Are Groundhogs Dangerous?

Typically, groundhogs are not dangerous to humans or their pets, however, since they are mammals, it is possible for groundhogs to contract rabies. Gardens and farms are most at risk from groundhogs, particularly due to collapsing burrows and damage to crops. As groundhogs are herbivores, they eat fruit, tree leaves, vegetables and alfalfa.

Groundhogs usually hibernate from October through March, so they spend a lot of time eating to prepare for this deep sleep. This helps the groundhog develop a thick fat layer that will supply enough energy to help them get through the winter. Though the feasting can often wreck havoc on fall gardens, it does not pose any danger to the local human population.

The primary danger from groundhogs is due to their burrowing. This can cause damage to farm equipment and leads to potential injuries to humans and livestock when burrows collapse due to the additional weight put on them. Building foundations are occasionally compromised by the burrows as well.