Hot Peppers and Dog Hair to the Groundhog

Anybody out there with a good Groundhog Remedy?

Frickin’ groundhog made her way into the garden a couple of weeks ago and munched on the sugar peas so about half of the plant tops were nibbled down to a few inches tall. Uuuuh! Here’s what they look like now.

Groundhog Damage to the Sugar Peas
Groundhog Damage to the Sugar Peas
The peas in the left row took a hit and then the fat pig wandered through the garden lettuce before I could chase her outta there.

Gotta scare ’em away somehow. Their tunnels are all over the place leading to and from the bean field. We live next to an agricultural field but separated by 100 feet or so of a wooded area.

I read in Dr. Bader’s Pest Cures Natural Solutions to Bigger Pests that the woodchuck doesn’t like hot peppers. The book itself is very basic but will introduce you to a lot of natural remedies that are definitely worth a try. It came with a second book on how to deal with bugs, the smaller pests. (Amazon offers both very inexpensively.)

So, instead of getting out the shotgun, I wanted to try something less destructive.

Shooting the critter would get rid of the immediate problem, but since there are more hogs where she came from none of them would have a chance to learn which garden to avoid.

Scaring or repelling the animal just might have longer reaching consequences, so let’s try that first.

Hot pepper flakes were put in empty laundry detergent bottle that still had soap residue in it and it was filled with water. Shook it up and put holes in the cap. Sprinkled all around the edge of the garden where she came in.

The holes in the cap were big enough that the pepper flakes were sprinkled too, not just their hot juices. Any time that it rains this treatment would have to be repeated.

The couple of times I did see the groundhog coming to the yard or garden it was scared away with loud sounds – yelling and clapping of hands. Hopefully it helped that the dog was also barking. He’s killed three of them during his lifetime so maybe his barking is the biggest threat we have to help the rodent avoid being killed.

Anytime the dog is combed or brushed the hair is placed all around the problem areas at the side of the garden.

I’m hoping that is enough to deter more visits by that woodchuck. She/he also ate some lettuce, but boy can it run when it needs to!

The good news is that we haven’t seen evidence of a groundhog visit since the pepper spray and dog hair were laid out. Don’t really know what’s happening there as it has practically been raining ever since. We tend to see the groundhogs in the middle of hot sunny days, so when summer does get here we’ll need to keep a better watch for renewed activity.

So, if the barking dog, dog hair, and soapy hot pepper spray doesn’t work, we’re locked and loaded and ready for Plan B. Wish the groundhog good luck!