Strangers in the Night and Other Garden Marauders, Part V: Woodchuck/groundhog, opossum, skunk, porcupinegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
Greatest Cravings: Woodchucks will devour nearly any vegetation in their path and usually with the worst of table manners, often uprooting plants and eating them only partially before moving on to something else. Especially attracted to melons, peas, beans, lettuce, squash. Corn not normally a favorite.
Signs: Notoriously sloppy, also work fast, so if your Eden is wasteland inside one day, blame on woodchuck(s). Look for mounds of dirt near your garden--rarely venture more than 50' from their underground dens.
Best Barrier (also for skunks, opossums, porcupines): Woodchucks can climb nearly as well as they can dig, going over a 2' fence as easily as under it. The solution is wiremesh fence that you must bury AT LEAST 10-12 inches deep, also create floppy baffle at top so that woodchucks confronted by insurmountable flange, should be at least 12-18" of wire--own body weight will cause sudden lack of support to drop him back down to square one. Use good heavy-gauge wire, support with metal posts approx. 10 feet apart.
Start w/wire at least 6' high so fence will be 3' high after you've turned over the baffle AND buried it 10-24" straight down. If you can't bury straight down, bury several inches, extend rest about 18-24" as apron.
Other Deterrents: Woodchucks don't like spicy food, so sprinkling hot pepper or black pepper in vicinity of food will dull their appetittes. Blood meal and talcum powder are also reportedly effective. Or plant diversions of clover, alfalfa or soybeans.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), July 06, 1999