What Do Woodchucks Eat? (2023)

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Do you know what woodchucks eat? If not, you’re in for a treat! In this blog post, we will explore the dietary habits of woodchucks and provide some interesting facts about their eating habits.

Woodchucks are herbivores, which means that they primarily eat plants. However, they are also opportunistic feeders and will eat meat if available. When food is scarce, woodchucks will eat bark and other plant parts that are high in nutrients in the winter.

What do woodchucks eat?

A variety of things! Woodchucks are known to eat over 200 different types of plants. Some of their favorites include clover, alfalfa, dandelions, and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and potatoes. They also enjoy fruits like apples and berries. They will also consume insects, small mammals, and even birds’ eggs in the wild.

What do woodchucks eat in the garden?

Many gardeners consider woodchucks to be pests because they will eat various vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. They also enjoy eating fruits and nuts. If you have a woodchuck in your garden, you can try to deter it by fencing in the area or using repellents. You can also try to trap the woodchuck and relocate it to another area.

What do woodchucks like to eat?

  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Clover
  • Alfalfa
  • Dandelions

As you can see, woodchucks are not picky eaters! They will eat just about anything they can get their paws on. If you have a woodchuck in your area, be sure to take steps to prevent it from damaging your garden or crops.

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A Complete List of 10 Foods a Woodchuck Eats

While the list of what woodchucks eat might seem short, remember that these creatures are opportunistic feeders. This means they will eat just about anything they can get their paws on.

Here is a complete list of ten foods that they consume:

  1. Fruits: apples, berries, grapes, melons, peaches, pears, plums
  2. Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant lettuce, mushrooms, peas, peppers, potatoes, spinach squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips zucchini
  3. Herbs and spices: basil, oregano thyme
  4. Grains: oats wheat
  5. Insects: ants, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, grasshoppers
  6. Mammals: mice, rabbits, shrews voles
  7. Birds: eggs, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys
  8. Reptiles: snakes, turtles, frogs, newts, salamanders, lizards, crocodiles, alligators

What animals do woodchucks eat?

While woodchucks are primarily herbivores, they will opportunistically eat meat if available. This includes insects, small mammals, reptiles, and even birds. They have been known to consume chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. They will also eat eggs if they can find them.

Do woodchucks eat snakes?

Yes, woodchucks will opportunistically eat snakes if they come across them. However, snakes are not a primary part of their diet.

What do baby woodchucks eat?

Baby woodchucks (also called kits) drink their mother’s milk for the first few weeks of life. After that, they start to eat solid food. Kits typically stay with their mother until they are six to eight weeks old.

How often do woodchucks eat?

Woodchucks typically eat several times a day. They will usually visit their favorite feeding spots multiple times throughout the day to graze on plants.

What time of year do woodchucks eat the most?

Woodchucks tend to eat more in the spring and summer when there is abundant food available. In the winter, when food is scarce, they will consume more bark and other plant parts that are high in fiber to help them survive.

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How much do woodchucks eat?

Woodchucks typically eat between one and four pounds of food per day. This includes both plant and animal matter.

What happens if a woodchuck overeats?

If a woodchuck overeats, it can suffer from indigestion or even die. This is why they need to eat various foods to get all the nutrients. Too much food can also lead to obesity in woodchucks, putting them at risk for health problems.

Do woodchucks eat termites?

Yes, woodchucks will opportunistically eat termites if they come across them. Termites are not a primary part of their diet, however.

How Do Woodchucks Hunt Prey?

Woodchucks are not known for being good hunters. However, they will opportunistically eat small mammals, reptiles, birds, and even fish if they come across them. They have been known to eat chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. They will also eat eggs if they can find them.

What is the best bait for woodchucks?

There is no one “best” bait for woodchucks. These creatures are opportunistic feeders, so they will eat anything they can get their paws on. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and even meat can be used as bait for woodchucks.

What is the best way to trap a woodchuck?

The best way to trap a woodchuck depends on what you want to do with it once it’s captured. Any live trap will work if you want to remove it from your property. However, if you plan on relocating the woodchuck, you will need to get a special permit from your state wildlife agency.

What garden vegetables do woodchucks eat?

Woodchucks will eat just about any garden vegetable they can get their paws on. This includes tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. They may also eat beans, peas, and corn.

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Do woodchucks eat nuts?

