On a scale of hardness a rodents incisors come in at 5.5. On that same scale Iron only comes in at 4.0. Rodents incisors continue to grow, they never stop. Because of this they must always sharpen them to wear them down. I have a beaver skull that shows this very well. The big rodent lost one upper incisor due to infection, he aligned one bottom incisor with the top. The other bottom incisor continued to grow and looped around past his cheekbone and stopped all the way around to form a large circle.
Rodents will usually find a favorite spot to sharpen their teeth, called a chew station, and use this to keep their teeth nice and trim. One of the hazards of rodents doing this is when they are living in a house and they chew on the electrical wires or cable wires. According to the national fire association, rodents chewing on electrical wires start 7% of all house fires in North America.
Most rodents defecate and urinate as they travel, they only exception is the flying squirrel which uses a communal toilet like the raccoon or the otter. The fecal matter can also be a problem in itself, which can hold the hantivirus among many other viruses and bacteria. When the piles build up it holds moisture, which can hold the viruses. Professionals with the proper equipment should always perform fecal matter cleanup. Many homeowners think they can do it themselves and save the money from the cost of the cleanup. What chances with your health are you willing to take? More importantly, what is your life worth? It really doesn’t seem worth it, especially when a lot of times your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of the cleanup. I do what I do and I don’t pretend to be something IM not. When I have an electrical problem in my house, I call an electrician.
Groundhogs are found as far north as Alaska , with their habitat extending southeast to Alabama . Groundhogs are well adapted for digging, with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws. Unlike other sciurids, the groundhog’s spine is curved, more like that of a mole, and the tail is comparably shorter as well ? Groundhogs are vegetarians and can often be seen grazing near the edges of fields and roadways.
Groundhogs are typically solitary critters, only getting together with other groundhogs to mate and for the mother to raise her young. Once the young have reached the age of consent, they get kicked out of the burrow to fend for themselves— seldom do they come home to do their laundry either. Groundhogs are often hunted for sport, which tends to control their numbers. However, their ability to reproduce quickly has tended to mitigate the depopulating effects of sport hunting. Groundhogs are burrowers and as such may be able to dig below the barrier and still emerge where they are not wanted. Such is the risk with resorting to potentially expensive fencing tactics to thwart groundhog activity.
Groundhogs are easily frightened by humans. Frequent visits to your vegetable garden at random times of the day might be enough to keep the groundhogs away. Groundhogs are covered with coarse grayish hairs tipped with brown or sometimes dull red. They have short ears, a short tail, short legs, and are surprisingly quick. Groundhogs are social animals, sometimes living in open colonies with as many as tens of animals living in a maze of interconnected burrows. Groundhogs are not very vocal animals, but they will make sharp whistles when a potential predator is noticed.
Groundhogs are rodent pests that will feed on almost anything. They've been a problem for farmers for years. Groundhogs are true hibernators in the northern parts of their range. The spring emergence always occurs exactly on February 2nd. Groundhogs are covered with two coats of fur. The outside fur keeps water out and the inside fur keeps in body heat.
Groundhogs are natural inhabitants of forested areas, but they have adapted and prospered in close proximity to human activity. Groundhogs are common residents near agricultural pastures, croplands, backyards and wooded areas such as urban parks. Groundhogs are members of the squirrel family. When these heavy-bodied rodents are surprised, they emit a loud, shrill whistle and dive into a burrow; hence the name whistle pig. Groundhogs are excellent diggers.
Groundhogs are solitary creatures preferring to keep company with family only, not gathering in small groups or societies. They normally have burrows on a hill slope, beneath rocks, or near a tree root. Groundhogs are vegetarians, eating leaves, flowers and soft stems of various grasses, and field crops such as clover and alfalfa. Certain garden crops like peas, beans and carrots are favorites. Groundhogs are great diggers. They use the long claws on their large feet like spades while tunneling through soil.
Groundhogs are rodents, like mice and rats, but are also related to other rodents such as chipmunks and squirrels. Also known as woodchucks or whistle pigs, the animals are active during the day and eat vegetation like grasses, clover, and alfalfa (though the groundhog at the Staten Island Zoo apparently prefers corn and sweet potatoes). Groundhogs are prevalent in the sandy gravel soil of east-central Ohio. Groundhogs are one of the few species that enter into true hibernation , and often build a separate "winter burrow" for this purpose. This burrow is usually in a wooded or brushy area and is dug below the frost line and remains at a stable temperature well above freezing during the winter months.
Groundhogs are scientifically known as Marmota monax . They are the largest members of the squirrel family, Sciuridae under the order Rodentia . Groundhogs are more adept at climbing than you might think and don't actually need the ladder-like footholds provided by wire mesh. I have spotted groundhogs 20 feet up in my mulberry tree, grinning at me from a high limb like the Cheshire Cat. Groundhogs are well equipped to dig. Their front claws are curved to scrape away soil, flat heads help to push dirt aside and strong back feet are used to kick dirt behind.
