What do groundhogs eat (Facts about the groundhog diet!)

Groundhogs are a common sight in many backyards across North America. These furry creatures may look cute and cuddly, but they can be a nuisance when they start digging up your garden!

Groundhogs are herbivores and eat grasses and vegetables and fruits most of the time. However, they may eat insects, nuts, and mushrooms from time to time.

Groundhogs are herbivores, which means that they only eat plants. In this article, we will discuss the general diet of groundhogs and some tips on how to prevent them from invading your backyard.

What do groundhogs eat in my backyard?

Groundhogs love to eat a variety of plants that are grown in most North American backyards, including grasses, clover, fruits, and vegetables.

They also enjoy eating insects, such as ants and beetles. Groundhogs are not very selective when it comes to their food choices, and will eat just about any plant in your garden and perhaps

If you have a backyard or live in an area with lots of trees, there is a good chance that groundhogs will start eating your plants. Groundhogs are especially attracted to gardens that have a lot of vegetables or fruit trees.

If you notice groundhogs in your yard, try to remove any food sources that may be attracting them. You can also try to install a fence around your garden to keep the groundhogs out.

What kind of fruits do groundhogs eat?

Groundhogs love the sweetness and high energy content of fruits. I have written a dedicated article to cover the whole topic of fruits eaten by groundhogs here.

To summarise, here is a list of the 10 fruits that groundhogs enjoy the most:

  •  Apples
  •  Blueberries
  •  Cherries
  •  Grapes
  •  Melons
  •  Pears
  •  Peaches (they love them!)
  • Oranges
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
Check out my post on the types of fruits eaten by groundhogs!

What kind of vegetables do groundhogs eat?

Here is a list of the vegetables that groundhogs enjoy the most:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Zuccinni
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Red peppers (not hot ones!)
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes

As you can see they really love the hearty leafy kale and cabbage vegetables that are full of vitamins and nutrients to help them survive through the long winter.

The destruction of some of these vegetables by groundhogs is so prominent a problem for many yard owners, that I have dedicated separate articles to those:

Read all about groundhogs’ tomato eating habits here! And how to keep them away!

Click to read more about groundhogs and tomatoes here.

And about their zucchini and squash appetite here! And how to keep them away!

What do groundhogs eat in the grass?

You will often see groundhogs roaming around in tall grass, this is partly to hide from humans and predators, but also because they love to eat grass and the many flowers and insects that may be present there.

Groundhogs love to hide in tall grass.

Groundhogs also enjoy eating the shorter grass in your yard. If you have a lot of tall grass or plants in your yard, groundhogs may start to nibble on them. You can try to remove any tall grass or plants from your yard to discourage groundhogs from coming to your yard.

Groundhogs also like to dig their tunnel openings in tall grasses and in gardens. This helps them hide and reach their food easily without exiting their tunnels for too long!

If you have problems with groundhogs, removing tall grass is a good way to discourage them from entering your yard. Read more about how to keep groundhogs and gophers away here!

What do groundhogs eat in the spring?

In early spring, when just awaken from hibernation, there are not many plants for groundhogs to eat. Therefore they primarily eat tubers, insects, and bark.

In the later spring, groundhogs eat a variety of plants, including flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Some of their favorite springtime snacks include dandelions, clover, grasses, and various tree buds. Groundhogs are also known to eat mushrooms in the springtime.

What do groundhogs eat in the summer?

In the summer, groundhogs will eat fruits and vegetables. Some of their favorite summer snacks include blueberries, pears, applesauce, corn, and green beans. Groundhogs are also known to eat insects in the summertime.

What do groundhogs eat in the fall?

In the fall, groundhogs will eat a variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Some of their favorite fall snacks include acorns, walnuts, and beechnuts. Groundhogs are also known to eat mushrooms in the fall time.

What do groundhogs eat before hibernation?

Hibernation is a state of inactivity and reduced metabolic rate, which allows an animal to live off its stored energy. Groundhogs will begin to fatten themselves up for hibernation by eating a variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

They will consume mostly fruits and vegetables, but they will try to eat some more nuts and insects than they would usually do as these are higher in fats and protein.

What do groundhogs eat in the winter?

In winter, groundhogs are hibernating so they will generally not eat. They will normally wake up in March, however, if they wake in early February (this is called “false hibernation”) and they will eat whatever food they can find, which is sparse in that time of year. They may eat insects, nuts, roots, and small animals as well if they can find them.

