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Home > Other Critters > Woodchuck

Woodchuck—Marmota monax

aka Groundhog

Woodchucks are rodents. They are herbivores who feed primarily on vegetables, trees, grasses and legumes; a single woodchuck can quickly destroy an entire garden. They also gnaw the bark of fruit trees and ornamental shrubs, sometimes killing them. The mounds of dirt from excavated burrows, and holes at the entrance of burrows, are unsightly and can be hazardous to humans. Woodchucks are also hosts for the woodchuck tick (Ixodes cookei), which can carry the Powassan virus.

woodchuck in tree woodchuck in lawn  
Woodchucks grow 16-27 inches long, 4-14 pounds. They have short, powerful legs and a medium-long, bushy and somewhat flattened tail. The long, coarse fur on the back is a grizzled, grayish brown with a yellowish or reddish cast. The feet are dark brown with heavy claws which they use for digging extensive burrows. Woodchucks are excellent climbers and may be seen in trees escaping predators or surveying their surroundings.  

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[Photos. left to right: Clemson University; Gilles Gonthier ]

 
It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.