- 1. How to Identify Chipmunks
- 2. Why Chipmunks Invade Your Garden
- 3. Best Chipmunk Repellent Methods
- 4. Chipmunk Prevention Tips
Although chipmunks are cute animals, they can be incredibly destructive to your garden. Without reliable population control, chipmunks can cause various issues because they feed on beneficial insects and all kinds of plantings. Their burrows are also potentially damaging to the foundation of the house.
Getting rid of chipmunks humanely isn’t very difficult but it takes some effort to figure out which method works best for your particular chipmunk issue. It’s recommended to discourage the animals from invading your property instead of trying out extreme measures like killing them. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most effective deterrent methods for ensuring that chipmunks stay away from your property.
1. How to Identify Chipmunks
Proper identification represents the first step required for dealing with chipmunks. You need to make sure that your yard isn’t affected by a different kind of animal pest. Chipmunks are small rodents featuring characteristic dark stripes on mostly brown bodies. There’s also a distinctive white stripe on their backs that contributes to the animal’s efficient camouflaging abilities.
Getting a visual confirmation can be quite hard when it comes to chipmunks. It’s not just the problem of being small rodents that move very quickly. The animals have some specific times of the day when they’re more active. You can increase your chances of spotting chipmunks in the morning and afternoon. Discovering their burrows can be helpful because you will be able to hear the characteristic vocalizations of chipmunks when getting too close to their location.
2. Why Chipmunks Invade Your Garden
Understanding the behavior of this type of rodent could be an essential aspect when it comes to learning how to remove them from the property. Chipmunks are typically found in forests and along fences. They can stumble upon your yard simply due to searching for a good source of food.
One thing that sets chipmunks apart from other animal pests involves their impressive adaptability. They are able to live in different types of environments with minimal effort. If you happen to live in a place that offers a solid natural habitat for this rodent, it’s not surprising to realize that chipmunks are visiting your garden.
Chipmunks are constantly looking for food and they often collect some for later storage. Aside from damage to flower bulbs and vegetables in the garden, other obvious signs of a chipmunk invasion can include the rodents’ burrows. If your yard is filled with multiple holes, that’s a clear indication because chipmunks also spend a lot of time burrowing.
3. Best Chipmunk Repellent Methods
If you’re certain that you’re dealing with chipmunks causing all sorts of problems in the garden, it’s time to apply some reliable deterrent solutions. There are usually some clear reasons for the presence of chipmunks on your property so make sure you try multiple tricks until the chipmunk invasion is dealt with.
3.1 Use a Specialized Rodent Repellent
There’s no need to search for a repellent product specifically designed against chipmunks because most rodent deterrents on the market should work well. This is especially the case for squirrel repellent that acts just as effectively on chipmunks. Homemade repellents can also be crafted if you’re a DIY enthusiast but it’s more time-consuming and potentially messy.
If you need a powerful rodent repellent to fix your chipmunk problem, we recommend a non-toxic solution like this spray based on peppermint oil, available on Amazon. It’s completely safe for pets and humans while rodents such as rats and chipmunks can’t tolerate the intense aroma. Consider treating some areas around the house that appear to be frequented by the rodents to repel them.
Keep in mind that this is among the mildest repellent solutions that will probably not work very fast. It can take some time for the chipmunks to get into contact with the repellent spray so make sure you re-apply it as often as possible. Rainy weather conditions can diminish the effectiveness of the spray. You can use this repellent idea to protect certain flowering bulbs by putting them into the liquid before planting.
3.2 Try an Ultrasonic Repellent
The power of ultrasonic pulses can be quite reliable when it comes to repelling chipmunks and other common rodent pests in the garden. Not all ultrasonic repellents out there offer the same level of performance. You can run into various differences in terms of functionality so make sure you choose an effective outdoor design that can handle rodents such as chipmunks. Check out this great example on Amazon. It’s an advanced electronic rodent repellent that’s safe for humans while offering solar power capabilities.
3.3 Consider a Dry Repellent
Those who aren’t pleased with the performance of liquid repellents should consider a dry option. It’s more effective against chipmunk burrowing and can withstand the test of time better so it’s a recommended long-term solution. Take a look at these practical rodent granules that repel chipmunks. Similar to other types of humane deterrents, this dry product doesn’t kill the animal pest so it’s safe to use around pets and children.
