How To Kill A Groundhog
Although there are plenty of other options, many people begin to feel as if killing a groundhog is the only way to get it off their property for good. Before considering killing the animal, make sure that you have considered all other options, including hiring a professional to trap and relocate it. If killing is your only choice, then you will need want to pick the most humane method as this will make the process less painful for the animal. Here are some of the possible methods of killing groundhogs as important considerations for each.
Lethal traps are perhaps the most popular method of killing groundhogs. To use these traps, you will need to place a trap by at least one exit from the animal's burrow and it may be hard to figure out which exit to select. Most lethal traps are body grip traps that will clamp on the groundhog's body and theoretically kill it instantly. The issue, however, is that these traps will not always kill the groundhog right away, leaving it to suffer a slow, painful death. There is also a risk that children or other animals, such as your pet, will find the trap and injure themselves.
It is common to consider poison to kill groundhogs, but you need to keep in mind that there isn't any poison on the market that is specifically formulated to work on groundhogs. There are still, however, several options available, such as the fumigant Methyl Bromide. When you use a fumigant, you expose every living thing in the area to it, including you. This means that you will have to take extreme caution in the area if you use this fumigant. Yellow fly bait crystals can kill multiple groundhogs at once like fumigants can. As with fumigants, however, they cause the animal to suffer before dying, making it an inhumane option. Strychnine is another poison option and this one works by suffocating the groundhog and is not any more humane.
Before considering using poison to kill a groundhog, think about what the animal will go through. Poisons rarely kill the groundhog instantly so it will suffer for days before dying. Depending on the poison you choose, this torture may include painful sores, convulsions, loss of muscle control, suffocation, internal bleeding, blindness, or worse.
It is also incredibly difficult to find the proper poison to use for groundhogs as you won't find any on the market. In fact, out of all wildlife, only rats and mice have effective poisons for sale and it is illegal to use these rat poisons on other animals, such as the groundhog. There is also the risk that a loved pet or neighborhood animal will find the poison instead of the groundhog. Finally, you would have to thoroughly clean the area afterwards so no trace of the poison remains. Even a small amount can cause serious health concerns for both people and animals.
If you have good aim and like to hunt, then you can theoretically shoot a groundhog to kill it. Keep in mind, however, that if you go with this method, you will have to kill it with just one shot. When groundhogs are wounded, they will not only track blood all over your property, but they can also become more dangerous.
Disposing Of The Carcass
No matter the method you choose to kill a groundhog, you will be left with a dead carcass. This means that you have to figure out some way to get rid of it without risking exposure to disease or the carcass will simply rot on your property. Some areas allow you to dispose of groundhog carcasses with the rest of your trash, but this is not always the case. There may even be local restrictions as to whether or not you can kill the groundhog at all.
Take Preventative Action Instead
In addition to being inhumane, killing a groundhog will only temporarily solve your problem. Unless you make your property unappealing to these animals, a new one will simply come and take over the dead groundhog's burrows. Because of this, you should always try preventative methods before killing the animal. If the groundhog is attracted to your garden, place a fence around it or try to opt for plants these animals don't like. You can also keep groundhogs out of your home or under your porch by sealing up any holes or gaps and strategic use of mesh.
Consider Live Trapping
If a groundhog is already on your property and you want it off, your first option should be to use a live trap. These traps will not hurt the animal in any way and allow you to simply relocate it to a new area, giving it a chance at life. If you aren't sure how to trap and relocate a groundhog yourself, you can hire a professional to help.
Read the How to get rid of groundhogs page for helpful information and to learn more about How To Kill A Groundhog
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