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Groundhog vs. Woodchuck: Is There a Difference?

Groundhog vs. Woodchuck: Is There a Difference?

Groundhog vs. Woodchuck: Is There a Difference?

They’re found across the eastern United States, Alaska, and Canada. But groundhogs only seem to become relevant on that well-known day in February.

Maybe not all groundhogs but one in particular – Punxsutawney Phil. He’s the chosen one that predicts how much longer winter will last on Groundhog Day. 

It’s a tradition that may confuse some as other creatures also look like Phil. But in some states, they’re referred to as woodchucks.

But are their looks where the similarities end? Is there a difference between a woodchuck and a groundhog? Read on to find out, “Groundhog vs. Woodchuck: Is There a Difference?”

What is a Groundhog?

A groundhog is a member of the rodent family. It’s one of the 14 species of marmots. They’re usually considered giant North American squirrels.

What is a Woodchuck?

Why are groundhogs called woodchucks? Because they’re the same animal. When searching for a description of a woodchuck, you’ll find that it’s similar to that of a groundhog.

The name woodchuck is a variation of the Native American word wuchakThey’re also known as whistling pigs and land beavers.

Is There a Difference Between a Woodchuck and a Groundhog?

Now you know the answer. There’s no difference between a woodchuck and a groundhog. The only difference is their name.

If you’ve also wondered what’s bigger, a groundhog or woodchuck? the question is now a moot point. But they are quite distinctive animals. Wondering how to identify a woodchuck or how to identify a groundhog?

One tell-tale feature is their prevalent incisor teeth. It’s what they use to gnaw on different types of vegetation. Unfortunately, these are often the plants found in your garden.

If they happen to come out of hibernation before the plants grow, they’ll settle for tree barks. Their alternate name is contrary to the well-known riddle. Woodchucks don’t chuck or eat wood.

This is unlike their relative, the squirrel. The only similarity between the two is their color. They’re usually brownish-gray.

But much larger, with bodies as long as 16 to 20 inches. This gives them a stockier, wider build than squirrels. They also have short dark tails between four to seven inches long.

An Important Thing to Know About Groundhogs

There is one other characteristic groundhogs have that is similar to squirrels. They can destroy your home. While squirrels can chew through siding and underneath eaves, groundhogs burrow.

This might be harmless in an open field. But their network of tunnels can cause significant damage when under your home.

They’re sometimes as deep as five feet and can be 45 feet long. This can interfere with your foundation’s water balance, as water starts to flow under it.

Is there increased humidity or moisture in your basement? You might have a groundhog problem.

But there’s no need to worry. There are pest control companies that specialize in removing these types of rodents.

Ending the Groundhog vs. Woodchuck Debate

Is there a difference between a woodchuck and a groundhog has been an age-old question. They’re often thought to be different animals due to their names.

Why are groundhogs called woodchucks? Because it was the name given to them by the Native Indians. This title is perpetuated in some areas. While in others, they were more familiarly known as groundhogs.

It doesn’t matter what you call them, as long as you know they’re not wreaking havoc under your home. But if they are, you’ll need to know who you can call.

Garfield Pest Control can help. We provide rodent control services that can rid your home of groundhogs. If you have a rodent problem, contact us to get help today!