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Do Groundhogs Eat Mums?




groundhog at Chrysanthemum flowers

As a passionate gardener, I have always been curious about the eating habits of animals that visit my backyard. Recently, I have been wondering whether groundhogs eat mums.

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are herbivores and have a diverse diet that includes various plants, flowers, and vegetables.

While mums (chrysanthemums) are not their preferred food source, groundhogs may eat them if other food options are scarce or if they find the taste appealing.

To protect your mums, consider using fencing, repellents, or other deterrents to keep groundhogs away from your garden.

After some research and my own personal experience, I have found that the answer is not a straightforward yes or no.

Groundhogs can eat mums, but it is not their preferred food

Mums are a popular fall flower that can add a pop of color to any garden. They are a type of chrysanthemum and are often used for decorative purposes.

However, they are also edible and have been used in traditional medicine for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Groundhogs are herbivores who primarily eat grasses, clovers, and other plants.

However, it’s important to note that groundhogs have been known to feed on a wide variety of plants, including some that are considered toxic or harmful to them.

If you have a groundhog in your garden and you’re concerned about it eating your flowers, you may want to consider using fencing or other deterrents to keep the animal away from your plants.

Additionally, planting some of their preferred vegetation away from your garden may help to attract them to other areas.

Why would groundhogs not eat chrysanthemums?

Chrysanthemums contain natural toxins called pyrethrins, which are harmful to many insects and can also be toxic to mammals in large doses.

It’s possible that groundhogs may have an innate sense to avoid chrysanthemums due to their toxic properties.

Furthermore, groundhogs are known to have preferences for certain types of plants and may simply not find chrysanthemums appealing. Their diet is also influenced by factors such as availability and seasonal changes.

When, How, and Why Groundhogs Eat Mums

roundhogs are known for being herbivores, and they typically consume a variety of plants such as grasses, clover, alfalfa, and other types of vegetation.

However, chrysanthemums are not typically a part of their natural diet, and it is unlikely that groundhogs would intentionally seek out and consume chrysanthemums.

That being said, in certain situations, groundhogs may accidentally eat chrysanthemums if they are growing in an area where the groundhogs are foraging for other types of plants.

Additionally, if groundhogs are hungry enough and their preferred food sources are scarce, they may be more likely to try eating chrysanthemums or other plants that they would not normally consume.

Overall, while groundhogs may occasionally eat chrysanthemums, it is not a common occurrence and would likely only happen in specific circumstances.

Groundhogs have strong jaws and teeth that are well-suited for gnawing through tough plant materials, such as stems and leaves.

To eat chrysanthemums, a groundhog would likely approach the plant, use its front paws to hold the stems steady, and then use its teeth to bite off sections of the plant.

However, it is worth noting that chrysanthemums are not typically recommended as a food source for groundhogs or any other animals, as they contain toxins that can be harmful if ingested in large amounts.

If you are concerned about groundhogs eating your chrysanthemums, you may want to consider protecting the plants with fencing or other barriers to keep the animals away.

Implications for Backyard Owners

If you have mums in your backyard, it is possible that groundhogs may eat them.

However, there are no specific measures to take to prevent groundhogs from eating your mums.

The best way to protect your plants is to create a barrier around them or remove them from areas where groundhogs are known to frequent.

Other Animals that Might Eat Mums

Groundhogs are not the only animals that may eat mums. Other herbivores such as deer, rabbits, and squirrels may also enjoy them as a treat.

Additionally, some insects such as aphids may be attracted to mums and may cause damage to the plants.

How To Keep Groundhogs Out Of Your Yard!

There are several things that can be done to prevent groundhogs from digging and eating stuff in your backyard. I will list some of the strategies below.

Also, see my recent post if you want a full list of my favorite methods to keep groundhogs and gophers away!

1. Using ultrasonic sound

Groundhogs, like other bigger mammals that may invade your garden, tend to have very good hearing. This means that loud or consistent noises will scare them away or at least shorten their visits.

Check out my full buying guide for these ingenious ultrasonic repeller devices here!

One of my favorite technologies to keep pests away from my backyard is these cool solar-powered ultrasonic sound emitters that you can buy right from Amazon! In my experience, they really work, and the solar panels on top save you the time and money of changing batteries all the time.  

My favorite ultrasonic emitters. Click to read more at Amazon.

They will also work against other rodents like gophers, mice, and rats!

2. Sprinkling natural repellents

Groundhogs may be scared off by using natural scents such as coyote urine or predator scents.

They may also cause them to leave if there is a combination of sounds being played from a radio. The sounds include the sound of barking dogs and coyotes.

You can sprinkle dog hair, cayenne pepper or strong enteric oils and other natural repellents around the garden to keep the groundhogs away.

See my complete list of humane ways to keep groundhogs away from your yard for more tips and tricks!

3. Fencing around the garden

You can also fence around your garden to keep groundhogs from entering the garden. It should be at least 3 feet deep and have a double row of fencing.

A good deep (underground) fence will keep groundhogs out!

Groundhogs are good diggers so it has to go underground or they may find a way into the garden even with the fences in place!

4. Using live traps

You can use a live trap to capture groundhogs and move them to another area. Live trapping is currently the most humane way of groundhog control. Once you have removed all groundhogs from an area, it is important to ensure that they do not come back by using fencing or other barriers to block access.

You can also just buy a live trap, as the sturdy metal ones shown here:

A live groundhog trap is a humane way to get permanently rid of groundhogs in your yard.

A version with thick gloves for safe handling.

To lure the groundhogs in, you can use one of the numerous favorite foods of groundhogs or an optimized extra attractive formula like this one to make the catch even quicker!

5. Using natural pesticides

There are pesticides or rodent toxins that can be used to kill groundhogs on your property. These may also affect other animals in the area so it is important to ensure that they are only sprayed on the targeted plants.

I do not recommend these, as I prefer more humane ways as described here. Also, anything that kills an animal will also harm humans to some degree, so go for a repellant rather than a toxin if you go the chemical route!

6. Using Scarecrows

You can use a scarecrow in your garden to keep groundhogs away. Groundhogs are afraid of novelty so time-sensitive or motion-activated scarecrows may also be effective in keeping them out of the garden.

Owls will scare most rodents and intimidate larger intruders as well!

7. Using Lights

Groundhogs are not strictly nocturnal animals but they are most active at low light so they do avoid areas with bright lights.

Motion-activated lights, sounds, and sprinklers may help prevent groundhogs from entering your yard.

Any blinking light will confuse and scare away groundhogs from your yard, especially if they are motion activated and sudden!

8. Motion-activated sprinklers

Like most animals, groundhogs hate surprises, and they will run away if suddenly sprayed with water. I like this solution because it is humane, simple, effective, and does not require much time to set up.

My favorite sprinkler option here is the Havahart 5277.

The Havahart 5277 is a motion-activated sprinkler that is activated by the movement of animals up to 25 feet away and sprays them with a harmless water jet, frightening them off and keeping them at bay.

The included metal stake makes it easy to install in your garden, and the sprinkler can be rotated 180 degrees for maximum coverage.

Check out my recent post on the best humane, but effective, tactics against rodents like groundhogs and gophers in your yard!

In conclusion, groundhogs may eat mums, but it is not their preferred food. As a gardener, it is important to be aware of the eating habits of animals in your backyard and take the necessary measures to protect your plants.

While there is no foolproof way to prevent groundhogs from eating your mums, creating a barrier or removing them from areas where groundhogs frequent may help.

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