If you are interested, I have written a whole article on the diet of groundhogs throughout the year!

How can I attract groundhogs to my yard?

There are a number of ways that you can attract groundhogs to your yard. One way is to provide them with a food source, such as a garden or a pile of leaves. You can also try to install a shelter for them, such as a den or a tree stump. Groundhogs will also visit yards that have a lot of tall grass or plants, so you can try to remove any vegetation from your yard. If you live in an area with cold winters, groundhogs may also be attracted to your yard if you have a heated shelter.

Should I feed a wild groundhog?

It is not recommended to feed a wild groundhogs, as this can make them become dependent on humans for food. If you start feeding a

Do groundhogs eat any human foods?

Yes, they will eat human leftovers if fallen out of the garbage bin or are left outside the house for some other reason.

Do groundhogs eat human food
Click to read more about the human foods eaten by groundhogs!

Groundhogs may eat peanut butter, bread, snacks like chips and nuts, or even candies. However, these foods are not good for them and they know that.

But they will much rather raid your garden and eat the vegetables you have planted.

What will groundhogs not eat?

Groundhogs will usually not eat meat or any other type of larger animal. This means that you do not have to worry about groundhogs eating your pets or chickens.

Otherwise, groundhogs are not very selective when it comes to their food choices, and will eat just about anything they can find. This means that they will not hesitate to eat flowers, fruits, vegetables, or grass in your yard. Groundhogs are even known to eat the bark and roots of trees.

What flowers will groundhogs not eat?

Although groundhogs eat most garden flowers, there are some flower species that you can safely plant in your groundhog-infested yard!

Some strongly scented flowers or poisonous plants are usually not eaten by groundhogs, for example:

  • Daffodils
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Lily-of-the-Valley
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Irises
  • Lilies
  • Tulips
  • Foxglove
  • Larkspur
  • Dutchman’s Breeches
  • Sage
  • Veronica
  • Rose Campion

If you are more interested in the types of flowers that groundhogs DO eat, then take a look at my article on groundhogs flower appetite here:

Check out my post on how to prevent groundhogs from eating flowers!

What vegetables will groundhogs not eat?

Unfortunately, all vegetables that humans eat will be attractive to groundhogs. They may, however, prefer some over others. Some of the vegetables that groundhogs are less interested in are:

  • Chili peppers (Too hot for them!)
  • Ordinary green peppers
  • Ginger
  • Potatoes (especially the plant)
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Garlic (the actual cloves)

Groundhogs don’t like the strong taste of these vegetables, and they prefer more watery and nutrient-filled ones like fruits, cabbage, and kale.

Read more about how to keep groundhogs and gophers away from your vegetable garden here!

How do you prevent a groundhog from invading your backyard?

If you have a backyard with a vegetable garden or live in an area with lots of trees, there is a good chance that groundhogs will start eating your plants. Groundhogs are especially attracted to gardens that have a lot of vegetables or fruit trees.

If you notice groundhogs in your yard, try to remove any food sources that may be attracting them. You can also try to install a fence around your garden to keep the groundhogs out.

There are several things you can do to prevent a groundhog from invading your backyard. One of the easiest ways is to install a fence around your property.

Make sure the fence is at least six feet high, as groundhogs are good climbers. You can also use deterrents, such as predator urine or ammonia, to keep groundhogs away from your property.

Finally, be sure to remove any food sources that may attract groundhogs, such as pet food or bird feeders.

Read more about how to keep groundhogs and gophers away from your yard here!

Groundhogs are not always easy to get rid of – see why in this short video!

Will a groundhog attack me for food?

No, a groundhog is most likely not going to attack you, but they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. They are usually not aggressive, but you should still be careful when approaching one as they may bite or scratch you, which may transfer diseases such as rabies, salmonella, or plague bacteria.

Groundhogs are generally not aggressive and they do not eat meat! Read more in the article on this topic (click the picture!)

FAQs on the groundhog diet

If you are interested in other food items that groundhogs might eat in your yard, here is a list and explanation of some of the most important ones!

Do groundhogs eat grass?

Yes. Groundhogs enjoy eating the grass in your yard. They eat a variety of different grasses, so it is difficult to keep them from your yard altogether. However, some strongly scented flowers or poisonous plants are usually not eaten by groundhogs, so these can be interplanted to keep them somewhat at bay.

