As a garden owner, I have always been curious about which animals are likely to attack my crops. Groundhogs are a common sight in my backyard, and I have often wondered whether they eat strawberries.
Yes, groundhogs do eat strawberries. They are known to consume various fruits, vegetables, and plants, including strawberries. To protect your strawberry plants from groundhogs, consider using fencing, repellents, or live traps to deter or relocate them.
After some research and observation, I have discovered that groundhogs do indeed eat strawberries, but with some nuance.
Groundhogs and Strawberries
Strawberries are a popular fruit in gardens, and groundhogs are known to enjoy them. These rodents have a sweet tooth and enjoy eating fruits and vegetables.
However, strawberries are not their primary food source, and they usually consume them when other sources of food are scarce.
When and How Groundhogs Eat Strawberries
Groundhogs are active during the day and usually feed in the early morning or late afternoon. They are opportunistic eaters and will consume any available food.
When groundhogs come across strawberry plants, they will eat the ripe berries and leave the unripe ones to ripen further.
They will bite the berries off the stem, leaving a jagged end, which is a tell-tale sign of groundhog damage.
Why Groundhogs Eat Strawberries
Groundhogs are herbivores and consume a variety of plants.
They eat strawberries because they are sweet and provide a good source of energy.
Groundhogs also eat strawberries to supplement their diet when other food sources are scarce.
Implications for Backyard Owners
If you have a garden with strawberry plants, it’s important to take precautions to protect your crop from groundhogs. You can use physical barriers, such as fences or netting, to keep groundhogs out of your garden.
You can also plant your strawberries in raised beds or containers, which can be difficult for groundhogs to access. Another option is to plant other crops that groundhogs are less likely to eat, such as onions, garlic, or herbs.
Other Animals That Might Eat Strawberries
Groundhogs are not the only animals that enjoy strawberries. Other animals that might eat strawberries include rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds.
These animals can also cause damage to your garden, so it’s important to take steps to protect your plants from them as well.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
In conclusion, groundhogs do eat strawberries, but it’s not their primary food source.
These rodents are opportunistic eaters and will consume any available food.
If you have a garden with strawberries, it’s important to take precautions to protect your plants from groundhogs and other animals that might eat them.
With the right measures in place, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of strawberries and other crops in your backyard.