The Appearance of a Woodchuck
Known by many names, woodchucks are, perhaps surprisingly, members of the squirrel family. Also called groundhogs and whistle pigs, these stout animals are roughly the size of a large cat or small dog. Their compact, rotund bodies have short, powerful legs and chisel-like teeth. The eyes, ears, and nose are located at the top of their heads for safely peering out of dens to spot danger. Usually tan to brown in color, woodchucks are approximately two feet long, including their tails, and weigh up to 14 pounds.
Woodchucks like to live in open pastures, fields, and other lands near wooded areas. They dig their burrows along fence lines, stone walls, trees, and buildings. As plant-eaters, the animals prefer having ample vegetation nearby. This predisposition also attracts them to residential yards, where they can burrow under sheds and barns and use nearby plants and gardens for food. Woodchucks can look like gophers, which are much smaller, and beavers, which live near water and have wide, flat tails.
Damage & Problems
These pests confound property owners in a number of ways. Their burrowing habits tear up yards, damaging grass and creating tripping hazards. Foundations can be weakened if they dig too close to homes and other buildings. Another major concern is the welfare of gardens and ornamental vegetation, as woodchucks are voracious eaters of both. Home gardeners have waged war against the pests for decades, usually to no avail. To keep woodchuck infestations out of yards, contact the wildlife professionals at Critter Control.