Groundhogs, or woodchucks, frequently burrow under sheds and decks. They can create an extensive network of tunnels that can undermine the stability of the structure.
The best way to prevent a groundhog from burrowing under a structure on your property is to exclude it with a steel mesh fence. It should go all the way around the perimeter of the shed or deck and go at least 18 inches underground. The bottom should curve outward to prevent a groundhog from digging underneath it. If you install a fence after a groundhog is already living under your shed or deck, be sure to leave a small opening so it can escape and then seal it off. You can put a one-way exclusion door to keep the groundhog from coming back.
Many people are tempted to dig out or seal off a burrow to get rid of a groundhog. This can provoke the groundhog, and it can become aggressive and bite with its sharp front teeth. Sealing the exits will not work because the groundhog will just dig another one. Digging out a burrow can compromise the structure on top of it.
If a groundhog has dug a burrow under your shed or deck, the best solution is to hire a professional wildlife removal service to trap and relocate it. Don’t do this yourself because wild animals can become aggressive. Anderson Wildlife Control has the knowledge and experience to safely and humanely trap and relocate a groundhog that is causing a nuisance.
A groundhog can move as much as 700 pounds of dirt to dig its burrows. This can weaken a structure and make it unsafe to use. After the groundhog has been removed, have a builder or engineer inspect your shed or deck to make sure it is safe and take any necessary steps to stabilize it.