3.4 Set Traps
It’s possible to trap chipmunks humanely so they can be safely released far away from your garden. This is a recommended solution if you’re not facing a particularly large invasion of chipmunks. It will prove quite effective if you manage to discover the rodents early before the infestation gets out of hand. Mix traps with other deterrent methods for the best results.
Live traps for chipmunks are designed in a similar manner to those intended for mice or rats because there aren’t too many size differences. You can also use rat traps that kill the caught chipmunk but the more humane route involves the deployment of special traps equipped with a one-way door or a spring-loaded mechanism. Although it might seem preferable to avoid killing the chipmunk, there are some dangers you should be aware of with the humane traps.
It will take some extra effort to ensure that a live trap works as expected. Chipmunks that get caught need to be quickly resettled because of the risk of hurting themselves. This is where you need to be extra careful because the wild, frightened animal can pose a danger to yourself. Chipmunks can spread diseases if they bite. They’re normally not aggressive but can behave unexpectedly if they feel threatened so keep that in mind.
Whether you decide on setting up live traps or killing ones, make sure you select reliable models that are worth the investment. Here’s a great live trap found on Amazon that offers versatile performance to humanely trap chipmunks and other similarly-sized rodents that invade your garden. If you’d rather opt for killing traps, make sure you select instant kill options that are more humane and effective like this set made by Kat Sense.
4. Chipmunk Prevention Tips
Powerful repellents and removal methods should be enough to handle a serious chipmunk infestation. In this section, we’ll explore some tips and tricks you should try for preventing the rodents from making a comeback. These are some great preventive measures that can be considered solid gardening practices worth incorporating by any homeowner with an interest in maintaining the property in a good shape.
4.1 Remove or Change the Bird Feeder
One of the favorite items of a chipmunk is a rich source of tasty food, and that’s precisely what the bird feeder in the garden appears to the rodent. Chipmunks will be happy to feed on the nuts, seeds, and other treats intended for attracting birds. Similar to squirrels, chipmunks can easily get inside poorly-designed bird feeders.
If complete removal of the bird feeder isn’t desirable, an alternative is to get your hands on a more advanced type of bird feeder. Premium models like the Brome Squirrel Buster on Amazon can prevent food access for rodents such as squirrels. They can also work for chipmunks but not as reliably, considering how these animals are lighter than typical squirrels.
4.2 Keep a Tidy Garden
By removing windfall from fruit trees and pruning the shrubs in the yard, you can make the garden less attractive for chipmunks. It’s also a good idea to trim tree limbs or shrubbery reaching the roof of the home to make sure that chipmunks won’t accidentally find their way into the house. They tend to live outside but you can sometimes have an unpleasant situation with a chipmunk getting lost in your house.
It’s important to keep the shrubs tidy because the rodents like to conceal their burrows underneath. This measure will encourage the chipmunks to move to a new location that seems safer for them. Any woodpile or messy accumulation of debris on your property can look attractive for chipmunks so keeping the area generally cleaner can have a great deterrent effect.
4.3 Get Rid of Abundant Food Sources
While it’s not always feasible to get rid of the plants in the garden that may attract chipmunks, you can at least reduce the amount of potential food available for the rodents. As a good example, ripe fruit dropped on the ground from the surrounding trees can be removed. Access to the flower bulbs can be restricted by using a screen ground cover. Alternatively, consider getting wire baskets to protect the plant’s bulbs from burrowing chipmunks.
4.4 Use Plant Repellents
Another great idea to consider for discouraging a chipmunk presence in the yard refers to bringing certain plants that have solid chipmunk-repellent properties. Aromatic plants like garlic and onion can successfully deter chipmunks from establishing into your garden. Daffodils, hyacinths, and carnassia plants are also natural repellants for this type of rodent.
4.5 Install a Special Fence
The potential damage caused by chipmunks to the stability of your home’s foundation shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s important to prevent the rodents from tunneling around and creating serious problems. That’s usually done with the help of a special type of fence such as an L-shaped footer. It’s designed to be installed around the home or the surroundings such as the garden. The fence has a wired meshed construction that can reach a solid depth underneath the ground.
The Humane Society offers more detailed information about the process of creating a reliable underground barrier through an L-shaped fence. Check out the guide at this link.