Yes, woodchucks will opportunistically eat nuts if they come across them. However, nuts are not a primary part of their diet.

What is the best way to keep woodchucks out of my garden?

The best way to keep woodchucks out of your garden is to build a fence. Woodchucks can climb, so the fence will need to be at least six feet tall. You can also use wire mesh or chicken wire to keep woodchucks out of your garden.

What do baby woodchucks eat?

Baby woodchucks typically eat insects and other small animals when they first leave the nest. They will also eat plants and fruits if they can find them. As they get older, their diet will diversify to include larger prey items.

Do woodchucks eat meat?

Woodchucks are not typically considered to be meat eaters. However, they will opportunistically eat small mammals, reptiles, birds, and even fish if they come across them. They have been known to eat chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. They will also eat eggs if they can find them.

What is the best way to get rid of a woodchuck?

The best way to get rid of a woodchuck is to trap it and remove it from your property. You can also shoot it or use poison baits if you are careful not to harm other animals or humans. If you plan on relocating the woodchuck, you will need to get a special permit from your state wildlife agency.

What are the woodchuck’s natural predators?

The woodchuck’s natural predators include foxes, coyotes, bobcats, weasels, and hawks. These animals will typically consume young woodchucks or sick and injured adults. Healthy adult woodchucks are not often preyed upon.

Do woodchucks hibernate?

Yes, woodchucks do hibernate during the winter months. They will typically enter their burrows in October and won’t emerge again until April or May. During this time, they will live off of their fat storage and will not eat or drink anything. Woodchucks can lose up to 30% of their body weight during hibernation.

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When do woodchucks mate?

Woodchucks typically mate in the spring, after they have emerged from their winter hibernation. Male woodchucks will fight for the chance to mate with a female. The winner of the fight will then chase the female until she is ready to mate. Mating usually lasts only a few minutes and occurs inside the female’s burrow.

How long do woodchucks live?

The average lifespan of a woodchuck is three to six years in the wild. However, some individuals have been known to live up to ten years. Woodchucks can live even longer in captivity, with one individual living to be 24 years old.

Do woodchucks carry rabies?

Yes, woodchucks can carry rabies. However, this is not very common, and there have only been a few documented cases of woodchucks with rabies. If you think you have seen a woodchuck with rabies, you should contact your local wildlife agency.

Conclusion

Woodchucks are interesting animals that are often considered to be pests. However, they play an important role in the ecosystem and can be fun to watch. If you have woodchucks on your property, it is important to take steps to keep them from damaging your garden.

You may also read:

  • What Do Baby Guppies Eat?
  • What Do Baby House Geckos Eat?
  • What Do Baby Red Eared Slider Turtles Eat

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FAQs

What do woodchucks eat? ›

Food & Diet

Mainly vegetarians, woodchucks feed on a variety of grasses and chickweeds, clover, plantains, and many varieties of wild and cultivated flowers. They eat blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and other fruits, along with the bark of hickory and maple trees.

What do woodchucks like to eat the most? ›

A woodchuck eats a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, insects, eggs, small rodents, reptiles, and amphibians. They are classified as omnivores. Plantlife makes up the main portion of a woodchuck's diet. They eat grass, clover, and chickweed along with various types of wildflowers.

What do groundhogs eat the most? ›

Some of a groundhog's favorite foods include plants like dandelions, sorrel, clover, and alfalfa. These leafy greens make up the bulk of a wild groundhog's diet and are readily available in most environments. Along with grasses, wild groundhogs will also eat fruits such as berries, apples, pears, and cherries.

What do groundhogs love the most? ›

Favorite foods include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lettuce, broccoli, plantain, and soybeans. Groundhogs will often devour your seedlings before they even have time to grow. Rabbits and deer eat some of the same plants, so make sure to check for burrows before concluding that you have groundhogs.

What is the best bait for woodchucks? ›

Expert Baiting Tips

In Havahart® field tests, cantaloupe was the best bait for attracting groundhogs and woodchucks. Cut cantaloupe into 2" cubes, and rub the cantaloupe juice and rind throughout the inside and outside of the trap.

Do woodchucks eat onions? ›

Groundhogs (also known as woodchucks or Marmota monax) are herbivores; however, their omnivorous diet includes plant matter (grass, fruits, vegetables, roots, bark), small mammals (baby birds and mice), and insects (grasshoppers). They eat the bulbs of onions as they contain some carbohydrates.

