Many people regard chipmunks as a cute animal before they see the damages it may cause. Chipmunks are capable of causing various damages around the house, from stomping and digging up the plantations, making holes all over the yard, undermining house foundation, to chewing on wiring in the attics. This is why chipmunks—despite all the cuteness, can be harmful to the entire property. To prevent the property from further damages, you might want to perform some ways of getting rid of chipmunks from your place.
Getting rid of chipmunks
Chipmunks are living outdoor and they may trespass into various properties for foods and shelter. Outside the house, chipmunks target the garden and plantations there, while inside the house, they chew on a wire to trim their growing teeth. To get rid of chipmunk infestation around the property, homeowners can consider one of these treatments.
Getting rid of chipmunks in your lawn
Scaring them away
Chipmunks existing in your garden can be scared away using head-swiveling owl statue or any fabric garden figure you can do it yourself. Use light fabric for creating the figure’s clothes, so that it moves when blown by the wind. This will scare the chipmunks and make them leave the garden and your plantation.
Keeping their natural predators
Dogs and cats are chipmunk natural predators. Keeping the pet around the yard may help controlling chipmunk infestation. It is going to catch the trespassing chipmunks or scare them away, keeping the lawn safe from their attack.
Eliminating chipmunk sources of food
Chipmunks are outdoor animals. They get into the house and lawn for foods and shelter. To get rid of this pest, you will need to eliminate their source of foods. If you have fruit trees in the garden, remove fallen fruits immediately to prevent chipmunks from feeding on it. You also need to clean up the attic, so that there are no food crumbs for chipmunks to eat. However, chipmunks are capable of climbing up trees, so that they are able to pick up some fruits for food from those trees. Since they may climb up and jump across trees and other high places, chipmunks are capable of intruding the bird feeders. Hence, put these feeders on a high spot where chipmunks are not likely to access them easily.
Many homeowners finding chipmunk around the lawn decide not to exterminate them, simply because there is no severe damage caused, or simply because they are way too cute. In fact, this is acceptable and definitely your choice. Chipmunks are not a harmful animal if not disturbed. However, as cute they are, do not attempt to pet them with bare hands, as they will likely to bite, and their teeth are knife sharp.
Conversely, chipmunks getting inside the house is not a good thing to ignore. Inside the house, these critters may be a nuisance. They may feed on your wooden house foundation to trim their growing teeth, which can be harmful for the house entire construction. They are also capable of causing damages to house wiring, as rats and mice do. However, chipmunks get inside the house usually by accident, and it will be glad to be relocated outside, as long as you give it an accessible way out. To get rid of chipmunks inside the house, you will need to consider some things.
- Put on gloves and never attempt to catch a chipmunk with your bare hands. They are wild animals and will be startled when touched. When startled, chipmunks tend to bite with their sharp teeth. This will result in severe bleeding and may cause a deep wound. To catch chipmunk and relocate it outdoor, use the help of a thick towel to catch the critter.
- Seal off the entry point after relocating chipmunks. They may probably get into the house through some entry points such as windows and ventilations. Opened back door leading to the yard can also cause the little animal to accidently get into your rooms. Close all possible entries and check the attics as well, as this point of the house usually has a hole which lets chipmunks in.
- Trapping chipmunks using a living animal trap. Many people prefer not to kill chipmunks to get rid of them from their property. There are various reasons for this, and one of them is that chipmunks are considered to be harmless and cute. To trap chipmunks, do the trapping procedure for rats and mice. Prepare the mesh living trap and put appealing baits inside. You can put sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and various fruits which will be liked by chipmunks. Once the chipmunk is trapped, relocate it far from your house, into the wild if possible.
- Use deterrents. Mothballs are an effective deterrent for getting rid of chipmunks from the house. Chipmunks tend to avoid the smell and its strong chemicals. However, you need to put mothballs on the places and spots which can be easily reached by children and pets, as mothballs can be a carcinogen and dangerous when inhaled and eaten. Pet repellent used for cats, dogs, rabbits, and squirrels are also effective to deter chipmunks from your property.
Trapping chipmunks effectively
As killing chipmunks is not an option to choose for some people, trapping chipmunks is chosen as an alternate way. However, trapping chipmunks might not be simple, and many people fail to get one inside the wire mesh traps. To avoid this and perform an effective chipmunk trapping, some things should be done.
Trapping chipmunks using live-catch wire mesh traps
- Choose a wire mesh used for rats with a size enabling chipmunks to freely move inside. This is important for letting the animals to be familiar to its way in and out. Do not choose too small wire mesh which will make it difficult for you to close the opening door once you manage to trap a chipmunk.
- A variety of baits can be used to effectively trap chipmunks. However, you need to perform a research on the foods which have become chipmunk favorites. Foods they love will invite chipmunks to enter the trap faster and they will stay inside longer to enjoy the baited foods. To perform an effective baiting, you will need to consider some things, such as:
- Do not place the bait only inside the live-catch trap. Instead, scatter the baits along the pathways where chipmunks are suspected. Create a single path from the suspected pot into the wire trap, making sure chipmunks follow the right direction.
