling uproots your grass roots.

Related: What animal is digging in my garden?

 

What Are Moles?

Moles are burrowing insectivores, not rodents as commonly believed. They grow from 6-8 inches long and have gray to black velvety fur, with slender hairless snouts, and small eyes and ears.

Their large front feet have long claws that dig much like a hoe. They tend to live alone, except during their breeding season during early spring, so the multi-tunneled pattern of their tunnels is likely to be home to only one mole.

You need to learn how they live, in order to understand how to get rid of them. Moles will build new feeding tunnels constantly, and may not use the same way twice.  Exit and entry mounds are usually round and symmetrical, with pushed up volcano like piles. The hole usually has dirt in it but remains visible. Runways are connections to 12-18 inched under the ground, not usually visible, and used repeatedly by moles.

Being most active during warmer, wet months, moles live underground year-round. They prefer moist, sandy loam soils over dry, heavy clay soils. Feeding on insects and insect larvae, their preferred dinner includes earthworms and white grubs.

 

Similar looking to Pocket Gophers

Another small rodent that tunnels underground is a pocket gopher. Homeowners sometimes confuse the two. Gophers do not create lawn ridges. They do eat the roots of grass and other plants. Their flattened tunnels have fan-shaped or semi-circular mounds. Eliminating pocket gophers with mesh barriers, traps and poison baits without strychnine. Predators that eat the poisoned gopher may also die.

Mesh barriers, traps, and poison baits can be used to eliminate pocket gophers. NOTE: Avoid baits that contain strychnine because predators that eat the poisoned gopher may also die.

NOTE: Avoid baits that contain strychnine because predators that eat the poisoned gopher may also die.

Attic Solutions offers humane removal of moles in your yard.

 

How to Get Rid of Moles

Mole repellant, poisons, fumigants and home remedies are not very effective in getting rid of moles. The best way is to use a mole-specific trap.

Move the tunnel traps daily if you do not get rid of the mole, following the package directions for correct placement. There are above, and below ground traps, for getting rid of moles. Spring and fall, when the ground is moist but not frozen, are the best times of year for getting rid of moles because the animal pests are most active then.

In most cases, removing just one or two moles can solve the problem, because moles don’t live in communities.

NOTE: You can trap moles without a permit in Illinois.

Related: Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Nuisance Animal in Illinois?

 

Organic Controls to Get Rid of Moles

Moles live less than three years, so if the problem is not severe, you can simply wait it out.

Improving soil drainage can discourage them as well, as they tend to like moist soil.

One of the key ways of learning how to get rid of moles is mastering the barrier method. Bury a 24-inch metal or hardware cloth barrier at least 1 foot below the surface and bend the bottom out at a 90-degree angle.

Although moles like to eat grubs, using a chemical control against grubs won’t work for mole control because the pest’s diet also includes earthworms (which are good for your soil) and other insects. Avoid using insecticides on lawns, as it may kill beneficial insects.

Related: Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Rat Poison or Mouse Poisons

For professional mole removal from your yard in the Chicago area call (847) 464-1861


SOURCE:  http://www.bhg.com/gardening/pests/animal/get-rid-of-moles/
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What Animal Is Digging in My Garden?

striped skunk

Are you having a problem with animals digging in your garden?

It’s an ongoing problem that all gardeners have to deal with. To a wild animal, your garden could be like a supermarket is to us; rows of food lined up to enjoy and take home.

I doubt you planted a garden so that you could feed all the neighborhood critters. You would prefer they stop pulling veggies off the vine right before they are perfectly ripe.

How to identify who is digging holes in garden

If you want to stop those critters from digging in your garden, it helps to know who the guilty animals are so you can take the right steps to prevent it.

Is it kids or pets?

Most of the time you’ll know the answer to this already, especially if you don’t have any kids or pets. You do want to eliminate suspects though so it’s good to make sure. Young kids love to dig in the dirt and your kid could have done it without you noticing. A stray dog could also be responsible for digging holes too.

Is it happening at night?

skunk hole in yardIf the holes keep occurring at night, then you know it’s a nocturnal animal. If it’s only happening at night, that will eliminate birds and squirrels as suspects. In that case, it’s more likely to be a raccoon or skunk.

Raccoons and skunks are often the most likely suspects because they love to eat insects in the ground just below the surface, particularly grubs, which could be in your garden or lawn turf.

Animals that dig holes in gardens

We’ll review some of the animals that may dig holes in your garden. Most of the time though, it will end up being a raccoon or a skunk.

