8 Best Groundhog Repellents & Traps – Deter or Kill

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

What makes certain products the best groundhog repellents or the best groundhog traps for residential use? It always comes down to specific combinations of features, depending of course on what you’re trying to achieve.

Not everyone is expecting the same result, and that’s why one person’s garbage method could be the ideal choice for someone else.

Here’s what you need to know about groundhogs and how to deal with them.

Best Groundhog Repellents & Traps for Most People

This repellent comes in 40oz spray bottles. It’s a powerful formula that doesn’t wash off easily, so you can spray it on your property at any time of year.

To humans, it gives out a pleasant smell - a fresh lemony scent. But, groundhogs, rabbits, and other rodents won’t find it appealing at all. That’s very good, primarily since the spray features only natural ingredients.

It’s also safe to use it directly on plant foliage and not just on the ground or fences. I recommend that you use it on plants to make sure that groundhogs won’t go anywhere near them and cause havoc.

Furthermore, the spray will stick for a long time thanks to its gum Arabic component as well as the vegetable oil. They give it the right viscosity to fight the elements and stick to foliage.

  • Very resilient to rough weather conditions
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    Pleasant scent
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    Safe to use on plants
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    Ready-to-use spray repellent
  • Inconsistent sprayer trigger quality

The Havahart 1079 trap can take care of your groundhogs without breaking a sweat. You can even use it to capture larger rodents like possums or raccoons if you’re having trouble with them as well.

If you want to take the humane approach, a trap like this is often as good as it gets. Not only will it capture the animal inside and give it plenty of room to move and breathe, but it will also allow you to release it later in an area you’re sure it can thrive.

The trap has smooth edges inside and out, and it has excellent corrosion resistance. Its dimensions are 32”x10”x12”. Unfortunately, it can’t catch more than one groundhog at a time since it only features one spring-action door.

The good news is that the trigger rod is on the outside. So not only will a trapped animal not be able to damage it, but it also won’t reopen the door from the inside.

  • Humane large trap
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    Exterior trigger rod
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    Great weather resistance
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    Smooth edges
  • You have to buy bait separately

Yes, a mole or vole repellent will be just as effective at keeping groundhogs at bay. And, a 100% castor oil formula is always safe to use and reliable.

Since Nature’s Mace has years of experience in this field, its formula has minimal impurities. That means that you’re more likely to get optimum results on every application. The 32oz bottle is generous and should be enough to treat up to 5,000sq.ft.

The castor oil can also mix well with water without losing its repellent properties. As a result, penetrating deep into the soil won’t render it less potent.

It’s also worth pointing out that castor oil shouldn’t affect plant growth or do much to alter the taste of your edibles. Therefore, you can use it on just about any affected part of your yard.

Is it the cheapest solution? Perhaps not. But it could be worth your money if the quality is your number one priority. The only downside is that it’s hard to make it stick to foliage, meaning it won’t do much to repel most above ground rodents and pests.

  • Weather-friendly repellent
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    Available in three sizes
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    100% castor oil
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    Non-toxic and eco-friendly
  • Can’t stick to foliage and shrubbery

Buying a sturdy trap means that you get something you could reuse for a very long time. So, although the initial investment may seem a bit steep, the Havahart 1045 is a humane cage trap that can help you trap groundhogs for years to come.

This trap features two doors so it can trap more than one animal at a time. It’s also big enough to hold two groundhogs without scaring them too much that they might hurt themselves. The rounded edges on both the inside and outside of the trap make the cage less dangerous.

The anti-corrosion and anti-rust properties, as well as the overall durability, make it a solid choice for harsh weather and environments. I also like that the trigger is sensitive enough to secure a quick capture and that it won’t react to smaller prey. That should prevent accidental catches.

Due to the rather fine mesh walls, it’s also hard for other animals to steal the bait from the outside and thus render your trap useless. And, because there are two doors instead of one, it should make releasing the groundhogs and setting the trap much easier too.

  • Sturdy wire mesh
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    Galvanized steel reinforcements
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    Two entry doors
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    Well-calibrated trigger
  • Costly initial investment

These granules feature natural ingredients. After all, what better way to repel groundhogs than with what nature already provides – predators. The pellets can induce fear into groundhogs so that they definitely won’t consider returning to your property.

Unlike other repellents that may cause discomfort, this fear-inducing formula is something that has a more profound and meaningful impact. It’s also super easy to sprinkle as much as you want around your property.

Are the granules as weather-proof as some sprays, oils, or traps? Not. But since they feature natural ingredients, they’re at least safe to use and can’t harm visiting groundhogs. However, they can give them a good scare.

One shaker of the Critter-Repellent granules contains enough to protect an area of up to 3,600sq.ft. It may not be the best coverage, but at least fox urine is highly effective at instilling fear into groundhogs. And not just in groundhogs, but other common garden intruders too.

