If you own a house in the Hudson Valley chances are you have encounter one of our resident woodchucks making a hole in someplace in your yard. If they aren't digging a hole then they are most likely digging their way in under some part of your house.

Louise Wightman
Louise Wightman

Two summers ago I had a woodchuck decide she was moving in under my house. not only had she chewed her way in but she then decides to chew her way out on the other side of the house. I have a dirt crawl space with air vents and the wood around the screen that summer was obviously just a snack.

The hard part about having a woodchuck move in is that they usually do it to raise their babies. That is exactly what happened under my house. For weeks I had woodchuck babies coming and going with Mom leading the charge. Eventually, they all moved out and I was able to redo my fountain vents with non-chewable materials.

Photo by Jack Bulmer on Unsplash
Photo by Jack Bulmer on Unsplash

Since that summer they have not returned to the underneath of the house but they also haven't let the yard. I recently discovered a large hole under an old tree stump. Turns out it looks like that is the new summer home for my resident woodchuck. I now realize they are never leaving so I decided to learn more about them.

A recent New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Facebook post about woodchucks taught me a few things.

Five Woodchuck Fun Facts from the NYS DEC

1. Woodchuck and groundhogs are the same thing

2. Woodchucks are the largest member of the squirrel family

3. They eat succulent plants. That explains why my Yucca plants get eaten every year.

4. They are what the NYS DEC calls an important prey species. Basically, that means they are often some other mammal's dinner.

5. They also run, for lack of a better term, what I would call a rodent Airbnb. They often share their burrows with other animals.

I don't mind the woodchuck so much but I do wish with all the woods around my house they would take up residence a little farther away from the house. Maybe next summer.

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