Birds

Some birds will dig holes in your garden but they generally won’t be too noticeable. Blue Jays and crows will both dig holes in order to hide nuts for the winter. Because they are stashing food for cold months, they will cover up the hole. In winter you may notice them trying to dig up items they’ve buried. Their memory is not as good as squirrels so they may dig a few more holes.

Because they are stashing food for cold months, they will cover up the hole. In winter you may notice them trying to dig up items they’ve buried. Their memory is not as good as squirrels so they may dig a few more holes.

During the spring, summer and fall though, any noticeable damage from birds digging in your garden should be minor.

Ground Squirrels (Chipmunks), Gophers, and Rabbits

All three of these animals will dig holes as entrances to their dens.  Rabbits will usually dig a single entrance/exit hole. Ground squirrels and gophers will dig separate entrance and exit holes to their homes.

The roots and vegetables found on the surface will be eaten by these animals.

If the hole goes is deep enough that you cannot see the end, then you probably have a ground squirrel or gopher.

Gopher holes will have noticeable piles of dirt surrounding the hole. Rabbits and ground squirrels will have slightly neater holes.

Raccoons and Skunks

Raccoons and skunks are both active after dark and will dig holes in your garden while searching for bugs and food.

When you see digging and holes which appear scattered about and the hole is more irregularly shaped, then you likely have raccoons or skunks digging in your garden.

If have a lot of earthworms, grubs or bugs in your garden, then you could very well be attracting skunks.

Related: How to keep raccoons away from your home

Squirrels (Tree Squirrels)

As you are aware, squirrels will dig holes so they can stash food for winter months. But just like birds, unless it is the winter, they are usually going to conceal the hole they dig in your garden or yard.

Related: How to get rid of squirrels

Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Nuisance Animal in Illinois?

Raccoons carrying disease into your home

You may not realize it, but that nuisance animal in your attic, shed, garage or on your property might be legally protected in Illinois.

Most wildlife is protected by law and cannot be killed or even removed without a permit.

The Illinois Department of National Resources is tasked with conservation and management of wild species in Illinois. By Illinois law, a property owner or tenant needs a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

By Illinois law, property owners or tenants need a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit (PDF) to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

Is the animal you want to remove a protected species? We’ve listed the most common nuisance animals in Illinois below. 


Questions? Call Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861


Mice, Norway rats, moles, voles, gophers, and shrews

dangerous rats, are rats dangerousThese small mammals may all be removed with no permit needed.

Exceptions to this rule include the eastern woodrat and rice rat, which are endangered species in Illinois. These two species may not be removed.

Related: Rat and Mice removal and control

Ground squirrels and chipmunks

The eastern chipmunk and the thirteen-lined ground squirrels may be removed without a permit.

Franklin’s ground squirrels are listed as threatened in Illinois and may not be removed.

 

Raccoons, skunks, opossums, beavers, muskrats, red foxes, gray foxes, mink, river otters, badgers, weasels, woodchucks, coyotes, and bobcats

striped skunkThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove fur-bearing animals. If you want to remove a fur-bearing animal yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, the IDNR encourages removal of most furbearers during open hunting and trapping seasons whenever possible. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. For more information on hunting and trapping regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site.

Related: Common animal entry points

Gray squirrels, fox squirrels, red squirrels, and southern flying squirrels

Tree SquirrelThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove squirrels. If you want to remove a squirrel yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, gray squirrels and fox squirrels may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Related: How to Squirrel-proof your home

Rabbits

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove rabbits. If you want to remove a rabbit yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, rabbits may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Bats

The (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional bat removal service to capture and remove bats.

Bats inside rooms will usually exit on their own. Close off exits to the room and keep windows open overnight.

Related: How to get bats out of the house

White-Tailed Deer

white tailed deer fawnWhite-tailed deer are protected under the Illinois Wildlife Code as a game species. It is illegal to take live deer from the wild unless you have received a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) or are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

IDNR Deer Removal Guidelines (PDF)

In rural areas,  deer hunting is permitted in season. All state hunting regulations must be followed. Outside of hunting season, or in situations where hunting is not allowed, a deer removal permit may be issued by an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist.

A person who hits and kills a deer with a motorized vehicle can legally claim the deer to salvage the meat, hide, and antlers.

For more information on hunting and trapping in Illinois visit the Illinois Department of National Resources.


For professional animal removal services in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861


 

Get Rid Of Groundhogs … Before It’s Too Late!

get rid of groundhogs

Do you have groundhogs at home? Are they burrowing in your yard and garden? Or are they hiding under your shed and digging tunnels? Groundhogs are known for their burrowing behavior. In fact, they may dig 5,000 or more pounds of dirt to create their burrows. These burrows and connecting tunnels can cause major damage to agriculture and residential development.

