Do mothballs or ammonia help repel groundhogs?

Have you groundhog situation you want to take care of and a kind friend advised you to use mothballs? It won’t work. It never really does. In your defense, you did not know. They will irritate the animal for a short while, but that is it.

Why don’t mothballs work on groundhogs?
For very simple reasons;

• Mothballs and ammonia are chemicals made generally to repel many pests and rodents. The ‘general’ use bit is the problem. They have not been made with any components that are specifically made to repel groundhogs.
• Once you use them, the animal may be a little repelled by the smell. They may even dig further to get away from the smell, but in time, they get used to the smell and learn to live with it.
• Mothballs and ammonia are not poisonous or fatally harmful to the groundhogs. Their effect is not one that induces life threatening symptoms. The lack of immediate danger therefore means the groundhog can lay in wait and see what happens. The results are usually getting used to the smell and continuing with business as usual.

Why then do people say they work?
Well, trying to understand this is a little hard, but possibly the following reasons may be the reason why they are in the market.

• No manufacturer will say their product does not work. For the purposes of sales, people will swear to the effectiveness of mothballs- especially if they are sales people.
• When first placed in burrows, they elicit a reaction of discomfort from the groundhogs. Probably coming out for air or digging deeper. This can be confused as permanent result. However, the truth is, the whistle pig is only out for a little fresh air and will most likely be back.
• For the longest time it has been assumed what works on one rodent will work on another. This may be part reason people believe this ruse easily.

What then can someone do?
Clearly the mothballs and ammonia will work only a few days and you want permanent solutions. Consider using the following;

• Water to wet their burrows.
• Pepper to choke them.
• Predators to hunt them.
• Fumigation to kill them.
• Shoot to kill.
• Poison Note;
Groundhogs are not your pets; they are there to make a livelihood for themselves. They are there to eat your crops, burrow through your farms and lawns. Do not risk your home and your life, simply remove them the best way you can.

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