Best Groundhog Traps

11 min read| Updated for March, 2019

DID YOU KNOW?

Groundhogs may attract additional pests to your yard since they tend to tear up your garden and leave scraps behind.
Preventing groundhogs will help prevent other additional problems.

The Best Groundhog Traps

You may not think of a groundhog as pest unless you’ve noticed what one has done to your garden. They are destructive and can also damage your home or other outbuildings. The best groundhog traps deal with this nuisance quickly and humanely. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks are aggressive, making getting rid of one a daunting task. The products listed below will offer some options for making your home pest-free again.

Continue reading to learn more about trapping groundhogs.

How We Found the Best Groundhog Traps

 

6 Reviewers

23 Products Considered

4 Products Reviewed

3 Top Picks

Groundhog Problem?

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Expert Near You

 

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BEST

Overall

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Amagabeli Professional Humane Live Animal Trap

Pros

  • Big enough for an adult
  • Sturdy to hold larger animals
  • Sensitive trigger
  • Minimal bait theft
  • Rust-resistant to last

Cons

  • May be hard to set for inexperienced users
  • More expensive than other options

OUR VERDICT

The Amagabeli Professional Humane Live Animal Trap is well-constructed to hold an adult groundhog without escapes.

Our Review

The Amagabeli Professional Humane Live Animal Trap is large enough at 28 inches to capture an adult groundhog and contain it until you can release it safely. The dark color of the cage provides camouflage to help it blend into the background. The overall construction is solid and durable with heavy gauge steel.

The trigger uses a hook instead of a pan for a better catch rate and reduced bait theft. The animal must enter the cage completely to get to it, minimizing escapes. The manufacturer backs up the product with a three-year satisfaction guarantee.

BEST

Single Door

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BEST

Double Door

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Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door Trap

Pros

  • Single-door option reduces bait theft
  • Double-door use increase the catch rate
  • Center handle placement for more comfortable carrying
  • Sturdy construction
  • Large enough to accommodate more than one animal

Cons

  • Bulky to store when not in use
  • Risk of catching non-targeted species exists because of its large size

OUR VERDICT

The Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door Trap offers the versatility of taking advantage of the benefits of using both a single or double door model.

Our Review

The Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door Trap is a versatile solution that uses pans to close the spring-loaded doors with minimal escapes. At 36 inches long, it can handle an adult groundhog or animals of a similar size. The triggering mechanism is sensitive to prevent wildlife from stealing the bait without capture.

The handle is longer for safe transport. Its placement in the center distributes the weight well if the animal moves a lot. The galvanized steel gauge is weather-resistant and small enough to keep the groundhog’s paws inside the cage. The edges are smooth to protect your hands and the prey from injury.

BEST

Spring Trap

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Duke 220 Double Spring Body Trap Pack of 6

Pros

  • Great value for two six with one purchase
  • Weather-resistant
  • Durable construction
  • Simple to set

Cons

  • Must wear heavy gloves when setting
  • It requires you to dispatch the pest yourself

OUR VERDICT

The Duke 22- Double Spring Body Trap is only an option if you’re planning on killing groundhogs.

Our Review

The Duke 22- Double Spring Body Trap is an affordable solution for smaller rodents that will both catch and dispatch them if used on the right size animal. They’re easy to set out of the way of non-targeted species or pets in the groundhog’s burrow. They use a spring mechanism, not unlike a mousetrap or body trap.

The well-constructed traps hold up well in the elements. You can set them right away using a sweet bait like a chunk of cantaloupe on the pan. It is sensitive enough to snap at the slightest tough for an excellent catch rate

Groundhog Facts

The groundhog or woodchuck is a rodent that lives primarily in central and eastern United States. It has a distinct body shape with a short tail, measuring up to 22 inches. It weighs up to 13 pounds. Despite its chunky form, it gets around quickly and can even climb if necessary.

Like any mammal, the groundhog can carry rabies. However, it usually doesn’t pose a significant threat to humans because of its wary nature and burrow-living habits. They can dig tunnels up to 50 feet long in the right soil. They can live up to six years in the wild.

Signs of a Groundhog Problem

The telltale signs of groundhog issue include damage to crops or gardens. They are herbivores and have a sweet tooth for fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, strawberries, or lettuce. These foods are ideal choices for bait if you’re using the Amagabeli Professional Humane Live Animal Trap or Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door Trap.

You may also see the entrance to the resident groundhog’s burrow along a fenceline or under a shed. Therein lies another problem with these animals. Tunneling under a building can weaken the area underneath, increasing the risk of costly repairs. Their networks are extensive, so it’s imperative to take action quickly if you notice any signs.

How to Trap a Groundhog

You must contact your local government and state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to determine if it’s legal for you to place a cage or use a product like the Duke 22- Double Spring Body Trap. Some areas regulate them as game animals which means you may need a license and permit to catch them.

Other places consider them nuisance wildlife which can give you more latitude in the actions you can take. Don’t neglect this essential step. A violation may cost you a fine.

The brown fur of a groundhog gives it excellent camouflage, making them hard to spot during the warmer months of the year. They are active during the day, especially early morning. You may think that trapping in the winter is a practical solution. However, these animals hibernate.

Place the cage or trap a few feet outside of the groundhog’s burrow. The entrance is a large hole about a foot across. Hide it with vegetation or logs to encourage the animal to investigate it. Bait it with the sweet food items listed above. They have a keen sense of smell, so make sure to wear gloves when you handle the cage and bait.

You must also check the regulations for relocating the animal should you catch one. You may find that it’s illegal in some areas because they are a nuisance species. The steps for how to trap a groundhog are easy to follow. However, release it at least five miles from your home, preferably away from other farms or houses.

If you choose to set a live trap, check it often. Cover the cage with a towel or blanket to help calm the groundhog and reduce your chances of injury. Always wear heavy-duty gloves for the task. A tarp in the back of your car will protect the carpet and upholstery until you get to the release site.

Preventing Future Problems

The best answer to how do I get rid of a groundhog is to prevent an issue from the start. Repair any structural damage on your home’s foundation and any other outbuildings. You can also install fencing around your garden or other places where you’ve noticed signs of an infestation. Make sure it reaches one foot underground.

Keeping the space around your house or outbuilding clear of debris and vegetation can discourage them from burrowing under these structures. They provide shelter which can entice them to these spots. Also, control infestations of weeds such as dandelions under control. They are a favorite food of groundhogs. Finally, clean up any foodstuffs around your garbage cans that may also lure them.

You can also supplement these tasks with other control measures such as the use of a repellent. You must apply them frequently to keep the problem under control. Another option is set up a device to scare them with speakers or sprinklers with motion sensors to tackle it directly.

Groundhogs like other wildlife are opportunistic. They will move to another site if you make your yard inhospitable to them with unpleasant scents, sounds, or other deterrents.

Summary

A groundhog problem is easy to remedy if you keep a clean yard and act decisively if you spot the telltale signs. A cage or trap offers a permanent solution for nuisance wildlife as long as you follow all local and state laws regarding control.

Prevention is the best way to handle an issue. Keeping tabs on the condition of your house, outbuildings, and the yard is an excellent way to stop a groundhog in its tracks before it finds its way on your property.