Whether you love them or hate them, the groundhog population is on the rise in Rochester. For some homeowners the animals can be a costly nuisance.
They furry rodent is also known as a woodchuck. Some don't mind seeing them.
"We think they're cute," Homeowner Mary Brandt said. "We like seeing them. They walk kind of funny and they're shy."
Homeowner Wayne Willis says 20 years ago there were no groundhogs.
"They became more and more numerous and seems somewhere down the line they could have controlled that so it didn't become such a problem in the surrounding areas," Willis said.
A problem, because groundhog homes called burrows can cause people to trip and twist an ankle.
The animals can also destroy the foundations of porches and small buildings.
"The foundation of your house whether it be stone or whatever that's not going to be much of an issue, but if you have wooden posts that can shift," Walt Nelson with the Cornell Cooperative Extension said.
Nelson said lots of food and a mild winter is why there are more baby groundhogs.
The thing about groundhogs is they live in families. So if you see a burrow you probably don't just have one. You could have two or three.
Animal control will come and get them if you trap them or they get into your house, but they release them nearby.
The city says it's up to homeowners to take care of the problem by hiring a pest control company or put in fences or nets to keep them out.
"You're afraid that they're going to start making holes in your yard and then start living there," Willis said.
Experts say we see this kind of groundhog problem every few years. So you can take steps to protect your property or wait, until it goes away naturally.
Tips from the City of Rochester to Fix or Prevent Groundhog problem.
Remove plants and other cover around burrows
Fill in the burrows
Use loosely packed hay to see if a burrow is active or vacant.
Use heavy gauge wielded wire buried 1ft deep to permanently close burrows and install one-way door.
Put in a fence 7 to 8 inches deep
Call a pest control company or exterminator
Set an animal trap and call a professional to move them