How to Get Rid of Chipmunks

If you have ever been bothered by a colony of chipmunks in your home or cabin, you are already aware of their potential for damage and the annoyance factor. The biggest issue with chipmunks is their gnawing on caulking and wooden elements. They will even gnaw through cinderblock foundation walls to gain access inside.

No matter how you feel about them, it is hard to ignore the signs that chipmunks are around. Their tracks show up all over your property, and you find remnants of their previous meals. These signs are not only annoying but can also be troubling; some homeowners who encounter a chipmunk infestation opt for trapping the creatures and relocating them elsewhere rather than killing them.

Regardless of your feelings on these animals, it is clear that they are here, and homeowners have many questions about how to get rid of these creatures, which will be discussed in detail below.

What are chipmunks?

Chipmunks are small rodents that are members of the squirrel family. The chipmunk has a slender, long body and a tail almost as long as its body. This mammal has a light brown or gray coat; black stripes run down the length of its back and dark brown stripes on its face.

Their facial stripes can easily identify them, along with the stripe that runs across their back from head to tail. They have this stripe because they are part of the squirrel family. Chipmunks live in colonies and dig burrows in the ground, where they store food and raise their young.

These creatures pose a very pervasive problem, as it appears that they travel long distances – especially female chipmunks – to find ideal habitat sites. Since they will eat just about anything, your effort to control them will most likely require multiple stages of control methods and products.

What damage do chipmunks cause?

Chipmunks can cause a lot of damage to your property. Their primary targets are wood and insulation, but they will also eat plants and flowers. In addition, chipmunks can contaminate food with their urine and droppings, leading to illness if ingested.

Identifying chipmunk infestations

The first step in getting rid of chipmunks is identifying if you actually have an infestation. You can do this by looking for their droppings, tracks, and damage around your property.

  • Droppings: Chipmunk droppings are easy to identify because they are long and slender with a pointed end. They also contain seeds, which is a good indicator that you have chipmunks.
  •  Tracks: Chipmunk tracks look like miniature squirrel tracks and are about ¾-inch wide and three inches long.
  •  Damage: You can find damage caused by chipmunks by looking for holes in your insulation, damaged wood, or chewed wiring.

 

Getting rid of chipmunks

 

Block off access to your home.

Block off access points to your home by closing any possible entrances the chipmunks could use. Chipmunks are small animals. They can fit through small openings. Chipmunks can climb, so if you have trees or vines that could potentially lead up to your roof, it would be wise to remove them entirely or remove the leaves or branches that could allow a chipmunk to climb up your house. You can also block off access by using metal wire mesh or a solid barrier like cement.

Suppose there are any areas near your house where the chipmunks can get in, make sure to fill them in with dirt or concrete. If you have a garden, ensure you keep the vegetables and fruit covered. Chipmunks love to eat plants.

Remove food and water sources

Chipmunks need food and water to survive, so remove any sources of either that you may have in your yard. This includes bird feeders, pet food bowls, and even spilled drinks.

Use traps or repellents.

You can use traps to catch the chipmunks or repellents to scare them away. You can make these traps yourself or buy them from commercial stores around you.

You should be able to find a repellent that will repel chipmunks without having negative side effects on other animals or people, but test the repellent before you use it around pets or children, just in case.

If you really want a non-harmful way to get rid of those pesky creatures, try using deterrents like mothballs, dried blood meal, or urine from a predator like foxes or coyotes, since chipmunks tend to be afraid of these things. You can also use smells that they don’t like, such as citrus, ammonia, or peppermint.

You can also make a spray out of these smells as well as water and put it around your yard or inside your house where they gather.

Types of repellent to chase chipmunks away.

  • Electronic repellent: These devices emit an ultrasonic sound that is inaudible to humans but makes chipmunks uncomfortable. The downside to these repellents is that they may not be effective in all situations and can also bother nearby humans or pets.
  •  Chemical Repellent: There are a variety of chemical repellents on the market, most of which use a foul odor to deter chipmunks. These products must be applied carefully so as not to harm other wildlife or pets.
  •  Natural Repellents: Some people have successfully used natural deterrents such as cayenne pepper, ammonia, or garlic oil. These methods should be used with caution, as some ingredients (like cayenne pepper) can be harmful if ingested.

 

Fencing

One of the most permanent solutions to getting rid of chipmunks is fencing off the area they inhabit. This can be an expensive option, but it will keep the critters away for good. This could include placing wire mesh screens over openings in your foundation, putting up fences, or using motion-activated sprinklers.

Hire a professional

If you’re not comfortable using any of the methods listed above, or if the chipmunks are proving to be too stubborn, it might be time to call in a professional. Wildlife control experts have the tools and knowledge necessary to remove chipmunks from your property humanely.

Tips to prevent chipmunks from entering your yard

  • Block all possible entrances to your home and yard. This includes holes in the ground, under decks, and around foundation vents.
  • Repair any cracks or crevices in your foundation, siding, or roofing.
  • Install a wire fence around your property (at least 12 inches high). The fence should be buried a few inches below the surface so that chipmunks cannot tunnel underneath.
  • Trim back overgrown vegetation near your home and property line. This will help reduce cover for potential entry points.
  • Place deterrents such as ammonia soaked rags, pepper spray, or mothballs near entrances and burrows to keep chipmunks away.


Frequently Asked Questions


What attracts chipmunks?

Chipmunks are attracted to properties that offer them easy access to food, water, and shelter. They’re also known as “nuisance animals” since they frequently invade houses and other buildings in search of these amenities.

Do Chipmunks Carry Diseases?

Chipmunks can carry a variety of diseases, including rabies, salmonella, and tularemia. They’re also known to damage property and gardens.

Do Chipmunks bite?

Chipmunks have sharp incisors that can cause a bite wound. However, they’re not typically aggressive and will usually only bite if they feel threatened.

How do you know chipmunk’s tunnels?

Chipmunks create tunnels and burrows that can be identified by small mounds of dirt near trees, homes, sheds, or other structures. These animals will also store food in these tunnels, so it’s important to check for any signs of chipmunks if you’re having issues with them invading your property.

What is the best way to get rid of chipmunks?

The most effective way to get rid of chipmunks is to remove their access to food, water, and shelter. This can be done by sealing up all entry points into a building, putting up fencing around gardens and other areas where they’re known to scavenge, and removing potential nesting sites. If trapping and removal are necessary, using live traps baited with food is the most humane way to do so.

Conclusion

In order to get rid of chipmunks for good, you will have to make sure that you seal any holes or crevices that may provide entrances for the little buggers. You will also have to make sure that your trash is put away tightly.

Chipmunks are notorious for getting into just about anything and everything. It would be best if you could rid yourself of any possible food sources as well. Chipmunks need very little in their diet to survive and flourish, so it’s best not to fuel their growth by feeding them.

Also, keep an eye on seed packets left by bird feeders and make sure they are secured away from pets if the chipmunks are interested. In some cases, it will take more than a few steps to get rid of these pesky critters, but with a little persistence, you can turn your backyard sanctuary back into a relaxing place.