How to Get Rid of Chipmunks

It is my goal to educate the public about chipmunks and other wildlife, and provide tips for safe, effective, and responsible wildlife removal.

HUMANE HINTS: In some cases, you don't need to remove chipmunks at all - just leave them alone! NEVER attempt to poison chipmunks. If you trap them, set traps in shade, and do not leave a chipmunk in a trap for more than a few hours before relocation. Read below for how-to hints.

Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions:
1) Purchase small cage traps - rated rat, squirrel, or chipmunk size, usually about 5" x 5" x 14" or so.
2) Bait traps with peanut butter and seeds, or whole peanuts in the shell.
3) Set traps in areas of high chipmunk activity, or digging.
4) Relocate chipmunks, as soon as possible, at least 5 miles from capture site.
5) If chipmunks have entered building or any other structure, bold 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth (steel mesh) onto open holes, and make sure mesh is installed at least 8" under ground.

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How to Get Rid of Chipmunks - Chipmunks are adorable little critters, but they are extremely destructive. Chipmunks are native to North America and thrive in many parts of the country. However, the areas that they are more prevalent in include wooded areas or places where there is a lot of vegetation. You can tell a chipmunk from a squirrel in that chipmunks are much smaller and have black and white stripes on their faces, backs and tails, while squirrels do not. Chipmunks also have really big puffy cheeks that they use to carry food. These animals feed mainly on nuts, grains, fruits, berries, vegetables, smaller rodents and insects. If you have a lot of this stuff around, you are going to have chipmunks. Read about Where do chipmunks store their food?

How can something so cute be so destructive? Well, if you have a garden, crops or flourishing berry bushes you may feel differently about chipmunks. They can completely ravish all the eatable plants and food in your yard within a matter of weeks if the population is large enough. Read about how to get rid of chipmunks in the garden. They will also dig holes in your hard to get to worms and other insects if they are hungry. They also make lots of noise when they are chattering to each other or fights and are all around a nuisance. At times chipmunks will enter a house, usually at ground level. They sometimes live in a basement, or around baseboards or under elevated homes or floors. They will sometimes store food here or winter here. Read about how to get rid of chipmunks in the house. Here are a few tricks that you can try to get rid of your chipmunks using both humane and lethal methods.

    • Chipmunks are easily scared away by loud noises and predators. If you are not lucky enough to have a neighborhood owl or hawk, you can try a decoy. Place the decoy near their nests or near the places that you are having the biggest problem with them (like your garden). There are really cool decoys that even light up and make noise to try to scare the chipmunks away. Alas, these decoys are not usually very effective.
    • There are many predator scents that you can use, such as bobcat or coyote urine, but these predator scents are not completely effective and you have to reapply it all the time to keep it fresh. If you live in an area that rains a lot this method will not work for you. Read more about chipmunk repellents here.
    • Trapping the chipmunks that live in your area can work, but requires a lot of patience and is time consuming. You can use a live trap or a lethal trap. Your local hardware store should have some small traps or sometimes animal control office will let you rent one. Bait the trap with things like butter or peanut butter and seeds. You will need to check the traps every day and then relocate the little critters to a park, forest or wildlife reserve. Read about chipmunk trapping here.
    • A lethal way to get rid of chipmunks is to poison them. This is a dangerous way to get rid of your chipmunks because the poison is toxic and can kill the other animals in the area if they should happen to eat the poison or eat the poisoned chipmunk. Try to avoid this method if possible as it is not worth the risk.
    • You can also shoot the chipmunks with a small pellet rifle, but this is really inhumane and hard to do because they are so small. There is much easier and safer way to go about getting rid of chipmunks.
    • The best way to get rid of chipmunks is to hire a professional pest removal service to do it. The professional have the know-how, the tools and the chemicals to remove these critters from your property safely to the animal and to you. While this is not the cheapest way to go about getting rid of chipmunks, it saves you the time and the hassle of having to deal with it yourself.

    More in-detail how-to chipmunk removal articles:

    Information about how to kill a chipmunk - with poison or other methods.
    Information about how to keep chipmunks away - prevention techniques.
    Information about how to catch a chipmunk - remove one stuck in the house.

    Chipmunk Information & Facts

    Chipmunk Appearance: Chipmunks are small mammals, the largest growing to around five inches long and weighing nearly four ounces. The predominant coat color is a reddish brown. Lighter and darker stripes run in horizontal lines down the back. The chipmunk’s face also boasts two stripes around the eyes. This small animal has the typical rodent appearance; pointed face, large incisors, small ears and eyes, and a body-length tail with sparse hair. The legs and arms are short, with the hind limbs developing significantly stronger than the front for purposes of speed and agility. Chipmunks are often seen with large cheeks filled with food. The cheeks are specifically designed for this purpose and are able to store large amounts of food for transport.

    Chipmunk Habitat and Behavior: chipmunks prefer areas of rock or thickets of brush to open areas of forest or field. The major species of chipmunks are located in the northern United States and southeastern parts of Canada. A common misconception about the animals makes people believe they are tree-dwellers, when they really make their burrows underground. Chipmunks will climb trees but they do not live in them. Squirrels and aerial predators would chase the chipmunks away. Burrows opening are small and well concealed under rocks or between roots. There are no telltale piles of dirt near the entrance; chipmunks carry the dirt from digging away in their cheek pouches. The tunnels extend twenty or thirty feet in the ground and have offshoots for food storage, sleeping, and escape.

    Chipmunks are not community dwellers. They mate twice a year, giving birth to up to five babies. The female will raise the young on her own and wean them when they are six weeks old. At one year of age, chipmunks are able to breed and have litters of their own.

    Days are spent gathering food that is cached inside the burrow for use during the winter season. Chipmunks do not enter true hibernation but will become significantly less active during the cold. Diurnal, they will become active during warm days regardless of the season.

    Chipmunks are very vocal, though not necessarily for the benefit of other chipmunks. Vocalizations can warn other animals that they have entered chipmunk territory, and this call system serves to warn other animals of approaching danger.

    Chipmunk Diet: The diet of this animal consists of fruit, roots, seeds, and various fungi. Chipmunks will gather beechnuts and sunflower seeds in abundance. If food of this type is scarce, the diet will shift toward small insects and invertebrates with the occasional baby bird included in the mix. The food stores in a burrow will contain mostly seeds and nuts.

    Chipmunk Nuisance Concerns: Damage caused by chipmunks can often be confused with damage from other mammals such as squirrels. Chipmunk damage usually happens to gardens with bulbs and tubers, and to a lesser extent, birdfeeders. A more severe nuisance issue happens when the small rodents burrow beneath structural supports such as steps, foundations, and walls. Certain areas of the country have issues with chipmunks chewing on maple syrup lines.

    Chipmunk Diseases: Chipmunks are rarely susceptible to rabies, but they can carry other zoonotic disease. The disease of highest concern to people is Lyme disease, though this cannot be contracted by direct contact with the chipmunk itself. Lyme disease is a tick borne disease and can only be transmitted by tick bite. Chipmunks, however, are one of the major hosts for ticks carrying this illness. Lyme disease has become much more prevalent in the northern regions of the United States within recent years, and statistics show the instances of disease are still climbing.

    You're here to learn how to get rid of chipmunks in your flower beds, yard, or house. This site is intended to provide chipmunk education and information, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a chipmunk problem. This site provides many chipmunk control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of chipmunk removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance chipmunk.

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