Groundhogs invade central Toledo neighborhood

Neighbors can’t keep up with breeding, burrowing nuisance animals
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:33 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - You expect to see critters like this out in the country, but these groundhogs are holed up in central Toledo.

“Any little hole. Like, see up under that stair? They’ll crawl up under there, and have more babies and migrate,” said Stacee Smith, who’s lived in the neighborhood near Smith Park her entire life. Smith says she’s never seen so many groundhogs here.

“Oh my gosh, never. Like, this is the worst. And then they’re populating. So, there’s, you know, you’ve got one, now you’ve got 8, and they’ve got the big, the little, the little, you know what I’m talking about? Ooo. It’s disgusting,” added Smith.

They’re also clearly destructive, burrowing deep holes in yards next to foundations.

“Yeah, we’re getting our work done on our houses and they come around here digging up holes. Big holes with the groundhogs. You know what I mean? Like, ew. What are we going to do? How are we going to fix it?” asked Smith.

Gwendolyn Wilson lives on the 1000 block of Fernwood. She pointed out holes on her property, in her neighbor’s backyard, and in the vacant lot next door.

“But the groundhog problem is just insane,” said Wilson. “They’re an infestation.”

13 Action News contacted the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. They don’t deal with groundhogs. Neither does Nature’s Nursery. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the only way to get rid of the nuisance animals is to trap and relocate them, or trap and have them humanely killed, which Wilson hired someone to do.

“It cost like $150 just to set his trap up and then for every one he caught, it was $60,” said Wilson.

According to the city code, shooting the animals within the Toledo city limits is prohibited and could land you a criminal charge and a fine. Neighbors want the city to step in and take action before the groundhogs take over.

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