What do groundhogs hate the most? ›

Groundhogs hate the smell of garlic and pepper. To deter them from ever returning to your garden, crush some garlic and pepper and throw it into their burrows. Do this day after day until they flee. You can also make a garlic and pepper spray to spray your vegetables.

How do you fill a groundhog tunnel? ›

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Do groundhogs like banana peels? ›

Do Groundhogs Eat Bananas? Yes, they love bananas!

Do groundhogs like peanut butter? ›

Do Groundhogs Like Peanut Butter? Yes, they do and nuts are a natural part of their diet. Peanut butter is a very high protein food that appeals to groundhogs. They naturally enjoy eating peanuts and other types of plants that contain protein.

What vegetables do groundhogs eat? ›

Their favorite foods include young, tender greens like lettuce and cabbage, as well as cantaloupes, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and corn. Pick them as soon as they're ripe instead of leaving them in the garden for a few days.

Are groundhogs friendly to people? ›

Interactions within a female's group are generally friendly. But interactions between female groups - even when those groups are shared by the same adult male - are rare and aggressive.

Will a groundhog bite? ›

Are groundhogs aggressive? These animals are not usually aggressive towards dogs or humans, but will bite in retaliation if threatened. If one happens to bite you, the injury will most likely be non-threatening. However, you may want to seek immediate medical attention to avoid potential complications caused by rabies.

What time of day do groundhogs come out? ›

The groundhog is set to come out at approximately 7:20 a.m., CBS News reported. Fans can start watching his habitat much earlier, as the livestream starts in the pre-dawn hours.

What are woodchucks afraid of? ›

Ammonia, red pepper flakes, talcum powder, and garlic also make suitable woodchuck repellents and are often found in the home. According to experts, antifreeze as a groundhog poison is not effective, so homeowners may want to try one of the other (more humane) repellents instead.

What is the best time of day to trap a groundhog? ›

Groundhogs are diurnal creatures and most active during the morning and late afternoon. Disengage a set trap during evening hours to prevent catching an unwanted critter. Groundhogs avoid humans and will avoid a trap if it carries human scent.

What do you use to bait a woodchuck trap? ›

Using the proper bait will increase your chances of catching a woodchuck. These animals prefer sweet fruit such as cantaloupe or strawberries. The bait should be placed near the back of the trap. This ensures that the woodchuck will need to step on the trigger plate in order to reach the food.

Do woodchucks eat apples? ›

Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, live in burrows but can and do climb trees. They're particularly fond of apples.

Do woodchucks eat tomatoes? ›

Tomatoes are a fruit and the groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is not picky when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Groundhogs will eat and drink from your tomato plants, but they do not typically eat them entirely.

Will groundhogs eat snakes? ›

No, groundhogs do not traditionally eat snakes.

Does Irish Spring soap keep groundhogs away? ›

Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Groundhogs Away? Irish Spring soap is a great groundhog repellent. It is recommended that you keep the soap in the packaging but drill holes in it so the rain and other elements don't wash away the soap so easily.

Do groundhogs hate Epsom salt? ›

Epsom salts can be sprinkled around the perimeter of gardens to repel groundhogs. You can also sprinkle the salts near the burrow.

What kills a groundhog? ›

The primary predators of groundhogs are hawks, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, dogs and humans. However, motorized vehicles kill many groundhogs each year.

Do groundhogs carry diseases? ›

Groundhogs also carry fleas and ticks, which can pass on diseases like Lyme and Powassan to people and pets. Rabies: Groundhogs are known carriers of the rabies virus. If bitten by one, it's important to immediately seek medical attention and be treated with the rabies vaccine.

Do groundhogs drink water? ›

Groundhogs do not drink water. They stay hydrated by eating food plants wet from rain or dew. Groundhogs prefer hiding in burrows, but are accomplished swimmers and tree climbers when necessary. Groundhogs live in underground burrows, but often build a separate winter burrow for hibernation.

What do groundhogs eat in the winter? ›

A groundhog's diet can include fruit, plants, tree bark and grasses. They are known for damaging crops and gardens and many consider them pests. Groundhogs don't eat during hibernation. They use fat that they built up over the summer and winter month.

How many groundhogs live in a burrow? ›

They live alone separately in each of their burrows. Whenever a young groundhog has grown mature, it digs a burrow for itself. Only during mating do two adult groundhogs live together in a burrow.

