Have you had it with the furry groundhog digging holes in your beautiful green lawn? Or has he been eating your lettuce and digging up your award-winning rose bush? If you have found yourself with a permanent groundhog resident, you may be willing to take drastic measures to get it off your property. Many people call professional pest control, as they know what to do and can get the job done quickly and efficiently. However, these services are rather expensive. Therefore, many people decide to handle the problem themselves. Before doing so, you need to become familiar with your state’s laws on pest control methods.
Some states have open season on groundhogs year-round, as they can cause a lot of damage to property if left to run rampant. In the case of those states, it’s often perfectly legal to trap the animal in a leg trap or other kill cage. Depending on where your house is located (rural or suburban area), many homeowners just shoot the animals with a small gauge gun. Others choose to set a regular trap full of poison-laced food. This is considered by many to be the least “violent” way to kill a groundhog. It should be noted, however, that many wildlife game and fishery departments do not allow poisoning of an animal, as so many other animals may come across the food and spread the poison to their den, effectively killing multiple animals unintentionally.
However, some states like Pennsylvania, home of Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog used to decide if winter is over), protect the groundhog population and do not allow the trapping of these animals on private property. If this is the case, you cannot trap the animal. State law, in places like Pennsylvania, require the animal to be killed if trapped. This means you will have to call local Animal Control or a pest control company, as they are the only ones with permits to handle the situation. In states that do not allow trapping or killing of these animals on your property, you can be fined heavily if you disregard this law. It is also worth noting that if you try to shoot the animal with a BB gun or other firearm in the suburbs, your neighbors may call the cops on you for shooting in a populated area, and you will have a much bigger problem on your hands.
Learn more: How to prevent raccoons from pooping in my swimming pool
While the groundhog may be driving you crazy, much like Bill Murray in Caddyshack, you must do your research before seeking revenge on the creature. If your state law says you can trap and kill the groundhog on your own property, most of your problems will be solved soon. However, if your state law says you cannot trap and kill the animal, it is strongly advised that you adhere to the law. A small groundhog is not worth a hefty fine. Just call the professionals.
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