Keep Groundhogs Out Of Your Yard With A Few Kitchen Ingredients

Groundhogs can be pesky little creatures that invade your yard, digging holes in the grass and even damaging flower gardens on their mission to find food. There's often no stopping them since these stealthy creatures typically come in during the evening when there's no one to watch for them. However, the pepper and garlic you keep in your kitchen spice cabinet could be the secret weapons to ward off groundhogs from your yard and keep them at bay.

If you're tired of seeing those nearly foot-wide holes in your backyard, consider this simple and easy hack that could make your grass a bit too flavorful for a groundhog's tastes — or rather their sense of smell. Both garlic and pepper have a strong, pungent odor that many pests, including groundhogs, can't tolerate. As a result, they typically move off into directions where these types of scents aren't present, as they're opportunistic little creatures.

In those situations where your yard is overridden with groundhogs, or they're camping out under the deck, you may need more aggressive measures to remove them, including professional trapping and removal services. However, if you know they're nearby, the use of a few properly placed spices could be all that you need to see a substantial improvement in how often your yard is turned upside down.

Why garlic and pepper ward off groundhogs

Like most animals, groundhogs seek out foods safe for them by using their sense of smell. Things with a strong odor are less attractive to these backyard invaders, including garlic and pepper, which their instincts tell them isn't something safe to eat. They also will stay away from other strongly smelling foods, like mustard and onions. Other times, it's the taste that wards them off. A few bites of a plant that's sprinkled with a spicy pepper are sure to get them to run in the other direction.

In nature, the strong flavor of things like garlic helps to protect the plant from being chomped up by animals. It works as a type of self-protection mechanism. It just happens to be that groundhogs themselves find the strong flavor and smell of garlic to be less appetizing. Using this and a few other ingredients from your kitchen pantry is all you need, then, to keep them away from your yard.

Even better, using any of these kitchen ingredients in your yard isn't likely to cause any type of negative environmental effect (unless you use a very large amount). It may also help with keeping deer and other opportunistic animals out as well, including some types of insects, birds, and squirrels. Your neighbors may even stay away if they don't like the scent of pepper and garlic, too.

How to use kitchen spices to get rid of groundhogs

Effectively using kitchen spices like this takes a bit of time and patience, but typically, you'll see results right away. You have a few options to consider, too. For example, you could sprinkle freshly ground pepper in an area where you know groundhogs are entering your yard to deter them. You'll need quite a bit for this method, but doing this a few times will encourage them to move on to your neighbor's yard instead of your own.

Another option is to create a liquid you can spray onto the surface of plant leaves where groundhogs are eating. To do so, boil a few cups of water and add a few cloves of fresh garlic and chopped onions. You can also add in hot sauce and whole peppers. Allow this to cook for a few minutes, and then steep it for a few hours until it comes to room temperature. Add the solution to a spray bottle and head outdoors to spritz, only on the leaves and plant areas where groundhogs have done damage. Doing this several times a week (you can store the strained liquid in the fridge for when you need it) can help to alleviate the problem for good.

Over a few weeks of using kitchen ingredients like garlic and pepper, you'll likely see significant improvement in the number of animals coming into your yard. Just be careful with dogs, cats, and kids as it could be a potent, spicy combination they may not appreciate either.