Where does the dirt go when a groundhog dig a hole? ›

One of these areas is used exclusively as a latrine. The groundhog is a very clean animal and will deposit all its waste in this latrine area. After the latrine is full, the area is sealed off and another latrine area is dug. At times, the groundhog will remove the dried excrement and bury it outside the burrow.

How many holes do groundhogs have? ›

Groundhogs often have two separate burrows, one for summer (grassy field area) and one for winter (wooded area).

Do groundhogs like raw potatoes? ›

Yes, groundhogs eat potatoes. They will dig up the potatoes in your garden and take them back to their burrow to eat. They do, however, not enjoy eating the potatoes plant as it is of the toxic nightshade family.

Will groundhogs eat apples? ›

Most Common Groundhog Meals

Primarily, groundhogs eat grasses, clover, alfalfa, and dandelions. In addition, groundhogs like to eat garden fruits and vegetables like berries, apples, lettuce, corn, and carrots.

Do groundhogs like oranges? ›

Do Groundhogs Eat Fruit Like Bananas, Apples, Watermelon, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Kiwis, Pears, Oranges, Peaches, Grapes, etc.? Groundhogs love to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples and bananas. These marmots are drawn to the nutrients and sweet taste of the fruit.

How do you call a groundhog out of its hole? ›

Castor oil poured in and around the burrow holes can be an effective way to discourage them (they hate the smell) but apply only when you know they're not there, otherwise, they'll just stay burrowed. You'll have to keep vigil to see when they head out to find food. Castor oil is another way to get rid of groundhogs.

Will groundhogs eat meat? ›

Groundhogs only eat at safe distances from their burrows entrances. They also eat acorns and other nuts. They will eat insects that they come across as they eat plants. Groundhogs are also known to eat meat such as chipmunks or other small mammals they have found dead or killed themselves.

Do groundhogs like watermelon? ›

They like almost all vegetables in your vegetable garden and many herbs, too. Groundhogs eat all parts of plants. In addition to vegetables, they also like fruits, including apples and pears, Watermelons are a favorite meal. They will also eat nuts.

Do groundhogs eat sunflower seeds? ›

A Threat to the Crops

Groundhogs have a great appetite for flowers like marigold, sunflowers, snapdragons, etc. Owing to their tendency of destroying standing plants, they are considered a menace by farmers and gardening enthusiasts in North America.

Do groundhogs eat baby rabbits? ›

Groundhogs do not usually eat rabbits. While not strict herbivores, most of the groundhog's diet is made up of plants. Occasionally, they will eat insects and some small mammals. So, a baby rabbit may be eaten by a groundhog.

Do groundhogs eat chickens? ›

Do Groundhogs Hurt Chickens? As herbivores, groundhogs aren't interested in attacking or eating your flock. Along with plants, they have been known to eat snails, insects, and the eggs of small birds, but your chickens — and their eggs — are safe from harm.

Are groundhogs smart? ›

Groundhogs are an extremely intelligent animal forming complex social networks, able to understand social behavior, form kinship with their young, understand and communicate threats through whistling, and work cooperatively to solve tasks such as burrowing.

Is it good to have a groundhog in your yard? ›

Soil Aeration. When digging, groundhogs help aerate soil. Roots, like all other parts of the plant, have to respire, taking in oxygen and emitting carbon dioxide. In unturned soil, roots deplete their limited oxygen while CO2accumulates, making it hard for them to 'breathe.

Will a groundhog hurt a dog? ›

“Groundhogs do have large incisors like rodents do, so your dog stands a chance of being bitten.

Do groundhogs chase people? ›

Are Groundhogs Aggressive To Humans? It is very rare for groundhogs to attack humans. However, when they feel threatened or when they feel that their babies are in danger, they may attack.

How long does a groundhog live? ›

Lifespan: In the wild, groundhogs can live up to six years with two or three being average. In captivity, groundhogs reportedly live up to 14 years. Breeding: Groundhogs tend to be solitary except in the spring when a litter of four to six young are born. Litters of one to nine have been recorded.

Can you pick up a groundhog? ›

But if you catch a groundhog, you'll probably have to kill it. "Since groundhogs are a rabies vector species, they should not be relocated," Lau says. "Property owners who live trap groundhogs should be prepared to dispatch them.

