Are Groundhogs Dangerous? (Answered)

“Aww he’s so cute” – looking at a squirrel or a groundhog and shouting this loud is easy. But petting them isn’t this easy. Are groundhogs dangerous to humans- not really! But do they bite- yes!

And with bites, come scratches! How can groundhogs hard you other than damaging the yard veggies and destroying the underground of your house?

Are Groundhogs Aggressive?

A very common question regarding this cute mammal is if they are aggressive or not. But how can these cuties attack humans? It is rare to see groundhogs attacking a human. If you follow them, they will usually hide inside the holes.

When they think that they are in danger, they might hide in the woods too. There are researches on groundhogs showing that if they feel danger, they will climb a tree. That’s very normal for the squirrels but in the case of the groundhogs, it only happens when they have no other options left. You can’t deny that they both are from the same rodent family, so they will surely have habits in common!

In some situations, it is also seen that groundhogs are swimming. Isn’t it very new to you? Seeing a groundhog swimming might amaze some people but let us clear you, woodchucks can swim. If they are attacked or they feel attacked and they are not close to their burrows, they can decide on swimming.

When they find water, they will probably swim to a safer place to get rid of the attacker. You can already see how scared little animals they are. So, there’s almost no chance for them to attack humans. But yes, in some cases, you will also find these cute babies attack you. When? Read our whole research and you will know!

Do Groundhogs Attack Humans

Woodchucks don’t live in the woods. They live underground. Do woodchucks actually chuck wood– check out the answer to learn more about why they are named woodchucks! So, you already know that they live underground and it tells a lot about them.

In short, they fear humans and this is why they have chosen this underground life for you. The safest place for the groundhogs is underneath humans. In this way, humans don’t get the chance of attacking them or their burrows. For their safety, they create holes that can be longer than you can imagine.

They also have rooms inside their burrows. In easier words, they are afraid of us! But do groundhogs bite? Yes, at times, you will see them biting. However, this situation is very rare but happens. If groundhogs feel that their babies are in danger, this might happen.

Just think about a mother and compare the situations. They might be animals, but they are mothers. And when you attack their babies, they go to any extent to save their lives. This is when the mother woodchucks will bite you.

If they feel you are attacking them for their babies or their babies are threatened, they will attack you. So, it’s always a good idea to get rid of them. Learn about killing groundhogs with bubble gum; it’s easy!

Do Groundhogs Attack Humans

Groundhog Attack and the Injuries

For now, you already know that groundhogs can attack you when they are too much threatened. But what about the injuries! Are groundhogs dangerous to humans when it comes to injuries?

To be very frank, the cases where groundhogs have attacked humans do not bear proof of too serious injuries. They are easily curable and it doesn’t take time to cure. But if you think that the injuries cannot be fatal, you are probably wrong. In some cases, they can be fatal for your health.

Rabies Virus

At times, when a human gets injured by a groundhog, the injuries might carry rabies. Rabies is a kind of virus. If the groundhog that bites you carries the rabies virus, you should seek medical help as soon as you can. In 2017, 242 animals were found with rabies virus. For this, you can simply go for the rabies vaccine.  

Lyme and Powassan

Another disease that can pass from groundhogs to humans is Lyme. Woodchucks are popular for carrying fleas and ticks. And with these, come diseases like Lyme and Powassan. So, if they bite you, we recommend you to settle for a doctor immediately.


A very common disease that woodchucks carry is Tularemia. They get infected by this disease via insects. If the groundhog that has bitten you is infected with tularemia, you can get infected by the same disease too.

At the site, a skin ulcer will be created. And soon, bacteria will enter your body. With this, there will be swollen lymph glands. You will catch a cough after this. Also, this can lead to regular chest pain to severe breathing difficulty.

The Confusion  

Just like the other situations, this one has exceptions too. Some researches will tell you that groundhogs are aggressive animals. But that’s a wrong explanation. In short, herbivore is aggressive. And among some marmot species, these can be very dangerous.

However, groundhogs are docile creatures. Apart from biting, they might scratch humans. If you call scratches attack, then well, they are aggressive. That’s what safeguards them when they are in danger.

Though they are not much danger to you, they are bad for the yard! And what’s good for the greens? Ammonia! But will ammonia deter groundhogs? Check it out to learn about it!

Can a Human pet a Groundhog?

We know groundhogs look cute but they are not good pets. They have to habit of digging and chewing. And this doesn’t only happen for the ground. They will dig and chew almost anything that’s on their path.

Yes, they typically don’t transmit any sort of disease but in rare cases, you can also get infected by them. They cannot forget their native instincts so fast. As a result, you will see some aggressiveness in their behavior. They might scratch and bite you.

So, it’s better to let them be in the place where they are meant to be! Let’s admire their existence and save ourselves from unnecessary bites and scratches!

Wrap Up

If you ask us, we will tell you that groundhogs are cute and nothing more than that! They might not be friendly but they are not aggressive too. If you want to pet them, we might not suggest you to.

Though they are not much harmful when they bite or scratch, they can simply destroy the whole yard by eating your veggies! It’s better to keep them away, isn’t it?

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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