Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, emerge in the spring. They are relatively harmless but are considered a nuisance. Groundhogs are vegetarians, and they will gladly eat the vegetables in your garden. Moreover, they are prolific diggers, and their burrows result in overturned dirt in your lawn. Similar to skunks, you may find that groundhogs have taken up residence under your porch. You will want to remove these pests before they ruin your lawn and garden.
Set a trap facing the deck. Trapping is the ideal method to use under a deck. This is because the other popular method, fumigation, can be dangerous near buildings. The trap should be 12 inches by 12 inches 36 inches and include a trigger mechanism so that the trap will close automatically.
Set a trail of bait (12 inches apart) leading up to the the trap. The best baits include apple slices, carrots, lettuce and fresh peas.
Be patient. Groundhogs are more cautious than many other pests. It may take two or three days for a groundhog to get comfortable enough to enter a trap.
Release the groundhogs. Once you have trapped the groundhogs, place a sheet over the trap and take the trap to a wooded area far from your home to release the groundhogs.
Sprinkle a groundhog repellent, such as Shake Away or Critter Ridder, under the deck (see Resources). Note that the effectiveness of these products is unproven.
Construct a chicken wire or wire mesh fence to prevent groundhogs from getting under your deck again. The fence should extend at least 12 inches under the ground and 2 inches above the ground.