Why Should You Get Rid Of Groundhogs?

Groundhogs are incredibly slow movers. It is for this reason that they tend to stay near their dens. Groundhogs will not venture far to search for food. For example, if a groundhog makes a den near your home, it may root through your garden and even turn up bulbs. Since the groundhog moves slowly, its natural safety defense is to stay close to the protection of its den. If the groundhog knows there is a food source near its den, you’ll have a tough time getting it to leave.

Worse still, is that groundhogs spend plenty of their time in their den. They use dens for protection, hibernation, rearing young, and sleeping. Groundhog litters have several pups that mature at a year of age. Your yard and surrounding area could be infiltrated with half a dozen families of groundhogs quickly. In addition, groundhogs live to about three to six years in the wild. Plus, they hibernate over the winter and will be ready to breed again in the spring. Finally, groundhogs are actually very territorial and will become aggressive. They are not an animal you want to mess with. Though they probably could not cause any harm to an adult human, there is no point in risking injury.

This means, you need to get rid of your groundhog problem as soon as you discover it.

How To Get Rid Of Groundhogs Quickly

In this situation, you should call pest control immediately. Attic Solutions can remove groundhogs safely and effectively relocate them. This will prevent them from coming back to your yard to burrow. Due to their slow movement, they will create a new burrow rather than try to relocate back to your home. After the groundhogs are removed, be sure to fill in any open burrows. Skunks and other creatures may use them as homes when vacant.

What Do Animals Do During Fall?

Where do animal pests go when the whether becomes chilly? Surprisingly, many of them stay active before the snowy, winter months hit. Read more to discover what do animals do during fall.

what do animals do during fall

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Migration

Many birds and insects migrate to warmer areas during the chillier months of fall. Because temperatures begin to drop during the fall season, these creatures begin to find more suitable conditions. For example, swallows migrate south once the weather begins to cool and their food sources dwindle. You may think that since some animal pests are leaving during this season you’ll see less activity, but it’s far from the truth. In fact, you may see more activity in your home at this time of year.

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Hibernation Preparation

Other animals prepare to hibernate during the fall. Squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs will gather food to store for the winter. Although chipmunks and squirrels do not go into a true hibernation state, they a relatively inactive during the winter. This leads them to frantically stockpile leftover food near your garbages or from your bird feeders. These small mammals can be quite pesky during the fall.

Bats will also hibernate during the cold months. You can expect their presence to taper off as the insect population dies down with the cool weather.

In addition, wasps and bees will still be active during the fall. They do not hibernate until winter. If there’s a nest near your home that needs to be removed, unfortunately the cold weather won’t be enough to detract them. Make sure to call pest control for assistance moving wasps or bee nests.

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Stay Active

Many other animals stay active during this time of year. Skunks, for example, stay in their dens but are awake during winter. You’ll see (and smell) plenty of skunks during the fall. Raccoons behave similarly, and will stay active year round. This means, you still have to be vigilant and remove outdoor food sources for these pests. In fact, you may notice more pest activity because homes have plentiful opportunities for food, while the cool weather limits natural sources.

Opossums are also active during the colder months. You may be surprised to know that they’ll even become active during the day, though they are nocturnal. Nonetheless, you should never take a chance with an opossum behaving strangely, as it may be infected with rabies or another disease.

Lastly, rodents remain highly active during the cold months. You may see more mice and rats in your home during the fall, as fields are plowed and they escape to your safe home. In addition, homes are full of food sources and provide shelter from the elements. Your rodent problem may be highest during the fall. Call Attic Solutions to remove your pests safely and efficiently, so you can enjoy the fall season without pests.

Groundhog Facts

This furry creature gains its fame from a holiday in its name and is very common in North America. Groundhogs are usually born in April or May and you may begin to see them in the following months. Though these animals can cause burrowing damage to your yard and eat your vegetables, an animal control company can easily remove them. Compiled below are interesting groundhog facts.

Groundhog

1. Groundhogs are rodents. Just like rats, mice, squirrels, and capybaras, groundhogs are rodents, all of which have gnawing habits.
2. Groundhogs live as far north as Alaska and as far south as Alabama. The groundhog population is likely higher now than before settlers reached North America and cleared forests, since there is much more burrowing space.
3. Groundhogs are clean animals. In fact they are resistant to plagues that wipe out other wild animal species, and a contributing factor is their cleanliness. They wipe their face after eating and lick their fur clean.
4. Groundhogs hibernate, hard! Groundhogs go into a very deep hibernation, like a coma, and their body temperature drops, blood flows very slowly, and breathing nearly stops.
5. Groundhogs help humans study hepatitis B- induced liver cancer. A portion of the groundhog population is infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) and is one of the only species that scientists can study and compare to viral hepatitis in humans.
6. Groundhogs have helped reveal an archaeological site. Numerous artifacts have been found because of the burrowing activity of groundhogs at the Ufferman Site in Ohio.
7. Groundhogs do not drink water, usually. This is because groundhogs get most of their water content from the plants they eat and any rainwater collected on them.
8. Groundhog burrows can be huge. These critters dig burrows up to 5 feet underground with 46 feet of connected tunneling. It’s estimated that the average groundhog moves 5,500 lbs of soil when digging a burrow.