What does it mean when a groundhog is in your yard? ›

Groundhog comes to you as a warning that something is afoot, and it may put you or your loved ones in danger. When the Woodchuck Spirit Animal walks with you, you may experience a turn of luck bringing joy. The creature often arrives when you need to restore balance.

How many babies do groundhogs have at once? ›

Groundhog mating season is in the early spring and, after only a month-long pregnancy, mother groundhogs typically give birth to a litter of two to six blind, hairless babies. Young groundhogs are called kits, pups, or sometimes chucklings.

Are woodchucks aggressive? ›

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are aggressive animals that are hard to get rid of when they invade your property. These rodents usually dig burrows in grassy areas and eat through gardens causing a lot of damage.

What is difference between woodchuck and groundhog? ›

What is the Difference Between a Groundhogs and a Woodchuck? There is no difference between a groundhog and a woodchuck. In fact, the terms woodchuck and groundhog are interchangeable.

Are woodchucks and groundhogs the same thing? ›

So, what is the difference between a woodchuck and groundhog? They're actually the same type of animal (Genus and species: Marmota monax). The differing common names likely come from different etymologies from around the world. The animal was called wejack, woodshaw and woodchoock by some Native American cultures.

Do woodchucks bite? ›

Woodchucks have the ability to bite and scratch if they are cornered or threatened. They are generally docile creatures and rarely, if ever, bite.

Are woodchucks good to have around? ›

Woodchucks may not appear useful to humans, but they have their own place and identity in the ecosystem and should be accepted—and respected—for that alone. They provide food for coyotes, foxes, weasels, badgers, hawks, and eagles.

Are woodchucks good to have around your house? ›

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, do more than just forecast the seasons. If they wander into a yard, they can cause a significant amount of damage to a home garden. They can even undermine the structural integrity of sheds, driveways, and foundations.

Will groundhogs bite humans? ›

Are groundhogs aggressive? These animals are not usually aggressive towards dogs or humans, but will bite in retaliation if threatened. If one happens to bite you, the injury will most likely be non-threatening. However, you may want to seek immediate medical attention to avoid potential complications caused by rabies.

What do groundhogs hate the most? ›

Groundhogs hate the smell of garlic and pepper. To deter them from ever returning to your garden, crush some garlic and pepper and throw it into their burrows. Do this day after day until they flee. You can also make a garlic and pepper spray to spray your vegetables.

Are groundhogs good for anything? ›

Soil Aeration. When digging, groundhogs help aerate soil. Roots, like all other parts of the plant, have to respire, taking in oxygen and emitting carbon dioxide. In unturned soil, roots deplete their limited oxygen while CO2accumulates, making it hard for them to 'breathe.

Do groundhogs eat snakes? ›

No, groundhogs do not traditionally eat snakes.

Why do groundhogs scream? ›

Squealing. Groundhogs will squeal when fighting other groundhogs or predators. Squealing is a sign that the groundhog is frightened that they may lose the fight. It can also be a sign of a surprise, such as an unpredicted attack on the groundhog.

Do groundhogs come out at night? ›

Do groundhogs ever come out at night? Groundhogs sleep at night and are active during the day because they are diurnal. While they are diurnal animals and the large majority of activity is in the day, they may rarely be seen after dark. So it isn't totally unheard of to see a groundhog out at night, just not common.

What time of day do groundhogs come out? ›

The groundhog is set to come out at approximately 7:20 a.m., CBS News reported. Fans can start watching his habitat much earlier, as the livestream starts in the pre-dawn hours.

Will a groundhog fight a dog? ›

In the open, they are still likely to run, but if the dog is fast enough they may be forced to make a stand. Up close, they are an entirely different animal and will stand their ground and fight and would behave similarly to what they do in a trap, except that there is no trap wall between the groundhog and your dog.

Are groundhogs smart? ›

Groundhogs are an extremely intelligent animal forming complex social networks, able to understand social behavior, form kinship with their young, understand and communicate threats through whistling, and work cooperatively to solve tasks such as burrowing.

What diseases do groundhogs carry? ›

Groundhogs also carry fleas and ticks, which can pass on diseases like Lyme and Powassan to people and pets. Rabies: Groundhogs are known carriers of the rabies virus. If bitten by one, it's important to immediately seek medical attention and be treated with the rabies vaccine.

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