How can I get rid of a groundhog living in my shed?

Asked June 9, 2015, 12:48 PM EDT

I have a 12x12 shed with a dirt floor. A groundhog has lived there many years. I see three holes. I need the shed for a lawnmower and possibly some lawn care equipment. I guess I'll find out if the weight of the mower collapses into a tunnel. I don't mind sharing the shed for now, but I don't know if groundhogs will damage my equipment. This would change my thought of sharing the shed. I plan to irritate it as much as possible with mothballs, olive oil, and other suggested deterrents.

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response

If the groundhog family has been living under your shed for a few years, they may have an extensive tunnel system developed, with multiple entrance/exit sites - they are earth movers! You may be able to locate some of the other exit holes within about 50-100 feet.

Considering the current floor is still 'intact' and does not have a hole located near one of the exterior walls, the floor will most likely support the weight of a lawnmower. Gasoline smells from the lawnmower will deter animals from damaging the equipment - they will forage on plant material. Be aware, the nesting chamber may support young - babies are usually born around May-June and could be weaned by late June or early July. A mother groundhog will be extremely protective of her litter. Use caution if you are going to co-occupy the shed surroundings. When the young are old enough to strike out on their own, they will seek another den. This is the time to make sure no one returns.

If you are going to continue to use this structure, I would suggest once the groundhogs have abandoned the den - after the young are old enough to feed themselves, then use a 'deterrent' to make the site unpleasant for them to continue living here. Once the groundhogs leave the den other animals/critters will move in and take-up occupancy - free loaders. ~DOT