What Do Groundhogs Eat?

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Groundhogs’ diet typically revolves around vegetables. To be specific about their food, we need to answer the question, What do groundhogs eat? Groundhogs consume various items, but they are especially known for their love of gardens and the vegetables that come with them.

Unfortunately, this means that they can cause major destruction to homes and properties due to their eating habits. They also eat insects, small rodents, and other small animals. 

Are groundhogs herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

In general, groundhogs are herbivores, and they enjoy eating a variety of things in their natural habitat. They eat various types of vegetables, including fresh garden vegetables.

What do groundhogs eat

However, when they contact humans and their crops, they have been known to like the vegetables and fruits that are grown near residential areas. This is why some people may have issues with groundhogs creating burrows near their homes to continue to steal their crops!

Are groundhogs 100% herbivores?

Groundhogs are primarily herbivores, but they will eat insects on occasion. While most of their diet is plant-based, a small percentage of it is made up of insects. 

Vegetation that attracts groundhogs in the garden

Groundhogs’ diets consist mainly of grass, clover, and other vegetation. However, they have also been known to eat insects and small rodents sometimes.

Some of their favorites are grasshoppers, worms, June bugs, and snails. This makes them partially omnivorous, as they eat both plants and animals.

What Time Of Day Do Groundhogs Eat?

Groundhogs are creatures of habit, and they have specific times of the day when they like to eat. They typically eat in the morning. They consume a variety of plants, fruits, and vegetables.

Their metabolism begins to become active in the morning, and they start looking for food.

What do groundhogs eat?

Groundhogs have been known to eat various things but mostly stick to grass, fruits, and vegetables.

Groundhogs eating leaves

Groundhogs enjoy various foods, but they prefer nibbling on fresh crops, trees, and flowers. In addition to their preferred food items, groundhogs will also consume insects, eggs, and other small animals.

How Does A Groundhog’s Diet Change?

Like most animals, groundhogs have a diet that changes throughout the year. For example, their diet changes during hibernation to accommodate the vegetation change during this period. 

Groundhogs in the burrow

In the summer, they mostly eat grass, fruits, and vegetables. However, they start to eat more nuts and seeds in the fall as those become available. And finally, in the winter, they consume mostly bark and other tree parts.

During hibernation and don’t eat as much. However, they eat various things during the rest of the year.

Do Groundhogs Eat Before Going into Hibernation?

Groundhogs, like most other animals, prepare for winter by fattening up. They will eat a diet high in protein and high in fat so they can store energy. This allows them to hibernate without having to worry about food.

To prepare for hibernation, groundhogs will eat a lot of food. This includes their regular diet and some extra food that will help them remain warm throughout February.

How Do I Keep My Plants Safe From Groundhogs?

Groundhogs are a common problem in gardens. They can cause significant damage to plants by eating them or trampling them. There are a variety of repellents you can use to keep groundhogs away from your flowers and plants.

One way to protect your plants from groundhogs is by using strong scents. Groundhogs are deterred by the smell of ammonia, peppermint, and other strong scents.

You can either plant these around your flowers and plants or spray them near the area where you don’t want the groundhog to go.

To protect your flowers and plants from groundhogs, you will need to place repellents around the perimeter of your garden and even inside some of your planters. This will help deter the groundhog from coming near those areas and causing any damage.

Food That is Bad for Groundhogs

Groundhogs are herbivores, and as such, they have a limited diet. Due to their sensitive digestive system, groundhogs cannot eat meat or human food.

If groundhogs eat these things, they will become severely ill and die. The following are the items on this list, including

  • Chocolate
  • Bread
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Groundhogs are particularly susceptible to becoming ill if they consume inappropriate things. If left unsupervised, groundhogs may wander into areas where they can easily eat something harmful. It is important to isolate groundhogs from environments that might expose them to these things to prevent this from happening.

Groundhogs eating human food

What do groundhogs drink?

Groundhogs get all the water they need from the food they eat. They do not drink much water and thus live in areas with an adequate water supply.

Groundhogs drink very little water and get most of the moisture they need from the food plants. They stay hydrated by eating food plants wet from rain or dew.

How to identify groundhogs in your garden

Groundhogs feed on plants, including grass, berries, and garden crops. They typically avoid meat and primarily prefer vegetation, but they can also feed on insects and worms.

If you see evidence of groundhogs on your property, they are likely eating your crops or plants. They may also be cutting the plants at an angle, which is a common way to identify their presence. 

Additionally, you may notice an excess of weeds in the areas where they have been spotted. This is because they tend to clear out all vegetation when they are looking for food.

What do you do if you have a groundhog in your yard?

Groundhogs are an important part of the ecological system. They help to control the population of rodents and other small animals. If the groundhog is not causing a problem, it should be left alone.

However, if they are damaging property or becoming a nuisance, some steps can be taken to remove them from your property.

On the other hand, if you have a groundhog in your yard and would like to relocate it, try to do so during the day.

  • Ensure there is an opening for the groundhog to exit, and don’t touch it directly; instead, provide a food trail that will lead it away from your property.
  • If that doesn’t work, you may need to trap the groundhog and release it elsewhere. 
  • In addition, groundhogs are proficient swimmers and tree climbers, which comes in handy when they need to escape predators or find food. They prefer to live in burrows but venture out into the open when necessary.

Ways to get rid of groundhogs

Epsom Salts

Groundhogs can be a nuisance to homeowners and gardeners. One way to deter them is by using Epsom salts. When used as a deterrent, it makes the ground unpleasant for the groundhog to live in, which will cause them to move on.

To keep plants safe from groundhogs, sprinkle Epsom salt. The magnesium and sulfate will deter the groundhogs, as they don’t like the taste or smell.

Castor Oil

Castor oil has been exploited for centuries for a variety of purposes. It can effectively discourage groundhogs from entering your home as they don’t like the smell.

To see when groundhogs are coming out, you’ll have to keep vigil and watch the area where they live. They typically come out during the day when it’s sunny.

However, you should only use it when you know they’re present, as the smell can also keep them from leaving their caves.

Soiled Kitty Litter

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are a common sight in North America. These pests are herbivores, and their diet consists mainly of plants, fruits, and vegetables.

However, there are some things that groundhogs will not eat soiled Kitty Litter is one of them. They hate the sight and smell of the litter and get away from your garden very quickly.


You can use a few different methods to deter groundhogs from your property. One popular method is using cayenne pepper. Another is using garlic or lavender as a repellent. 

Many plants can be used as deterrents to keep groundhogs away from your property. However, each has its scent that may or may not repel the groundhog.

Some of the most common deterrents include predator urine (which can be bought at most hardware stores), pepper spray, and mothballs.


Like most other animals, groundhogs are ecologically important. They live in burrows underground and will emerge in February to start hunting. Will go through a process of preparing for winter. This includes gathering food and building nests. They are known to eat various things, including fruits, vegetables, and small animals. 

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.