Why Are There Marmots in the Yard?

Marmots, the largest members of the squirrel family, are found in 14 varieties across the nation. In western states, the biggest problem is the yellow-bellied marmot, or rockchuck, which enjoys hanging out in yards at high elevations and digging tunnels under large rocks, houses, and other protected areas. Their eastern relatives, called groundhogs or woodchucks, are much less picky about their burrowing sites. They may tunnel throughout lawns that offer food sources such as garden vegetables or any tender, green plants.

Marmot Lawn Damage

Unlike rabbits, deer, and other wildlife that graze in gardens, marmots in yards often strip entire vegetable gardens after only a few nights. Other pests tend to eat more slowly or selectively and don't mow stems down to the ground like marmots do. The pests' digging habits can also leave behind mounds of excavated dirt, which interfere with mowing or gardening and damage equipment. On occasion, tunnels built under buildings weaken foundations.

Getting Rid of Marmots in the Yard

Marmot fencing is the longest-lasting solution to infestations, but not always the most efficient. Fences need to be made of heavy wire, stand at least three feet high, and be buried about twelve inches underground, with the lower six inches bent into an L-shape. Using this method on an entire lawn is time-consuming and disruptive to landscaping, so it's best for small areas only. A marmot in the yard may also be repelled by frightening devices or more permanently removed with fumigants and traps. The experts at Critter Control can help each property owner determine a personalized method to deal with marmots.