The Yellow-Bellied Marmot


The yellow-bellied marmot, they are those cute creatures you see around the golf courses and in grassy meadow like fields here in our region and most people feel that they are, in fact pretty-darn cute and fascinating to watch. Unfortunately, that opinion changes abruptly when suddenly these marmots have moved into an individual’s personal property and have begun damaging the expensive landscape.

Marmots can live up to 15 years. They reside in colonies of about twenty individuals. Marmots have a harem-polygynous mating system in which the male reproduces with 2-3 females at the same time. Litters average 3-5 offspring. Marmots are herbivores and will eat and store very large amounts of grass for 8 months of hibernation, so they need meadows or a nice grassy landscape. They will feed on the leaves and blossoms of a variety of herbaceous plants and grasses. They will also eat grains, legumes, fruit and occasionally insects.

Yellow-bellied marmots are a large burrowing rodent. They can burrow as deep as 25-30 ft for hibernation, but their regular burrows are only 3 feet deep. They burrow under boulders or rock walls where predators can’t dig them out. They weigh from 3.5 – 11.5 Lbs.  depending on if it is a female or male and if its spring or autumn, obviously the heavier weight is in the autumn. They hibernate from September to May, although length of hibernation varies with the elevation.

Controlling the overpopulation is controversial as marmots cannot be captured and relocated. If you are going to remove the marmots from your property yourself, please remember that rodents do carry disease and relocating them can introduce disease where there wasn’t disease before. You will need to euthanize.

If you have a marmot overpopulation and need trapping done, please call us here at Truckee Meadows Pest Control (775) 535-5788 we are here to help.

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