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The History and Science of Groundhog Day

In the post-Christmas days of winter, it’s important to have things to look forward to. The first day of spring, the last day of school, and in the shorter view, Groundhog Day. Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, he’s a symbol to all that brighter days are ahead – and for homeowners, a reminder that professional rodent control from Tabor Services is important year-round.

The History of Groundhog Day

It’s commonly believed that the first reported news of a Groundhog Day observance came from the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in 1886. The following year, Groundhog Day was officially commemorated for the first time, and people began making the annual trip to the Phil the Groundhog's residence at nearby Gobbler's Knob for a professional consultation. Crowds as large as 40,000 gather each year, which is nearly eight times the year-round population of Punxsutawney. Rumor has it that Phil is a supercentenarian, and thus the same beast who made the first prediction way back in 1887.

The "Science" of Groundhog Day

Does the need for home rat control correlate in any way with the predictive abilities of Punxsutawney Phil? Nope. And the same is true if you’re planning a big Spring wedding around Phil’s prediction. Most assessments of Phil's accuracy are between 36% - 39%, which is a lower success rate than would be expected with random chance. In his defense, establishing an accuracy rate is difficult due to the fact that what constitutes an “early spring” has never been clearly defined for Phil. This is strange, considering that other foresighted groundhogs such as Staten Island Chuck do use an objective formula. In Chuck’s case, an early spring is defined by a majority of days that reach 40 degrees in New York City between Groundhog Day and the March equinox.

Benefits of Groundhog (Rodent) Control

Get Professional Pest Control Today

Tabor Services offers effective, affordable year-round rodent and mice control solutions to homeowners in Benton, Marion, and Mount Vernon. Save time and money and protect yourself from pest-related health issues by contacting our professional team today.