This final groundhog fact really points out why groundhogs are considered pests. Their burrows can cause significant structural damage to a home. Plus they can cause major damage to home gardens and farmer’s crops. If your yard is being overrun by groundhogs call animal control immediately.

Which Pest Is Most Dangerous?

We compare the following species of animal and insect pests to determine which ones are the most dangerous animals to your family, pets, and home.

Dangerous Pest Ranking:

1 = Most Dangerous Animal
2 = Dangerous Animal
3 = Least Dangerous Animal

dangerous animals, are raccoons dangerous

Raccoons – 2

Raccoons can be aggressive when cornered, but generally leave people and pets alone. They can cause major home/shed/yard damage, as they are incredibly curious and like to take revenge. They are known to tear apart cushions, wallpaper, garbage cans, and any food source within reach.

dangerous bats, are bats dangerous

Bats – 3

Bats are known incorrectly as being bloodthirsty vampires, but they’re quite harmless. Bats rarely bite, but their bite is nearly guaranteed to give the victim rabies if the bat is infected. Other than this potential danger, bats avoid humans. If a bat is in your home, they’re probably trying to figure out how to escape.

dangerous squirrel, are squirrels dangerous

Squirrels – 3

Squirrels can cause quite a bit of damage to yards. Squirrels are constantly searching for food, which means tearing apart the plants, gardens, and bark to find a snack. It’s debated whether squirrels carry plague or diseases that affect humans, but probably best not to take chances.

dangerous skunks, are skunks dangerous

Skunks – 2

Skunks are well known for their pungent spray smell that takes days to disappear. This smell is probably worse than any behavior they exhibit, though. Skunks are not aggressive creatures. By nature, the skunk is a defender, not a fighter. Skunks can carry distemper, roundworms and other parasites, which can cause harm to pets.

dangerous groundhogs, are groundhogs dangerous

Groundhogs – 2

Groundhogs are territorial creatures, which lead them to be aggressive, particularly near their dens. They can move significant quantities of dirt and cause structural damage to foundations and homes, aside from major garden destruction. In addition, groundhogs can also carry roundworms, which can affect dogs.

dangerous opossums, are opossums dangerous

Opossums – 3

Opossums are known for their defense of “playing dead,” and are not very aggressive. Sometimes they show off their teeth as a scare tactic. If provoked, they may attack. They are about as dangerous as a cat.

dangerous rats, are rats dangerous

Rats & Mice – 1

Rats are perhaps the most dangerous pest that could enter your home. Both rats and mice carry many diseases and parasites that are harmful to humans and pets. Rats can eat through nearly anything, including glass, electrical wiring, and wood (all of which can cause major home damage). Both reproduce very quickly and are difficult to eradicate once established in a home. Luckily, they are not aggressive animals.

*It is important to note that most of these animals are not highly aggressive and if a pest is behaving extremely aggressively towards you and your pets, it may have rabies. Contact wildlife removal immediately.

Attic Solutions Alert: Dangers Of Wild Animal Bites

Vicious Raccoon, Rabies, Wild Animal, pest control, animal removelA bite or scratch from any wild animal, or even that of a domestic house pet like a dog or cat, can be dangerous. Even if the wound is minor, it can become infected and spread throughout your body. Further, any bite can carry disease. One of the most common causes for worry among wild animal bites is rabies.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral infection of warm-blooded animals. It is most commonly found in bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and foxes in North America, although wild animals can infect dogs, cats, and livestock. The disease attacks the nervous system and, once symptoms develop, it is 100 percent fatal in animals.

How Do You Get Rabies?

You can contract rabies through a cut or scratch on your body, or through the mucous membranes (the lining of your eyes or mouth). The virus travels to your central nervous system in your brain and then travels to various organs where it multiplies.

