Marmot Trapping 101: Effective Tips and Techniques

Marmots, also known as groundhogs, are fascinating creatures that can be found in many parts of the world. Cute as they may be, these creatures can cause damage to gardens and crops. 

They can also carry diseases that can be harmful to humans and other animals. So, it’s best to restrict them before the infestation begins. 

But how to trap a Marmot? Well, there are several ways you can go about it. You can use man-made baits or natural chemicals to trap them. 

Here, we’ll cover everything from choosing the right trap to set up. And every other information you would need to successfully pin down these animals and protect your property. So keep reading till the end. 

Why Trap Marmots?

Many people are against wildlife removal for the decrease in the population of marmots. However, sometimes trapping them is the only solution. The reasons are; 

Why Trap Marmots

Damage to the Assets

Marmots are known to dig extensive burrows, which can cause damage to gardens, crops, and other property. These burrows can also create hazards for people and livestock, as they can collapse and cause injuries.

Health Risks 

These animals carry old and newly discovered diseases that can harm humans and other animals. For example, they can transmit Yersinia pestis, tularemia, and even germs of plague. 


In some cases, pest management is quite necessary to manage their population. These rodents have a prolific breeding habit. Their populations can quickly become too large for their habitats to support. In such cases, trapping and removing marmots can help to prevent overpopulation. 


Personal safety is another important issue to think about. Marmots are known to be territorial and can become hostile if they feel intimidated. This can pose a danger to humans, especially children and pets. So you need to use humane traps to get rid of them. 

Ecological Imbalance

Groundhogs can disrupt natural ecosystems. Often they compete with other species for resources. Trapping marmots can help restore ecosystem balance and protect other native species.

As important as it is to trap rodents, you need to remember that there are different rules regarding causing harm to them in different states. In general, these animals are classified as a type of wildlife. So, trapping them may require a permit or license from the state wildlife agency. 

However, you need to keep in mind that some states may prohibit catching these animals altogether. Others may have specific trapping regulations regarding the type of tool that can be used, the location of traps, and the treatment of such imprisoned animals.

Understanding Marmot Behaviour Before Trapping

Behavioral pattern closely relates to how a particular animal functions throughout the day. If you want to know the effective ways to catch a marmot, you first have to observe its behavior. 

Understanding Marmot Behaviour Before Trapping

It’s important to understand marmot behavior before trapping to increase the likelihood of a successful and humane capture. Marmots are social and hard working animals. Where there are enough options for a green food source, you will find a marmot.  They will run around the fields all day in search of food. They will store it inside the tunnels. 

So, veggies and fruits lure them. If you put food as bait, they will smell it and come towards it and easily step into your trap. Usually, they don’t suspect any capturing mechanism near them. So they get stressed out in traps. So, make sure to set them free in the wild once you capture them. 

Seasonal Behavious Changes 

Marmot showcases different behavior patterns in different seasons. Knocking them helps your hunting all the more effective and worthwhile. 

  • They typically dwell on grasslands, meadows, and mountainsides. But in search of food, they wander around. 
  • They are active during the day and spend much of their time sunbathing and foraging for food.
  • During the winter, they are an exclusion as these groundhogs hibernate in their burrows to conserve energy and survive the harsh winter conditions. 
  • They emerge from hibernation in early spring and spend much of the summer and fall foraging for food and preparing for the next winter.

These animals are herbivores. That is to say, they primarily feed on grasses, herbs, and other vegetation. They often store food in their burrows to eat later in the season when food is scarce.

Marmot Seasonal Behavious Changes

If you have a backyard garden, they are your biggest enemy. You can call the pest prevention team to identify their home and get rid of it. 

You can also easily identify the home of these ground animals. Marmots are active diggers. Which means they dig out the soil to make their tunnels. They eat, sleep, communicate, and travel through these tunnels. 

