That groundhog you see poking its head out every morning while you sip your coffee may be cute, but it might also be destroying your yard. You don't necessarily need to get rid of a groundhog in your yard if it isn't bothering or biting anyone. However, when the animal is destroying your lawn or burrowing under a shed and causing damage, you may need to call a wildlife removal professional to get rid of the pest. Here are some tips for dealing with a problem groundhog.

1. Learn Your Local Laws

Laws concerning wildlife vary by location, so you don't want to assume it's okay to shoot a groundhog or trap it alive. Call your local department of wildlife to learn your options for dealing with a groundhog. You may even be given some advice on how to drive it away.

2. Decide How You Want to Handle the Problem

If you've grown fond of the groundhog or if you're just an animal lover in general, you probably won't want to kill the animal. You should realize that relocating it could be just as bad if the animal is disoriented and can't find food and shelter. It helps to call a wildlife removal expert for help so you can find a solution that won't harm the animal if that's your goal.

A possible approach would be to drive the animal out of its hiding place and then seal off your yard so it stays in its local environment, but can't get back under your shed. Since groundhogs are experts at burrowing, that could be difficult to accomplish too.

3. Learn What Repels Groundhogs

Wildlife repellents aren't always effective because groundhogs are smart and cautious; the animal may not fall for tricks. However, doing something like sending vibrations in the ground or tying balloons to the bottom of your shed might be enough to keep the groundhog from coming back to the burrow once it's left.

4. Install Fencing to Protect Your Garden

If your main complaint is that the groundhog helps itself to your garden, then put up a fence to keep the pest away. You'll need to bury the fence several inches in the soil so the groundhog doesn't dig under it, but a fence could be a way you and the groundhog can coexist peacefully.

5. Let an Animal Removal Expert Handle the Problem

If you've tried to repel the groundhog with strong smells, loud noises, and movement, but it keeps coming back, or it manages to get under or over your fence, consider hiring residential wildlife removal services. Their job is to get rid of problem animals, so you can trust they will do the appropriate thing once the animal is trapped and taken from your yard. Once the animal is trapped, you may want to ask for tips on how to prevent attracting another groundhog so you don't have to deal with the problem again.