The Surprise Secret Ingredient You’ll Need To Catch A Groundhog

By 4 m read
How to catch a Groundhog - Well hello Mr. Groundhog! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Well hello Mr. Groundhog! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

The Surprise Secret Ingredient You’ll Need to Catch a Groundhog

 

In my blog last week, I shared with you our distress at having found a groundhog in our garden just one day before leaving for vacation. Oh sure, he was cute and all…but destructive.

 

We’d never had a groundhog in our yard before, so we pulled out our computers and Googled groundhogs. Oh man…this was not good news. They can cause a lot of damage, including to your garden, which looks like a free salad bar as far as they’re concerned!

 

On taking a closer look outside, we realized that this guy is probably the reason all of our lettuces have mysteriously been eaten to the ground, almost all of my precious sunflowers were gone, and he also ate our bell pepper, eggplant, and cucumber plants.  

 

It was at this point that the fat furry creature meandering around our yard “Awww, how cute” very rapidly changed to “You furry little ^&*%^$!”  

 

Fencing in our garden wasn’t really an option…and anyway we discovered that he’d tunneled under our yard fence (as well as those of several neighbors) and seemed to have the run of the whole dang neighborhood!  

Groundhog - Mound of dirt displaced by the groundhog to build one of his dens (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Mound of dirt displaced by the groundhog to build one of his dens (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Hmmm….what else can we do? As much as we want to protect our garden, we don’t want to hurt the little fella. Oh, right! One of our neighbors has a live animal trap!

 

Our neighbor reassured us to not worry, that while we were away on vacation, he would set up the trap in our yard, bait it with the lettuce and vanilla extract I read about on Google, and hopefully trap him before we returned home.

 

Upon returning home, we were happy to find that our garden was still intact, so the groundhog had apparently decided to eat his dinner elsewhere…but the trap was still empty. Oh, he was still around, I assure you, but too clever for us, so far…

 

We then made a visit to our local nursery to pick up some replacement veggie plants and asked the owner for any advice about our groundhog problem. She wasn’t sure it would work, but suggested trying peanut butter. But while driving home, Erich had a better idea!

 

How To Catch A Groundhog

While I was unloading the plants from the car and taking them to the backyard to get ready for planting, Erich got busy grabbing supplies from the kitchen. He opened the fridge and got a large head of lettuce from the fridge…the bugger obviously likes lettuce, right? But it’s what he decided to combine with the lettuce that’s the surprise secret ingredient….Nutella!

How to Catch A Groundhog - Surprise Secret Ingredient to Trap a Groundhog (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Surprise Secret Ingredient to Trap a Groundhog (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Oh no, not my Nutella! You’re going to give that creamy chocolatey hazelnutty deliciousness to a rodent?! To which Erich replied, “Sure, who doesn’t love Nutella?” Ok, he had a point there…

 

Yet again, I was in distress. I watched him smear half a jar of Nutella onto a head of lettuce and held back tears…Oh the humanity!

Groundhog - Surprise Secret Ingredient to Trap a Groundhog (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

He went back outside, placed the live animal trap closer to one of the groundhog’s tunnels, and placed the delicacy of a lettuce & Nutella sandwich far into the back of the cage. Now all that was left to do was wait…

Groundhog - The trap is set (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
The trap is set (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Not two days later, early in the morning, Erich came running into the room with a big smile on his face and announced “We’ve got him!”

 

I had to see this for myself…had to see this rodent who had eaten my delicious Nutella. I walked outside and over to the cage to find that there was, in fact, a groundhog in the trap. He’d eaten every last bite of his lettuce & Nutella sandwich, not a drop to be found (he seemed to have even licked his lips clean too!). Well, at least he had good taste!  

Groundhog - Well hello Mr. Groundhog! (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Well hello Mr. Groundhog! (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

I leaned in just a little closer to get a better look at the cute fella. Wow those are big teeth! And he lunged at me! Poor little guy was shaking with fear, so we quickly put on our shoes and brought him on a little trip to release him into the wild again…far away from our garden (and my Nutella!)

Groundhog - My, what big teeth you have! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
My, what big teeth you have! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Once we arrived at a spot that we thought would be groundhog heaven, Erich took the trap out of the car and placed it on the grass. He opened the trap door, gave an encouraging tap on the cage, and the groundhog ran like the wind into the tall grass and wildflowers.  

 

While I’m not sure where he’ll end up, I know he’ll be happy with the location we chose…away from houses, dogs, and cars…and near trees, fields, and a source of water.  

 

But if you ever have a groundhog show up at your door, craving Nutella, don’t blame us.

Have you tried this solution to catch a groundhog? Let us know in the comments below!

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