- Familiarize chipmunks with your baits. To do this, you must place the bait leading to the trap with the trap door wired open. This way, the chipmunk can freely enter the trap and eat the bait and process to the way out without being harmed. Do this bait familiarization to make chipmunks associate the baits as a new source for food. When the chipmunk has regularly eaten the bait, process into the real trapping. Relocate any trapped chipmunk away from your property.
- If you set several traps for chipmunks, regularly check them one by one for any trapped animals. Dispose or relocate trapped animals. Avoid direct contact with those animals and wear thick gloves to move them from the trap.
- Place chipmunk traps away from children and pets.
- You have an option between live traps and rat traps which kill chipmunks. Live traps are more costly and require more time for relocating any trapped animals away from your property. However, this method is considered humane and will not disturb any other wildlife members. Conversely, rat traps are cheaper, easier to get, but for some people—those Alvin and the chipmunks’ fans, are inhumane. Rat traps will kill chipmunks instantly by crushing their little bodies, and this can be traumatic for small children as well.
Trapping chipmunks using bucket and water traps
Another effective trap for chipmunk is bucket-and-water chipmunk traps. If you do not mind to care for chipmunks’ carcasses after trapping, this trapping method may work for you. This is easier and cheaper, yet lethal—may be helpful for dealing with a big chipmunk colony. However, the only downside of this kind of trap is that it leaves chipmunk to suffer and die. Hence, if you are trying to find a more humane solution, go with the live traps. Anyway, to perform the bucket trap, you will need to:
- Prepare a 5-gallon bucket, sunflower seeds, a piece of thin wood, and water.
- Fill half of the bucket with water and carefully pour the sunflower seeds into the bucket, covering the surface of the water.
- Place the piece of wood with one end extending over the bucket and another on the ground. This is where the chipmunks are going to climb up.
- Spread the sunflower seeds over the piece of wood to attract the little animals to climb up to the bucket and eventually fall into the water and die.
- Empty the bucket and throw away the seeds. If you want to reuse the trap, replace the water and the sunflower seeds, as some seeds are going to sink because it has been exposed to water for some time.
- Use the carcasses as compost to fertilize the lawn. Dig up a big hole—big enough to bury all the dead chipmunks.
- Be sure that you place the water and bucket trap away from children, as seeing dead chipmunks may be traumatic for them. Do not let your pet approaching the bucket, as it may try to eat the dead chipmunks—which may have been exposed to harmful bacteria.
- Replace the water and seeds within 3 days, even though there are no dead chipmunks found, as it may have been exposed to weather and bacteria.
Trapping might be effective if you have a small chipmunk infestation. However, bigger infestation might require more traps, which can be expensive and time-consuming. People choose chipmunk poison when dealing with a great deal of this animal around the yard and house, that the damages it causes are severe. However, poisoning chipmunks may be related to some considerations, such as:
- Chipmunk poisoning might not be as effective as other rodents—rat, for instance—poisoning. This is because chipmunks do not usually eat the baits right away. This animal wanders around the house and other places where foods can be found to be kept for winter. Hence, poisoning effects might not be seen quickly.
- Poisoning chipmunks, especially outdoor can endanger other wildlife, such as small birds and other beneficial animals.
- Poisoning chipmunks are considered inhumane and can be hard to do for animal lovers.
- Chipmunks may live on tall trees and build their nests there, so that chipmunk poison is sometimes ineffective, especially when placed far from their nests.
- Killing chipmunks are considered illegal in some countries so that homeowners must consider the law before proceeding to kill the rodents.
In conclusion, getting rid of chipmunks by poisoning the rodents might not be effective. Trapping, instead, is considered more effective and humane for getting rid of menacing chipmunks. Moreover, live traps—although more expensive, can be used repeatedly.
If you are one of many people who are not capable of killing the cute chipmunks, you might want to consider some other ways of getting rid of the rodents from your property without killing them. Some repellents are effective in preventing chipmunks from foraging in the yard and inside the house.
Pepper—both cayenne and black pepper is an effective repellent for keeping chipmunks away from the lawn. To make the solution, mix a teaspoon cayenne pepper, a teaspoon black pepper, and two cups of water into a sprayer bottle. Shake the mixture well and spray it onto the spots suspected of being chipmunks’ paths. If you wish to secure your lawn and the newly-planted vegetation, spread the mixture of grounded cayenne and black pepper onto the soil. Chipmunks—and raccoons if you also suspect some—will get away from the lawn, since the mixture affects the mucus membrane and gives the little creatures the sneezes, which will make them stay away without getting hurt. Repeat this treatment after rain to maximize the effect.
Garlic has a strong aroma which chipmunks do not like. To repel chipmunks using garlic, ground it and sprinkle the grounded garlic onto the lawn or any paths suspected from chipmunk infestation. This will deter the rodents and keep them at the bay. Garlic can be substituted with onions, which gives similar effects on rodent treatment.