Rabies Symptoms

  • Stage 1 (symptoms lasting 2 to 10 days)
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Vomiting
    • Decreased Appetite
    • Malaise
    • Pain, itching or numbness around the wound site
  • Stage 2
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Disorientation
    • Agitation
    • Becoming paralyzed

How To Diagnose Rabies

Animals are diagnosed fairly quickly. A test called direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA) is most often used by laboratories and results can be had in as little as a few hours. In humans, it is a bit more complex. Several tests must be completed for confirmation including saliva, serum, spinal fluid, and skin biopsies from the back of the neck.

What Is The Treatment For Rabies

There is not a cure for rabies and it is more difficult to treat once symptoms have presented. However, there are vaccines that provide rabies immunity following exposure or to prevent it (which is useful for people who work with animals like vets).

What To Do If Bitten By Wild Animal

  • Wash the wound with soap and water.
  • If bleeding, apply pressure.
  • Dry and cover the wound, but do not use tape or bandages to prevent trapping bacteria.
  • Call your doctor or healthcare professional for further instructions.
  • Locate the animal that bit you if possible.

How To Prevent Being Bitten

  • Avoid strange or sick animals.
  • Do not bother animals who are eating.
  • Keep pets on a leash.
  • Do not separate fighting animals.
  • Always get your family pets their rabies shots.
  • Supervise your pets outside.
  • Do not play with or approach wild animals.

As soon as you suspect you may have a wild animal infestation, call Attic Solutions immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with the issue. We will remove the animals and fix any property damage they may have caused.

 

10 Things You May Not Know About Groundhogs

GroundhogGroundhogs were first made famous thanks to a small newspaper in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A writer for the local paper declared that since ground hogs did not see their shadow, spring would arrive early. This led to the legend of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who lets us know how soon spring will come. Then of course there is the cult classic movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. While you might be familiar with the pop culture surrounding the groundhog (or woodchuck as they are also known) here are 10 facts you may not be aware of.

  1. When a groundhog hibernates, his heart rate slows from 80 bpm to just 5..
  2. The groundhog’s breathing slows from about 16 breaths per minute to as few as two.
  3. Groundhogs are one of the few animals that are true hibernators. They fatten up in the warm seasons and then sleep for the majority of the three months of winter.
  4. While groundhogs hibernate, they go approximately 150 days without eating any food. During that time, they only lose about a quarter of their body weight thanks to slow metabolism.
  5. During hibernation the body temperature of a groundhog can drop as much as 60 degrees! At the start of hibernation a groundhog may have a body temperature of 99 degrees, but it can go as low as 37 degrees. For comparison, humans can die if their body temp drops to 70 or below.
  6. While it is still warm out, groundhogs may eat up to a pound of food. That’s the same as a 200 pound person eating a 20 pound steak!
  7. To keep up with this roaring appetite, groundhogs have upper and lower incisor teeth that grow nearly 1/16 of an inch each week!
  8. These incisors grind during each bite, so proper alignment is critical. Otherwise, they will keep growing and if too long, upper incisors can impale the lower jaw.
  9. The phrase escape tunnels probably came from groundhogs! The burrows these animals make are their escape route from enemies. Groundhogs cannot run much faster than 8 mph, while foxes top out around 25 mph. Luckily these burrows keep them one step ahead.
  10. These burrows can be as much as 6 feet deep, and loop around underground for 20 feet or more. They also typically have two entrances but in some cases, there may be up to a dozen.

 

If you notice signs of groundhog damage on your property, contact Attic Solutions for professional groundhog removal.

Signs Of Groundhog Damage In Your Yard

GroundhogUsually when we think about groundhogs, we are reminded of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who lets us know how soon spring will come, or the awesome Billy Murray movie “Groundhog Day.” Well, groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) are not just for movies and forecasting weather. They live among us, and might even be responsible for damaging your yard. To find out if you have your very own Punxsutawney Phil living in your backyard look for the following signs.

  • A vegetable in your garden has a large bite taken out of it.
  • The green leafy parts of your carrots have been eaten.
  • You have a large 10 to 12 inch hole in your backyard (many times next to a tree or fence) with a mound of dirt surrounding it. This hole could also be under your deck or shed. Ground hog tunnels typically have two entrances, can be up to 5 feet deep, and are up to 60 feet long.
  • Your fruit tree has been gnawed on.
  • You see a ground hog. They are not all that shy and sleep during the night so if one moved into your yard it wouldn’t be surprising if you caught him sunning himself.
  • Groundhogs use distinct sounds to communicate. Listen for whistling, squeals, barks, and clicks.

If you want to evict your groundhog, the best bet is to remove whatever is attracting him, but that is not so easy if you do not want to destroy your garden. The next best thing is to fence in your plants. For ground hogs, you need a fence at least 3 feet high, buried 2 inches into the ground. You can also close off entrances to the ground hog’s tunnels when they are empty.