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Wild Things: Groundhogs

As sure as Americans turn groundhogs into celebs every February 2, many of us will be quick to vilify these likable rodents just a few weeks later. Shadows or no, breeding season for groundhogs—also known as woodchucks or whistle-pigs—begins shortly after they arise from hibernation. That means well-rested, hungry groundhogs snacking on gardens or digging burrows under Joe Homeowner’s back porch.

But peaceful coexistence with these chubby chowhounds is possible. To make your garden—or that of an annoyed caller—a “hog-free zone,” try cheap harassment methods first. Groundhogs may steer clear of a garden that features spooky objects blowing in the wind, like tethered balloons or streams of shiny Mylar tape.

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