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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Uninvited Guest

Good morning,

Those of you who garden know who that character is on our front porch outside our living room door.
He's Mr. Groundhog who, after looking him up on the Internet I discovered is also known as a Woodchuck.
We didn't invite Mr. Groundhog, but we knew he had moved in when the man doing some concrete work for us told me he found quite a large hole leading under our front porch. 
Mr. Groundhog seems quite comfy here, but he won't be for long.  He'll have to move out or we'll do it for him.
Hmm, what did you say? You want to stay?
 No, sorry, you have to go.  It would not be good for our dogs to have a meeting with this guy.  He could hurt them more than they would hurt him.  And, as far as our front porch is concerned, if he tunnels under the porch and retaining wall around our hedges, we could suddenly have everything rearranged above the ground.  He's not good for the garden, either, because he eats roots and can wipe out an entire garden from underground.
 So, Mr. Groundhog, we're glad you came up to see what all the noise is about as we are having work done outside so we could see you and get a few pictures.  They are taken through a screen, but we can still see you!
 And, we will be glad to see you GONE!



Diana said...

Oh but they are so cute Lois! I see one on my way to church all the time. He just sits on the side of the road eating, seemingly unaware of the cars going by! I hope he doesn't have trouble "Relocating"!! Love Di ♥

Kathy said...

Yes, these guys can cause major damage! This one is pretty big too so I'm sure his tunnels are deep and far-ranging! Critter control to the rescue for you!

Montanagirl said...

However will you get rid of him? Kinda cute, but sounds destructive. I have never seen one before.

Jan n Jer said...

He is a most unwanted visitor...we have one in my neighbors yard,,he lives under her shed!!! Glad I don't have a veggie garden this year..he would destroy it!!!

Pamela Gordon said...

These rodents are really annoying aren't they? We had one dig under our shed this summer. Hubby read on line that if you spread moth balls under the area where they are they won't stay. We did and it left! Moth balls aren't safe for pets or humans but under the shed, out of reach of both, it was fine. (We have lattice around the base of the shed for skirting and no dog here now.) The only other option is a live trap and removal. I hope he moves on for you.

TexWisGirl said...

such a naughty varmint! good luck getting him to move!

Ricki Treleaven said...

Are you going to call someone to remove him? He is *BIG* :/ I bet he could put a hurt on your foundation, probably.

grammie g said...

Hi Lois...So he moved in while you where away...thought he had the whole place to himself I suppose ; }!
I am sure the dogs would be very upset to see him, not a good situation!
They are cute ,but in a large field far away : }}!
Good luck

Lois said...

I've never seen one before. I didn't realize they were that big. I hope he moves on out soon!

Sherry said...

I don't see how anyone can think these things are "cute". . . disgusting, annoying, good target practice, but not "cute"! I like the suggestion of the mothballs.

StitchinByTheLake said...

And how do you get rid of such a creature? blessings, marlene

Anonymous said...

I hope he find a safe new home. YOu sure don't need any further damage from him!

fabriquefantastique said...

I wonder how he found your place. perhaps he/she will go back to where he/she came from

angela said...

We don't have groundhogs here, thank goodness! They do look cute but oh my how destructive are they. I joe he finds a more appropriate abode soon.

River Glorious said...

creepy. how large was it?

Lois Evensen said...

Hi Everyone,

I really appreciate all of your comments and advice about this fellow. We put moth balls into the hole this afternoon and have a big (huge) rock over it. Kjell put the rock over the hole when we knew he was out - at least from this side. If he has another opening or two or three, we can't find them on our property. I talked with our next door neighbor this afternoon. He said Mr. G. was over there for a couple of months while we were at sea, but was so elusive they couldn't trap him. He said Mr. G. had probably found a happier home with us. :\ NOT!

Our version of Punxsutawney Phil will not want to stay - we hope - with a moth ball smelling house.

In answer to some of your questions:

He looks pretty big - at least to me. According to the Internet, groundhogs weigh about 10 pounds. He's at least 10 pounds.

I had to laugh when my husband first wanted to trap him, then wondered if he would get away with firing a gun in the city. No, we aren't going to fire a gun in the city. If we can't get him to leave the moth ball smelly hole, we'll trap and remove him.

How he found this place? Well, it's getting pretty "wild" around here in the city - literally. We've been here since 1979 and in the past few years we have had some new critters that I haven't seen around here before: deer, coyotes, skinks (little lizards) to name a few. We already had raccoons, possums, bunnies, squirrels, feral cats, snakes, and all kinds of birds including predatory ones.... Yes, right here in the city we have a complete food chain.

So, thanks everyone, for your advice. I'll let you know if we see him again. In the meantime, our friend, Bill, will take the trap over to his place in the country where he has a groundhog under his work shed.

All the best,

Elaine said...

Not a critter you want digging around your house. We have them in the woods around our yard but if one decided to move in closer to the house I would take action too. We had voles who moved in close to the house over the winter and it took several weeks of putting bait in their holes before we finally got rid of them.

Marit Johanne said...

Interesting to see pictures of this animal, but from what you tell about him I perfectly well understand you don't want him living in your yard. Good luck with getting him go!

Hootin Anni said...

Oh oh....they could create such havoc with landscaping!!! I'd be arming my sling shot to scare it off!

Rose said...

You might be surprised at what your dogs would do...our dogs at home would grab them by their neck, shake real hard and the groundhog would be dead.

Another name I have heard them called is whistle-pig...maybe that is a southern thing.

Lois Evensen said...

Rose, You are so right! It is quite possible our dogs would do just that - grab and kill the critter. BUT, we don't want to take the chance that the critter could cause some horrible injuries to our dogs. According to what I found on the Net, Mr. G has very nasty front teeth and claws and will go absolutely wild and hurt domestic animals if cornered by them. Ground hogs also carry various diseases and worms. No, our canine athletes/show dogs aren't going to get the chance to dispatch Mr. G. as much as I am SURE they would love to do it!

BTW, we haven't seen him since we put the moth balls in his tunnel. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by. We really appreciate all of the suggestions and comments about this character.


Beatrice P. Boyd said...

We have some nasty voles that are tunneling in our yard, but so far we haven't been able to see them or take a photo. S far, the only damage is the tunnels, but I know they are not good critters to have around. Hope your Mr G relocates, Lois.

Nedra said...

Being from the West, I don't think we have groundhogs here. Or at least, I've never seen one up close. How interesting that he would live under your porch. You know, when you leave town, new "neighbors" tend to move in!