Do groundhogs eat cabbage?

Yes. Groundhogs will eat just about anything they can find, including cabbage.

Do groundhogs eat broccoli?

Yes. Groundhogs do eat broccoli, but they prefer other vegetables that are easier to digest. Broccoli is a part of the “Brassicaceae” family and even though it contains proteins, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. Too many fibers require a lot of energy for the groundhog to digest, whereas eating fruits or tubers is more energy-efficient so groundhogs usually prefer these.

Do groundhogs eat broccoli stems?

Yes. as for broccoli stems, groundhogs will eat them if they are available. however, the majority of their diet comes from other parts of the broccoli plant that are easier to digest.

Do groundhogs eat cucumbers?

Yes, groundhogs eat cucumbers. They will eat it during any time of year, but they tend to prefer them more in the summer due to the hotter temperatures. Groundhogs will eat cucumber plants, but they have no preference whether it be a plant in the ground or in a pot. They will eat the leaves and fruit of the plants.

Do groundhogs eat spinach?

Yes, groundhogs enjoy eating spinach. It is one of the vegetables that humans eat, so it is naturally appealing to these animals as well.

Do groundhogs eat carrots?

Groundhogs eat a variety of root vegetables, which they enjoy almost as much as fruits. Some of their favorite root vegetables are carrots, potatoes, and beets.

Do groundhogs eat potatoes?

Yes, groundhogs eat potatoes. They will dig up the potatoes in your garden and take them back to their burrow to eat. They do, however, not enjoy eating the potatoes plant as it is of the toxic nightshade family.

Do groundhogs eat sweet potatoes?

Yes! Groundhogs love sweet potatoes as they are more nutritious than ordinary potatoes.

Do groundhogs eat corn?

Whereas groundhogs can eat corn, they are not big fans of it, as they are hard to reach and the plant is for some reason not appealing to them.

Do groundhogs eat lettuce?

Yes, groundhogs will eat lettuce, but they prefer the dark, leafy greens that are higher in nutrients or fruits that have more sugar and thus energy for the groundhog to store when hibernating in winter.

Do groundhogs eat pumpkins?

Yes, it is likely that groundhogs will eat pumpkins, as they like to eat fruits or tubers and pumpkins are somewhat in between with their sweetness and hard texture.

Do groundhogs eat celery?

Yes, groundhogs will eat celery. It is one of the vegetables they like to consume, but it is not their favorite.

Do groundhogs eat pepper plants?

No, groundhogs do not generally eat pepper plants. They are not fans of spicy foods and even nonspicy peppers do not appeal to them, but they will eat them if nothing else is availible.

Do groundhogs eat asparagus?

No, groundhogs do not generally eat asparagus. It is a difficult vegetable to digest and they would rather consume other vegetables that are easier to digest and have more nutritional value.

Do groundhogs eat bird seeds?

Yes, groundhogs love to eat bird seeds. They will commonly raid the bird feeder in your backyard and steal all the food that is meant for the birds.

Do groundhogs eat cat food?

Sometimes yes, however, groundhogs do not generally eat cat food as it is heavy on meat. As they do not generally eat meat they are not attracted much to catfood, although they will taste it if the cat or its owner is not nearby!

Do groundhogs eat dog food?

Sometimes yes, however, groundhogs do not generally eat dog food as it is heavy on meat. As meat is not part of their natural diet and they would not know what to do with it if they did eat it.

Do groundhogs eat sunflower seeds?

Yes! Groundhogs love to eat sunflower seeds. They will commonly raid the bird feeder in your backyard and steal all the food, including sunflower seeds.

Do groundhogs eat nuts?

Yes, groundhogs love to eat nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, or hazelnuts. They will commonly find nuts under trees in the fall to prepare for their hibernation. However, they do also raid the bird feeder in your backyard and steal peanuts!

Do groundhogs eat roots?

Yes, groundhogs eat a variety of root vegetables, which they enjoy almost as much as fruits. Some of their favorite root vegetables are carrots, potatoes, and beets.

Just like gophers, they have strong teeth to chew through wooden items and roots!

They may also eat the roots of trees and bushes that they encounter when digging through your yard!

Do groundhogs eat through wood?

No, they are not beavers! Whereas they may chew and even ingest some wood, they do not digest it well. However, there is a reason they are also called woodchucks and they can be seen eating bark or young trees in early spring when the sap is running and insects are hiding underneath!