The entrance hole is about 10 to 15 inches wide. If you notice a pile of dirt near it, it is definitely the job of a marmot. Apart from that you can identify marmots burrows from their strong urine smell. 

Marmots have a strong sense of smell. They often mark their burrows with urine and feces. So look for areas with a strong odor of marmot urine. These will lead you to the burrow. 

Identification Of Marmot Entry And Exit Points

Marmot species typically have one main entry and exit point to their burrow system, although you may also find multiple secondary entrances. The main entry and exit point is usually located near the center of the colony. If you see a mound of dirt or rock, that’s where you need to hit hard. 

These rodents will try to defend their burrows. They can become hostile and scratch you if they feel pressured or threatened. So, you better take proper measures if you are thinking about wildlife control

Identification Of Marmot Entry And Exit Points

Marmots often create trails leading to and from their burrow exit points. Once you find the entry or tunnel trail follow it till its exit point.  You should also keep an ear for the chirping or whistling sound.

These animals often makes this sound to communicate. They make the sound by poking their head either from the entry or exit point of the tunnel. 

If you can identify where this sound is coming from, you can find the tunnels. 

Choosing the Right Trap

Trapping small animals is more challenging than commercials put it out to be. We always ask you to consult with your nearest pest control companies before taking any risk. Nevertheless, there are different trap types you can install for successful capturing: 

Choosing the Right Trap for Marmot

Live Traps

Live traps are designed to capture marmots without harming them, allowing for their safe release back into the wild. These typically use bait, such as fresh vegetables or fruit, to attract the animals. The food lures the animal and safely captures it in a cage. 

The downside of these DIY marmot traps is that other animals often get inside the cage, like cats or goats. 

Live Traps

How to properly set up?

  1. All you have to do is put the trap in a nice secure ground
  2. Put the bait inside, and hope a marmot takes the bait

Body-Gripping Traps

Body-gripping traps, also known as conibear traps, are designed to quickly kill marmots when they trigger it and are highly effective. 

However, you will be responsible for any that fall on their death pit. 

Body-Gripping Traps

How to properly set up?

All you have to do is fasten the tool with a stake, put the bait inside it, and wait it out. 

Snare Traps

Snare traps are designed to capture by their necks or feet. These tools can be highly effective when set correctly but can also cause injury or death if not used properly.

How to properly set up?

Put the tool where a marmot is likely to pass by with the bait inside it and wait for the animal to emerge. 

Box Traps

Box traps are designed to capture marmots inside a closed box. These types of home remedies are highly effective and can be used to capture multiple at once. But if you keep them in the box for a long time, they will chew on the box and plan their escape. 

How to properly set up?

  1. Place the box trap near the marmot’s nest 
  2. Fasten it with a rope, stick it on one side
  3. Leave the other end open for them to enter 
  4. Put the bait in the middle and wait for it to lure the animal

Baiting and Luring Marmots

Before you go into capturing them, you need to have a clear idea about the mechanism. So, here are some marmot trapping tips for beginners

Baiting and Luring Marmots

Choosing Enticing Bait

Marmots are attracted to fresh fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, and apples. Make sure the bait is fresh and not spoiled, as they are less likely to be attracted to old or rotting food.

Position the Bait Strategically

Position the bait near the trap or in the path of the marmot’s burrow. This can increase the chances of them encountering it and interacting with the bait.

In your home, you can sometimes find these backyard pests in the shed, in your yard or in the garden, and near the patio. Set it there for maximum output. 

Placing the Right Amount

While baiting the animal, you need to be aware of the amount. Avoid using too much bait. This can make it easier for marmots to steal the bait without getting trapped. Animals aren’t smart like humans. But they do become habituated to any kind of situation.

A small amount of bait, strategically placed, can be more effective than a large pile of bait.

Monitor the Traps

Check the traps every now and then to ensure that any captured marmots are not left in them for hours. This can cause stress and harm to the animal. 

