Groundhogs and WoodchucksGroundhog

     Are groundhogs and woodchucks the same animal or not? What exactly should I do if a groundhog is living on my property (or underneath it)? Are they an endangered species? These questions and more will all be answered in the article below, so be sure to read through and check for a question that you are interested in answering.


1) Are groundhogs and woodchucks the same animal:

– Yes, groundhogs and woodchucks are both the same creature, called Marmota monax. This confusion stems from the Algonquian name for the animal, wuchak. They belong to the family of large ground squirrels that is termed marmots. An interesting fact is that they are also referred to as whistlepigs in some communities.


2) What exactly should I do if a groundhog is living on my property?

– Call a professional if you are unsure! Groundhogs are not particularly dangerous to humans with regards to their interactions, but they will cause significant damage to crops, flowers, foundations, and other structures due to their burrowing and eating habits. Calling 770-479-1598 will provide you with one of our highly qualified team members here at Canton Termite and Pest Control if you need help dealing with a pest of any kind.


3) Are groundhogs an endangered species?

– No, groundhogs are not endangered. There is little concern that they will become endangered because of a growing appreciation for their benefit to the ecosystem and improved methods of disposal that minimize population-wide damage. Some situations that require extermination will be handled with humane care and consideration. The only area that may have a lower than average population of groundhogs is in Wisconsin around some farms, where groundhogs have frequently ruined crops and are actively guarded against by locals.


4) What do groundhogs do to cause damage?

– Groundhogs are herbivores, and for that matter, they eat up to 1/3 of their weight in vegetation each day. When you combine their appetites with the fact that the groundhog reproductive cycle is relatively short, the result is a quickly growing, very hungry population in any given area of their presence. This can ruin crops and gardens, as preventative measures are hard to come by against groundhogs since they can both climb and burrow around any barrier. Groundhogs are also aggressive in some situations, particularly if they are restrained to small areas by suburban living or parks surrounded by streets and urban atmosphere. Groundhogs can also contract rabies, which will cause them to be another danger altogether. If you or someone you know thinks that a groundhog has rabies and is in your area, then call a professional immediately so that a humane and safe disposal can be provided.




5) Do groundhogs really live in burrows?

– Yes! Groundhogs burrow to create large dens, the complexity of which is rather impressive. There is even a bathroom in most dens! Groundhogs will burrow to an extent that heavy equipment or even a person can fall into the den when it is traveled over. The largest issues with groundhogs burrowing is how this affects surrounding structures. Groundhog burrows can undermine farm ponds that are used to irrigate crops (another reason farmers don’t like groundhogs), and also can reduce the stability of building foundations! This is important to consider around your home and other structures when you find the presence of groundhogs.


6) Do groundhogs hibernate? How does that even work?

– Yes, groundhogs do hibernate. Their hibernation is actually being studied by scientists that are interested in how it can help humans adapt better to space travel. Specifically, groundhogs will enter what is called “true hibernation”. Their core body temperature will decrease from 99 degrees Fahrenheit to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. More impressively, their heart rate decreases from 80 beats per minute to 5 beats per minute! Fat that has been stored all through the rest of the year is then converted to glucose and used as energy for their central nervous system and peripheral nervous systems. Groundhogs tend to hibernate for six months in colder climates, but their hibernation can last three months in warmer climates.


7) Do groundhogs grow their teeth continuously like beavers?

– Groundhog teeth grow about one-sixteenth of an inch each week, which is significant compared to most any creature. Groundhogs will grind away at their upper and lower teeth with every bite in order to keep them from overgrowing, but it isn’t uncommon for the teeth to be misaligned, which can ultimately become fatal to the groundhog for multiple reasons.


Other questions? Just email us at or call us at 770-479-1598! We would love the opportunity to help you.


Want to know more about the questions already asked? Use these sources!


If you have a problem with groundhogs or any other pest…or simply a question…Call Canton Termite and Pest Control at 770-479-1598 and ask for me, Tim McWhirter, president. I’ll be happy to help you any way I can.

Here’s to helping YOU live PEST FREE!


  1. Don’t forget to ask about our FREE58 Point Pest Analysis of your home or office!