Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Utility to trap groundhogs near Wabash River levee
Vincennes utility to work to rid city's Wabash River levee of groundhogs by setting traps

Posted on Aug. 7, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 7, 2014 at 3:54 a.m.

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — Officials at southwestern Indiana utility not only don’t want the groundhog to see his shadow, they don’t want to see the groundhog at all.

The Vincennes Water Utilities plans to begin an effort Aug. 18 to rid the city’s levee of the furry rodent best known as a winter prognosticator because their burrows can damage the earthen structures.

Part of the recent Army Corps of Engineers’ evaluation of the Wabash River flood levee mandates that the city immediately put into place a groundhog eradication program, said levee Superintendent Hunter Pinnell told the Vincennes Sun-Commercial (http://bit.ly/1qX2OJL ).

The live traps are specifically designed for burrowing animals and will be placed directly over existing groundhog holes, so the only way into them is from below, Pinnell said.

“Cats, dogs or other animals will not be able to get into these,” he said. “We want people to know and understand that.”

The utility in Vincennes, about 50 miles north of Evansville, is paying a contractor $12,000 plus $50 for each groundhog caught and euthanized. The contractor has located about 100 groundhog holes in the levee and two nests that will need to be destroyed.

Dan Primus, the owner of contractor Commercial Residential Nuisance Animal Control, said groundhogs are drawn to levee systems because they prefer to live on high embankments that make them less vulnerable to predators. Their burrows can go more than 60 feet and allow water to seep into the levees.

“That’s why it’s imperative we take these groundhogs out of the system, to prevent any possibility of failure,” Primus said.

Information from: Vincennes Sun-Commercial, http://www.vincennes.com