Once you successfully cage one, use gloves to carefully and gently release it in the wild. Killing wildlife animals only puts a strain on the environment. So be gentle. 

Be Mindful of Non-target Species

Bait can also attract other wildlife, so it’s important repelling other animals. So position traps in areas where they are more likely to encounter them. If you aren’t confident enough that you can handle it, it is better to call professional marmot control for the task. 

Effective Trapping Techniques

What kind of trap you choose entirely depends on your preference and local regulations. You can find out the rules on your town’s website or you can get more info from any pest control institution near you

Marmot Effective Trapping Techniques

Now with that said, here is the step-by-step guide on how to trap a marmot in your garden

Step 1: Location

Look for signs of marmot activity, such as burrowing holes or chewing vegetation, to find a good location to set up the trap. Make sure to set the tools on level ground to ensure it functions properly.

Step 2: Setting up the trap

Setting up the trap almost always involves putting the cage on level ground and the bait inside. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly set them up. 

Here is a video for you to get a clear idea: 

Step 3: Bait the trap

Choose fresh, appealing bait and place it inside the trap like, apples, grass, and green vegetables. You may also place bait outside them to encourage the marmot to enter.

However, you need to put these baits inside for maximum success rate.

Step 4: Monitor the trap

Check the trap regularly, at least once a day, to ensure that any captured marmots are not left in them for too long. You may also need to reset them if it has been triggered but did not capture one.

Install cameras around your garden so that you can monitor what’s happening around your house 24/7. 

Step 5: Release or dispose of the marmot

If you are live trapping, case, or box trapping, carefully release the marmot into a suitable location away from residential areas. If you are using a lethal one, follow local regulations for disposing of them.

Step 6: Clean and store the trap

Finally, after using the trap, clean it thoroughly to remove any bait residue or marmot scent. Store these tools in a safe place where there is no chance of damage or posing a risk to people or other animals.

If you’re interested in learning more about marmots and their behavior, Rodents Fact has got you covered. Our articles on why marmots scream and do marmots bite are informative and engaging reads. In our article on why marmots scream, we delve into the reasons behind their loud vocalizations and the various contexts in which they occur. Meanwhile, our article on do marmots bite provides insights into the biting behavior of these rodents and how to prevent marmot bites. So, whether you’re interested in the scientific study of marmot behavior or are looking for ways to prevent marmot bites, be sure to check out our articles on why marmots scream and do marmots bite.


I am sure you still have some unanswered questions roaming around your mind. You will get all of them here: 

Q: What should I do if I accidentally trap a non-target animal?

There’s a chance that you might catch an animal that is not a marmot. Animals often smell fruits and vegetables and fall for the trap. In those cases, approach them carefully and let the animal go. If it’s a wild animal, call the wildlife control department. 

Q: How long should I leave the trap out before checking it?

You should check the trap regularly. We would suggest you check it every few hours. But that is not possible. Roam by it at least every day. 

Q: What should I do with a trapped marmot?

Marmots are innocent animals. They were just looking out for themselves when they stumbled upon your trap. The best-case scenario would be to let go of them in the wild. You can take them up in a forest or mountain. 

If none of it is possible, you will just have to call the animal rescue team. They will safely deliver them into the wild. 


So how to trap a marmot? Just study their behavior, get the trap you found best, and set it up. However, always remember that these animals are just creatures of nature. So, you have to be as careful as you can be with them.

Remember it is important to practice a more humane form of trapping. Otherwise, it causes a negative impact on the animal. By practicing responsible and humane trapping, we can help protect wildlife populations and their habitats. It also ensures you show proper respect for the value of animal life and promote sustainable environmental practices

So, don’t use any lethal tool that can kill them. Monitor your trap regularly to make sure other animals don’t get caught unintentionally.

To know more about sustainable humane trapping practices and marmot trapping practices in general you should do further research on the topic. You can go to the pest control company near you, browse through the web, and read books to enhance your knowledge. 

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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