Cute? In what way?
Who says groundhogs aren’t cute and cuddly?

Cute? In what way?

Groundhogs are obnoxious, self-centered desecraters of nature — the very thing we’re all trying to protect these days

NORTH WESTMINSTER — I hate the groundhog.

I don't care what anyone says, and others do have some things to say. But I have a mind of my own when it comes to groundhogs.

To be fair, I don't necessarily hate your groundhog, or groundhogs in general, or even groundhogs as a species - although I could be persuaded to.

Nevertheless, I can't go along with those who claim they're so cute and fun.

Cute in what way?

The way they wobble and scamper across the yard from one flower bed to the next?

The way they reach up and bend the tomato plants over to get at the flowers before those flowers even get a chance to dream of a future as a ripening tomato?

Cute in the way they stand up, resting only their butts on the ground, to better survey the next place to destroy plants (both wild and cultivated) before the bees, the butterflies, the hummingbirds, the dragonflies can get their fair share?

* * *

Groundhogs don't distinguish between depriving people or wildlife of their sustenance. When it comes to them, it's all just me-me-me.

And, not only are they selfish narcissists, they're sneaky!

They hide in tunnels crisscrossing the land beyond their feeding grounds - tunnels that can destroy the foundation of your home by eroding the earth and allowing water to wash it away. Other larger animals, both domestic and wild, can break a leg when inadvertently stepping into an entrance to their tunnels.

They creep through the myriad branches of their tunnel mazes hiding, waiting for lulls in human vigilance, and bam! - there goes another flower bed, there goes another melon patch.

They dig under the fences you build as defense against them. They avoid the tunnel entrances you've discovered. They dig others. Those guys love to dig!

So they're selfish and they're sneaky - but they're also wary. It's almost impossible to trap them. They have noses that can detect danger like black flies can detect human presence.

If you set a trap (even a friendly Havahart trap) for them, they'll smell the odor of your touch on that trap. They'll skirt around it, no matter how much that ear of corn or that scrumptious cantaloupe inside calls to them.

* * *

You say that they're cute? That they're furry? And you like the way their whiskers jiggle and their noses wiggle? You like those buck teeth and little round ears? They remind you of a Disney character? A stuffed toy?

Get over it. They're rodents, for heaven's sake! Are rats cute? Are you full of ooohs and ahhhs when a mouse scurries across the room in front of you?

Face it: they're obnoxious, self-centered desecraters of nature - the very thing we're all trying to protect these days.

Do something about it! Buy yourself a large Havahart, fill it with melon and corn and stargazer lilies and, being sure to wipe off all odor of yourself and wearing gloves, put it next to your fenced-in garden and get out of sight. If you're extremely lucky, you'll find an angry groundhog in there the next day.

Then take it 20 miles. (That's how far it takes to keep them from coming back.) Crossing a river also helps. When you get there, open the trap and let him go. At that point he's someone else's problem.

People can be thoughtless, too.

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