Home Animals Groundhogs in Tennessee 

Groundhogs in Tennessee 

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groundhogs in tennessee 

Groundhogs are one of the most commonly seen animals in Tennessee. When most people think of a groundhog, they picture a cute, chubby rodent emerging from its burrow on a sunny day in February. However, groundhogs are far from being harmless garden pests. In fact, they can cause serious damage to crops and landscaping.

They are also known as woodchucks, these burrowing rodents are often found in fields and gardens, where they feast on vegetables and fruits. Although they are generally shy around humans, groundhogs can be quite bold when it comes to defending their territories. Despite their somewhat lovable appearance, groundhogs can be troublesome pests, and they are often considered to be a nuisance by gardeners and farmers. Today in this article we will talk more about Groundhogs in Tennessee 

groundhogs in tennessee 

Diet:

These burrowing rodents are most active during the day and can often be seen sunning themselves in open areas. While they are herbivores, groundhogs will eat just about anything that is available. In the spring and summer months, their diet consists mostly of grasses, leaves, and other vegetation. During the fall, they enjoy munching on acorns and nuts. In the winter, when food is scarce, groundhogs will even eat tree bark. Their diet consists mostly of plants, but they will also eat insects, small mammals, and reptiles. 

Habitat:

In Tennessee, groundhogs can be found in a variety of habitats including woods, fields, and even gardens. They typically prefer areas with plenty of covers, such as tall grass or dense shrubs. Groundhogs are excellent swimmers and climbers, so they are not limited to living in flat areas. In fact, they have been known to build their homes in trees! Although they are most active during the day, groundhogs can also be seen out and about at night. During the winter months, they usually sleep in their burrows for extended periods of time (up to six months!). When the weather warms up again in spring, groundhogs will venture out in search of food. 

groundhog in open feild

Lifespan:

Groundhogs typically live for 2-3 years in the wild but have been known to reach up to 8 years old in captivity. In Tennessee, groundhogs typically emerge from their winter dens in late February or early March. Once they are out of hibernation, they will spend the next few months searching for food and mate. By late summer, most groundhogs will have already had their litters of 4-5 young. The young will stay with their mother until the following spring when they will strike out on their own.

Size & Weight:

Groundhogs have a body length of 16 to 27 inches, a tail length of 3.8 to 7.4 inches, and ears that measure 1.0 to 1.4 inches. They typically weigh between 4 and 14 pounds but can sometimes reach up to 22 pounds. 

groundhog family

Predators:

Groundhog predators are foxes, coyotes, weasels, bobcats, and hawks. These animals typically hunt in the early morning or late evening hours, when groundhogs are most active. In some cases, groundhogs will even be killed and eaten by their own young if they are unable to find enough food on their own.

FAQs

How big do groundhogs get in Tennessee?

Groundhogs, often called woodchucks, can reach 27 inches and 14 pounds.

Do groundhogs bite you?

Groundhogs rarely harm humans. When threatened or worried about their babies, they may attack. Some groundhog attacks have resulted in minor injuries.

How deep is a groundhog hole?

Burrow networks can stretch as long as 50 to 100 feet but often go no more than 6 feet below the ground.

What to do if a groundhog is in your backyard?

Garlic, lavender, and cayenne pepper also repel groundhogs. Place these fragrances around garden plants to make veggies less appealing. Epsom salts, blood meal, or talcum powder around the burrow. Put an ammonia-soaked towel near the groundhog’s hole.

Can you eat a groundhog?

As long as you clean it thoroughly and cook it properly, groundhogs are not only harmless but also quite tasty.

Final Words:

Although they are generally considered to be pests, groundhogs can actually provide some benefits to their ecosystems. Their burrows aerate the soil and help to improve drainage. Also, their digging activities help to control the growth of weeds. However, groundhogs can also cause problems. Their burrowing can damage crops and undermine foundations. Their sharp teeth can make short work of electrical wires and garden hoses. Thus it is important to take steps to control groundhogs if they become a nuisance. Trapping and relocating them is often the most effective solution.

References:

https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/mammals/medium/woodchuck.html
https://nwco.net/states/states-q-z/tennessee/tennessee-wildlife-species/woodchucks-or-groundhog-marmota-monax
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https://www.mainstreet-nashville.com/opinion/every-groundhog-most-certainly-has-its-day/article_492feb48-610a-11eb-ba6c-a32ae36df2d7.htm
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Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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