Groundhogs are primarily herbivores, feeding on local vegetation. They especially love fruits and vegetables, though they will occasionally eat insects, snails, and birds' eggs. Groundhogs are really big rodents, and pretty much all rodents will eat eggs and very small animals (like your fluffy springtime chicks) if they can find them. I'd be careful to keep the groundhogs out if possible to avoid potential egg and chick loss. Groundhogs are “fossorial” – meaning, they live most of their lives underground. They dig burrows or “dens”, that have several entrances, each connected with the main tunnel and nesting chamber where the groundhog will hibernate for the winter.
Groundhogs are safer than bears and badgers, too, but I still wouldn't corner one in the wild. The famous prognosticating groundhogs like Punxsutawney Phil are raised in captivity. Groundhogs are the bane of many a gardener. They can decimate a plot while voraciously feeding during the summer and fall seasons. Groundhogs are well adapted for digging, with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws. Unlike other sciurids, the groundhog's spine is curved, more like that of a mole, and the tail is comparably shorter as well – only about one-fourth of body length.
Groundhogs are most active March through October; otherwise they hibernate in the winter months. In early spring females will have up to 6 offspring that stay with the mother for about 6 weeks. Groundhogs are pretty small animals. Benjamin the groundhog weighs ten pounds seven ounces. Groundhogs are usually born in mid-April or May and by July they are able to go out on their own. The size of the litter is usually anywhere from 4 to 9 babies.
Groundhogs are scared of movement and having a few pinwheels around is likely to scare them away. This is a simple way to get rid of groundhogs.
Also called whistle pigs or woodchucks
They have 4 toes on the front foot and 5 on the back foot.
Incisors grow continuously and if not worn down can be fatal.
They can grow to about 2 feet and can weigh in somewhere between 5 and 14 lbs.
Males are larger than females
Grayish brown fur and bushy tails. There are 2 layers of fur so that the outside layer can serve as waterproofing and the inside layer can maintain body heat.
They dig their burrows using their powerful limbs and thick claws. They can remove up to 700 lbs. of soil to make a 20 to 45 foot long burrow.
Burrows may have a number of chambers and more than 1 entrance.
When danger is nearby, they make a loud whistling sound as an alarm bell.
Groundhogs are herbivorous plants, flowers and garden vegetables.
Natural enemies are predators like foxes, bobcats and human beings.
Amazing sense of hearing and very sharp eyesight.
Walking is preferred, but can gallop along at about 10 miles an hour.
Grassy pastures, small woodlots and brushy fence lines are preferred habitats.
As a result of deforestation and maintenance of cultivated fields and pastures, groundhogs have thrived and multiplied.
Extremely vocal, not only do they whistle, but they grind their teeth, chatter, bark, and squeal when fighting with other groundhogs.
Can live up to 6 years in the wild and 10 years in captivity
They are serious agricultural pests. Not only do they travel considerable distances to raid gardens, their immense burrows damage farm machinery and destroy building foundations. Horses sometimes break their legs when stumbling into these burrows.
Favorite targets for sport hunting
Hibernation is from October through February
Can be a food source-fried woodchuck
Often a source of entertainment for animal watchers
Punxsutawney Phil makes his annual debut on February 2, a big deal in PA
Caddyshack films have woodchucks as main characters
“how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”
Woodchuck / Groundhog Removal and Control
Groundhogs are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of digging and eating crops. The most common complaints include the following:
Large burrow next to home
Large burrow under deck
Garden/landscaping being eaten
For these reasons, many people wish to have this nuisance animal trapped and removed. They can be trapped in live cage traps, or special lethal traps mounted right on the burrow entrance.
GROUNDHOG BIOLOGY: Groundhogs (Marmota monax) are rodents, and adults average 8-10 pounds. They give birth in spring to 3-6 young. They can live up to six years in the wild. They are primarily herbivorous, eating a wide variety of plants.
GROUNDHOG BEHAVIOR: Grounhogs are diggers. They excavate tunnels and burrows underground, in which they live and raise young. The tunnel may have up to five entrances and 50 feet of total tunnel distance. They create a den to live in, and to hibernate in. They are primarily active during the daytime. They can climb and swim, but they mostly stay in fields, foraging. When they sense danger, they retreat for the tunnel. Woodchucks can create a wide variety of vocal noises. They grow fat during the summer, lethargic by autumn, and in winter, they hibernate. They emerge in spring and start the mating process.\
NUISANCE CONCERNS: Woodchucks are considered agricultural pests, since they love to eat a wide variety of crops. However, their burrowing habits often cause a bigger problem. Horses can break their legs by stepping into burrows, and when a groundhog digs under a house or deck, the removal of soil can undermine the foundation.
GROUNDHOG DISEASES: No important diseases associated with groundhogs. THAT WE ARE AWARE OF!
HOW DO I GET RID OF GROUNDHOGS? The best method is trapping and removal. If you simply block off their holes, they will dig them out again. They can't be poisoned. They can be live trapped in cage traps.
WHY CAN'T I JUST USE A REPELLENT? Many people try various repellents to get rid of groundhogs - everything from mothballs to fox or coyote urine. However, none of these are effective. The only sure means of woodchuck control is trapping and removal.