Groundhogs eat grass, bark, fruits and plants. They are omnivores, eating insects, snails, grubs, grasshoppers and small animals. They also feed on agricultural crops, and they eat nuts to store fat for hibernation.
Because they feed on crops and gardens, they are considered nuisance animals. Vegetables are the most common plants they eat in gardens. Salad greens, strawberries, carrots and apples are popular bait items. Alfalfa and clover are their favorite things to eat.
Groundhogs belong to the squirrel family, and they are one of 14 marmot species. They are ground animals, but they also climb trees and swim in search of food. They are most active in the morning and evenings, and they eat in a hurry when above ground to stay ahead of predators. They are found in forests near wider landscapes.
Groundhogs usually eat heavily during the summer to store fat for the winter. They head to burrows to hibernate after the first frost, and they emerge in the spring. They rely on their stored fat to sustain them when entering a dormant state, and their heart rate and body temperature lowers significantly. Their hibernation became associated with Groundhog Day, a tradition that holds that six additional weeks of winter is on the horizon if a groundhog can see its own shadow.