|(Picture by: www.pestremovalatlanta.com )|
I try to learn something every day. Sometimes I learn more than one thing. Some of the days of my life that have been the hardest have also brought me the most learning. Today was one of those days when I learned probably only one thing, but a valuable thing it was, and I think I should report it to you. In the country and in the suburbs in the United States, we have a creature called a groundhog. For Europeans, it's in the marmot family and it's also called a woodchuck. Most of the time, these pleasant creatures wander here and create no difficulties, although they can carry rabies. They are often seen on the forested hilly areas adjacent to the interstate highways in our area of Virginia. The only reason one might kill one using a firearm is if the creature were clearly rabid, and then it should be done with exceeding care because the splatter would also carry rabies. Sometimes, groundhogs build themselves a den underneath a house, a garage or an outbuilding. This means you don't just have one creature, but an entire family of them. In that event, they begin to eat your plants, your vegetables before you can pick them all. You can plant alfalfa and clover and they will eat that, leaving most of your vegetables alone. You can also buy a Have-a-Heart trap and relocate them one at a time, to an even more rural area. These animals can be 12-17 pounds or sometimes more, and so you'll need a trap of fair size. However, if you have a large family located under your shed, or your group is too smart to taste the apples or whatever you have baited the trap with, then you might need to do what I learned today.
Take dirty used cat litter and place it in a Wal-Mart style plastic bag, then double bag it. You can either use your own cat litter or donate this to the family having the groundhog problem. Take the bag to the place in which you believe the groundhog is living or nesting. Then, remove the outer bag you added to prevent the bag from leaking, and drop the remaining bag with the kitty litter in it, into the hole or under the building you believe the groundhogs are using as a safehouse. The groundhogs will explore and scratch at the bag. It will rupture, and fill their home with feline predator urine and excrement. They will evacuate their home more quickly than you and I would during a mandatory evacuation. Pregnant women should not handle used cat litter because of the potential for toxoplasmosis spreading to her unborn child. Other than this caution, this strategy might save a few of you from having to hire and pay a groundhog whisperer or someone who is paid to relocate the little creatures to..........perhaps the White House ? I hear they have a vegetable garden.