  • Induces fear
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    Easy to use granules
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    Good value for money
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    Almost odorless to humans
  • Not as weather-resistant as other alternatives

Designed with a jaw spread of 7”, the Duke #220 spring-loaded body trap is one that rarely fails, if you use it right.

The trap will require some pliers and extra care during the setup. It’s also important to anchor it well into the ground. The force of the jaws as they snap is potent, and it should kill any caught groundhog on the spot.

In a way, it’s a humane way of disposing of them, when many other alternatives involve slow-acting poisons. However, this trap can get a bit messy. So, you will need protective gear when ditching the dead animal and resetting the trap.

The good news is that it is affordable, reusable, and can handle extreme weather without issues. It’s just not the easiest to set up for the first time.

  • Quick and human kill
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    Mighty jaw snap
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    Durable design
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    Easy to hide
  • A bit difficult to set

If you’re looking for a two-pronged attack, then perhaps these granules from I Must Garden may be the best solution for you. They might be tiny, but they’re nothing if not potent. Of course, you may need to use a lot more to get the desired effect.

Each granule can repel groundhogs through scent and also induce fear. That’s because predator urine is one of the main active ingredients. What’s great about these granules is their efficiency and resilience, even in the face of harsh weather.

Surprisingly, for humans, the scent is pleasant. It’s minty, and it shouldn’t bother regular household pets, either. What’s also good is that since these are granules, they don’t contain glue, which could be harmful to plant foliage.

Even better, you can find these granules in three different packages - 2.5lbs, 5lbs, and 20lbs. The smaller containers are shakers while the large 20lbs option comes in a pail. Either way, it shouldn’t be difficult to sprinkle some around plant beds, seedlings, or any other area you want to protect.

  • Fear-inducing
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    Great weather resistance
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    Can handle freezing temperatures
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    Minty scent that won’t affect humans or pets
  • Slightly expensive

Featuring some impressive dimensions, 32”x12.5”x12”, the HomGarden Live Animal Trap is a very humane way of catching groundhogs. It can also catch raccoons, rabbits, and other garden pests.

As you would expect, the trap features galvanized steel and a rounded wire mesh to prevent animals from hurting themselves. The trap has a single spring-loaded door with fast reaction time and decent calibration. These allow it to avoid trapping too small prey.

The handle is very sturdy, as is the cage itself. It should allow easy transportation when you want to release a captured animal into the wild. You can place this trap both inside and outside your home, but make sure that you’re using the right bait. Also, make sure you’re not using anything that could attract cats.

With the positioning of the trigger rod on the outside and the straightforward setup instructions, the HomGarden Live Animal Trap is as tamper-proof and easy to put together as they come.

  • Effortless assembly
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    Well-calibrated spring mechanism
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    Non-toxic and harmless
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    Easy to transport
  • On the heavy side

Your Only Choices When Dealing with Groundhogs

There are only three options when trying to deal with groundhogs on your property. You can set up traps that will kill them, and you can take care of them one by one.

You could also set up traps that will only catch them. That means that you can release them unharmed into the wild and away from your property.

But you can also try to create protective barriers around your home. You typically do it by spraying around plants, fences, or by sprinkling specialty granules that will keep the pests at bay.

Most Effective Repellents

The most effective repellents are not always the most convenient to use. Formulas that contain predator urine, usually fox urine, can scare the life out of pesky groundhogs. And they can last for a very long time even under harsh weather conditions.

But, these types of repellents can also have a strong scent as far as humans and pets are concerned. And, I also found that using the wrong kind of formula can affect the taste or edible plants. Hence why I recommend only using them around plant beds and not on foliage necessarily.

Sprays tend to stick better to plants. But sprays can also contain certain glues that could be damaging to plants in the long run. Be careful when picking a repellent spray, and make sure it contains natural ingredients.

How to Pick Traps

If you’re going with the trap route, you should carefully consider what you want to achieve. Pricing shouldn’t scare you since most traps are reusable. But, traps that kill can be messy to clean up. And even dangerous to set at times.

Catch-and-release traps are convenient to use. That said, make sure that the trap you buy is big enough to accommodate an adult groundhog or two. Check to see if the spring-loaded door or gravity-action door is not too sensitive. Otherwise, even a few bumps from the outside may trigger it.

Be sure that the mesh is fine enough so that no animal can steal the bait from the outside. That would render your trap unappealing to groundhogs and ultimately useless.

Finally, don’t underestimate the value of a solid top carry handle on a catch-and-release or live animal type of trap. The animals will be scared once inside and especially while on the move. Having a handle could help you avoid getting bitten.

Getting Rid of Groundhogs Is Easier Than You Think

As you can see, the choice is entirely in your hands and depends on how you want to get rid of groundhogs. You can drive them away, catch them, kill them, pretty much anything you want, except domesticate them.

There’s something in this article for everyone’s budget and preferences. Just don’t take too long to think about it because groundhogs might cause considerable damage to your plants.

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