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Do Chipmunks Keep Snakes Away (A Guide to Chipmunk Behavior)

Do Chipmunks Keep Snakes Away (A Guide to Chipmunk Behavior)

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Chipmunks, in all their cuteness, serve many practical purposes in the environment. They help forests, control insect populations, and keep some pests away from your property.

With this in mind, you may wonder if chipmunks keep snakes away too. After all, these critters are known to be aggressive when protecting their own.

Unfortunately, chipmunks are part of most snake diets. As such, having these furry animals around your yard could attract their slithery predators instead of deterring them.

Still, you might be curious about the relationship between snakes and chipmunks. So keep reading, and we’ll break down all the information you need to learn about these animals.

Chipmunks vs. Snakes

You may have seen videos of chipmunks and other rodents fighting snakes to the death. And, indeed, these adorable creatures can usually fend for themselves well against serpents.

However, most species of snakes hunt and eat small rodent mammals, including chipmunks, squirrels, and mice. Moles and shrews aren’t exempt from their meal as well.

So, if you’re trying to deter snakes from your property, having chipmunks around would be a poor choice. As notorious hunters of rodents, snakes will be drawn toward your yard instead.

Snakes Attracted to Chipmunks

One particular species of snake known to hunt chipmunks is the black rat snake. These snakes are non-venomous constrictors that rely on their climbing skills to hunt chipmunks and rodents.

Chipmunk presence could even attract venomous snakes to your yard. Dangerous snakes like copperheads will make a meal out of these furry critters.

This case is especially true if you live in areas with high snake populations. States like Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas have 40 to 60 species of snakes scattered throughout.

What Do Chipmunks Eat?

Chipmunks and their cousins, the squirrels, have the same range of diets. They primarily consume nuts, seeds, grains, berries, fruits, plant roots, flowers, and bulbs.

However, these critters are omnivores as well. This preference means they occasionally hunt for meat, including insects, mice, lizards, birds, snails, frogs, and eggs.

Their tendency to harvest crops, steal fruit, and damage garden plants make them pests to farmers and homeowners. And some people use several methods to keep chipmunks away.

Do Chipmunks Kill Snakes?

As it turns out, chipmunks and similar animals are opportunistic feeders. This trait means these furry creatures will eat virtually anything when they’re starving.

Like most animals, chipmunks prefer prey and food that are easy to hunt and transport. So, although they won’t hunt snakes (at least the adults), they’ll certainly kill and eat the juveniles.

Chipmunk teeth are strong enough to break open tough shells and nuts. As such, they won’t have any issue munching on smaller snakes and other smaller reptiles.

Are Chipmunks Territorial?

One crucial aspect of chipmunks you should know is their territorial nature. They’ll fiercely defend their territory from invading predators, even if it means fighting snakes!

So if you ever see one of these adorable critters fighting snakes and other predators, it could be defending its home.

The foraging and hunting territory of chipmunks range between half and one acre. They mark their territories by urinating and rubbing their cheek glands all over the area.

An adult chipmunk will fight anything that comes 50 feet near its nest entrance. It’ll first use vocal warnings before resorting to physical confrontation to chase away intruders.

Other Animals That Prey On Chipmunks

Chipmunks are prey to several other animals apart from snakes. It’s one of the reasons why they prefer nesting underground and spending their time alone.

Aerial predators, like hawks and owls, are excellent rodent hunters. These animals are responsible for controlling chipmunk populations the most.

Coyotes, bobcats, martens, and fishers also enjoy snagging these furry critters for food. Raccoons and most fox species will eat chipmunks as well.

Still, it doesn’t mean chipmunks are thoroughly helpless against these hunters. Their heightened senses, including vision and hearing, allow them to detect threats effectively.

Final Thoughts

Chipmunks are vital in maintaining forest ecosystems and controlling pest and insect populations. Do chipmunks keep snakes away, though?

Well, not exactly. On the contrary, chipmunk presence could attract snakes into your yard.

That’s something to consider before you invite these furry critters into your property!


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