Groundhogs are known for their large, distinctive burrows. A groundhog burrow can usually be identified by the wide, round opening, usually about the size of a melon. They often have large piles of dirt thrown out around them.
Groundhog burrows can be extremely extensive, sometimes having up to five entrances, and can contain up to 45 feet of tunnels; the average burrow depth is five feet. Groundhogs prefer to dig their burrows against structures that provide overhead stability; in Michigan, this usually means around foundations, under sheds and decks, under brick pavers, patios and anything with a concrete slab. These extensive burrows can pose real risks to the foundations of buildings, which can be undermined by the groundhog’s activity.
The photo above was snapped by one of Creature Control’s technicians at a groundhog trapping job. It depicts a foundation that was undermined and damaged by years of unaddressed groundhog activity. The groundhog had burrowed down against the foundation. It went unaddressed for sometime; the groundhog – perhaps multiple groundhogs – were allowed to come and go for years. Because the hole opened up against the foundation, this allowed water to seep in. The water eventually wore away one of the blocks of the foundation, causing it to crumble and allow the groundhog access to the crawl space of the house itself.
One day, the entire groundhog burrow collapsed. It was only then that the homeowner realized how extensive this burrow was and learned of the degradation to the foundation block. The foundation had actually been undermined and the integrity of the home damaged. Creature Control trapped and removed the offending groundhogs, but now a lot of work and money is going to need to go into repairing this foundation.
The point is, a groundhog burrowing near your foundation is not something to ignore. If you have groundhog problems, especially against your foundation or patio, call Creature Control at 800-441-1519 today.