Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services, LLC
Telephone: (804) 457-2883
While Punxsutawney Phil may be fun to watch every February 2nd, he is not much fun when he
takes up residence in your yard, under your residence, or under one of your buildings. Virginia
Professional Wildlife Removal Services provides nuisance groundhog removal and exclusions
in Central and Eastern Virginia - including Richmond, Charlottesville, Goochland, Mineral,
Gordonsville, Earlysville, Keswick, Louisa, Fluvanna, Orange, Albemarle, Powhatan, Henrico and
Hanover. Call us today and we will be happy to come out and help you with your unwelcome guests.
While you're waiting for us, you may want to learn a little about groundhogs and how they live.
The Groundhog, or Woodchuck, (Marmota Momax) is very prevalent throughout Virginia and is
considered a nuisance species by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. They are
diurnal animals, which means that they are most active in the morning and evening hours. They are
usually a grizzled, brownish-gray, and weigh between 5 and 10 pounds and when startled will often
emit a shrill whistle - which earned them the nickname "Whistlepig". Most people are not aware that
groundhogs are good climbers, and it is not unusual for them to climb trees.
Damage by groundhogs can range from mild to severe. They are often guilty of damaging
vegetable and ornamental plants as well as shrubs and trees. Their diggings can undermine
foundations, decks, driveways, swimming pools, and pond dams and dikes. They often chew on
buried cables and wires and also building supports. Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal
Services has handled several calls where a groundhog had been trapped inside a structure and
had caused significant damage.
In late August and September, groundhogs have voracious appetites as they prepare to hibernate.
This deep sleep, when body temperatures drop and heart rate slows to four beats per minute,
usually begins in October and continues through February. They mate during March, shortly after
emergence. In April four to five young are born. The young woodchucks remain in the den for about
two months, leaving the nest in July to establish their own burrows and territories.
Removing a nuisance groundhog from your property does not have to be a sequel to the movie
"Caddyshack", call Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services today and let us handle the
Description of Damage
Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks. On occasion, the woodchuck’s feeding and burrowing
habits conflict with human interests. Damage often occurs on farms, in home gardens, orchards,
nurseries, around buildings, and sometimes around dikes. Damage to crops such as alfalfa,
soybeans, beans, squash, and peas can be costly and extensive. Fruit trees and ornamental shrubs
are damaged by woodchucks as they gnaw or claw woody vegetation. Gnawing on underground
power cables has caused electrical outages. Damage to rubber hoses in vehicles, such as those
used for vacuum and fuel lines, has also been documented. Mounds of earth from the excavated
burrow systems and holes formed at burrow entrances present a hazard to farm equipment,
horses, and riders. On occasion, burrowing can weaken dikes and foundations. (Source: Prevention
and Control of Wildlife Damage, 1994)
The threat of contracting a disease from a woodchuck is very low. It has been documented that the
woodchuck can carry several diseases, such as tularemia and sylvatic plague. Rodents are almost
never found to be infected with the rabies virus. Woodchucks however are somewhat susceptible
to the virus, and several have tested positive for the disease in Rhode Island. The most common
way of human contraction of rabies is through pets or domesticated animals such as cats and dogs.
Even though woodchucks pose little threat to humans one should always take precautions when
dealing with wild animals. (Source: www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/pdf/woodchuc.pdf)
Copyright 2009-2011 Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services, LLC. Telephone: (804) 457-2883