The Best Carrier Oil For Keeping Groundhogs Out Of Your Garden

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

When groundhogs start hanging around your garden, they can cause some serious damage. These mammals hibernate during the winter, so they feast on as much vegetation as they can during the spring and summer months to prepare. Eating up to a pound and a half every day, groundhogs can quickly destroy the fruits and vegetables growing in your backyard. However, by using castor oil, you can keep your vegetable garden safe from these herbivores.

Groundhogs will eat tree bark and grass, but they love to munch on cucumbers, cabbage, corn, lettuce, cantaloupes, zucchini, green beans, strawberries, and blueberries. Besides eating all your produce, groundhogs will burrow through your yard, creating tunnels up to 6 feet deep and 25 feet long. If you notice piles of dirt and holes around your lawn, it's likely groundhogs are making their home there. To keep your yard healthy and your garden protected, you'll need to take measures, and caster oil presents a simple, effective, and natural solution.

How to use castor oil to deter groundhogs

Castor oil is a carrier oil that won't harm groundhogs but deters them from sticking around. Groundhogs hate the scent of castor oil, and spraying it near your vegetable garden or the animal's burrows will encourage them to leave. For this trick, you'll only need castor oil, which can be found on Amazon for less than $10, and water. Try combining ½ cup of the carrier oil with 2 cups of water and spraying it in the areas the groundhogs are affecting.

If this doesn't produce a strong enough scent, you can try mixing 1 part castor oil with 3 parts water, or 1 part oil and 1 part water if the groundhogs are stubborn. You might also try taking some of the undiluted oil, pouring it into an entrance to the groundhogs' burrow, and sealing off the hole with dirt. This will trap the scent in their tunnels and help get them to move on.

Castor oil as pest control

While castor oil is known to deter groundhogs, it's also great for repelling skunks, moles, and some insects, including mosquitos, ticks, and fleas. This carrier oil has a strong smell and a bitter flavor that many animals find intolerable. Adding it around your garden's perimeter will create a natural barrier that should keep groundhogs and fellow pests out. Castor oil is also safe for your grass and plants.

That said, while caster oil is safe for humans, if you have a dog, you'll want to be careful. When ingested, castor oil can make dogs sick, causing vomiting, drooling, and other symptoms. If you have a dog that loves to eat grass, it's best to keep them away from any areas you've used castor oil as a natural pest control. Further, to ensure the groundhogs that have been snacking on your garden produce and digging through your yard stay far away, you may need to repeat the castor oil application every two to three weeks.