Chipmunks are sneaky creatures in many ways. They are shy too, so there are chances you will not see them at all as they possibly wreak havoc on your garden and around your home.
However, if you look very closely at your yard, you will see signs of their presence and even their damage as well.
So, perhaps you have already gotten to the point of figuring that out — that chipmunks are present — and are searching for a way to get rid of them that is both efficient and humane.
Well, this is the right place to find answers for you and how to address the chipmunk problem in your yard!
This article will give you clear evidence of how you truly know there are chipmunks and the best ways to get rid of them in a safe and humane way.
Read on for real answers to help with your chipmunk problem!
How Do You Know There Are Chipmunks at Work Around Your Home or In Your Garden?
There are four typical ways that you will see that chipmunks have been at work. If you find only one of these problems, it is possible that it might be another critter instead.
So the more of these you find together, the more likely your problem is really attributed to a chipmunk. So look for the following signs around your home and garden.
1 – Search for evidence of damage to your garden
Chipmunks eat almost anything in your yard. You will particularly know it is chipmunks because they also eat the bulbs right out of the ground, the buds off your flowers, and other garden plantings that another animal would not eat.
The more that is gone, the more likely it is a chipmunk that is feasting on your flowers
2 – Look for holes around your yard and close to your home and garden
If you start to notice holes in your yard, particularly close to vegetation, then chipmunks are quite likely at work. They will be small holes, since chipmunks are small, so they may be easy to miss at first. Several small holes may appear close together as well.
If you have a dog, your dog may be sniffing at the holes or digging in them. They know something is there and are alerting you to take some action!
3 – Identify their footprints
A lot of animal trackers say that knowing an animal’s footprint or the type of poop they leave behind is the key to identifying the right animal that is at work. Chipmunk footprints will be tiny but will have four toes in front and five toes in back.
This will be much different from the mark left behind by many other garden culprits, such as deer and rabbits. Look for this in and around your garden, home, and yard.
4 – Look for piles of seed shells
In conjunction with all of the above, you are also likely to find tons of seed shells underneath your birdfeeder.
Now some other creatures will also eat birdseed, such as squirrels, but the more of these four things you find together lend evidence to chipmunks being your yard and garden issue.
Why Would You Want to Get Rid of Them?
Yes, chipmunks are cute, and you may enjoy seeing them scurry around. However, there are numerous reasons to get rid of chipmunks. They are cute but real trouble.
Check out some of the following reasons.
1 – Chipmunks eat almost anything
They are omnivores, so they will eat some insects that are bothersome. However, they will destroy your flowers and vegetables. No one wants to put in all that work only to have them destroyed by pesky chipmunks.
They are fast too, so the damage can be done and chipmunks scurry away before you have a chance to stop them.
2 – Chipmunks burrow
Burrowing doesn’t seem like too much harm. It can mess up your yard, but that might seem like more of a pesky situation than destruction. Unfortunately, chipmunks can mess up the foundation of your home as well. That is a greatly expensive problem to fix.
The burrowing destabilizes the foundation. So if not treated quickly and effectively, the burrowing by chipmunks can cause damage to your home over time.
How Then Can You Deter Chipmunks From The Yard?
1 – You can get a dog that is a good hunter
Many people don’t mention this because it is not the most humane way to treat a chipmunk — meaning if a dog catches a chipmunk that it won’t be a pleasant ending.
However, some dogs are relentless at digging and trying to catch chipmunks, so it can be effective to help chipmunks move on.
However, dogs sometimes dig and do as much damage visually to your yard, if not more, than chipmunks do. However, if you consider the possibility of foundation damage to your home, it may be a worthy trade-off to get rid of the chipmunks.
2 – Make your home and yard unattractive
Much of this plan to make your home and yard unattractive involves removing and cleaning things in your yard that chipmunks would see as valuable food options to munch on. So you need to clean up any fruit that drops from trees or fruit that falls from berry bushes.
These fruits are tasty treats for chipmunks, and if you have them lying around, you are more likely to attract chipmunks. So this is just one more reason to pick these tasty treats in a timely manner and have them for yourself and your family.
To help keep away chipmunks, you can also dispose of vines and piles of clippings or small rocks where chipmunks can hide. The more that is piled-up can serve as a hiding place for lots of different pests, so there’s good motivation to get this accomplished.
In the same way, keeping bird feeders off the ground will be helpful. Any source of food or potential pathway should be examined. For example, you could move the bird feeders away from fences, porches, and any other place that looks like a potential chipmunk pathway.
You can also discourage the chipmunks from getting near your home’s foundation by getting rid of shrubs and other plants near the house, which provide shelter for critters.
Some also say that rock boundaries and walls are also places they can hide and get protection from any potential predators.
3 – Start with natural options
Planting natural deterrents is a great option for keeping the chipmunks away. Like vampires, garlic keeps them away! Daffodils are also natural repellents.
If you plant these items as well, you can enjoy the garlic as a spice that provides a natural flavoring to your cooking and enjoy the beauty of daffodils. So, this option brings a double benefit to you and your family
This is one that takes some planning, and you may get a few odd looks. But if you ask your hairstylist, or even the local barber, to save you some of their hair clippings, this can help.
What you can do is sprinkle the hair clippings around your garden or home. The human scent is enough to frighten away the chipmunks from your garden or foundation.
Hair breaks down extremely slowly, so you will get a boost from this for a long time afterward. Some say that there is enough nitrogen added to the soil to benefit your plants and grass as well.
4 – Try an electronic option
There are some fairly inexpensive electronic repellent systems you can use. They usually involve triggered sprays or water, ultrasonic pulses, and so on to help keep the chipmunks away.
Most of these are electric, so you will need a close-by power source to use a cord that will reach your area. Some are motion activated so that they only turn on when something moving triggers it.
These systems have been known to be effective for different types of pests as well, so this is a good investment to keep pests out of your garden.
Many say this is a great source to keep out of your garden but won’t keep them from burrowing underground. You can check out many options on Amazon, some of which are more affordable than you would imagine.
Check it out to see if it is a good option for you!
5 – Try a liquid repellent
There are several liquid repellents you can try that are nontoxic, so you won’t have to worry about hurting stray cats or dogs or your pets who stumble upon this. There are several rodent defense liquids or sprays on the market to choose from, so you have some good options.
If you want to make your own, try this recipe. Boil a quart of water with a couple of tablespoons of cayenne pepper.
Then cool the mixture and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. As you can imagine with olive oil, it is best to store this in a dispenser that you can shake to mix the oil and water just before spraying it.
This liquid repellent option may take a little more time to work, so be patient with this process. You will need to reapply often, especially after each rain. It really takes an opportunity for the chipmunks to come into direct contact with it.
So you may keep enough of it available year-round that you dip bulbs into the solution and even roots of the plants you are ready to plant into the ground.
6 – Dry repellents are also good options
The dry repellents are usually better options because they are longer lasting. It won’t wash away with rain after application as some liquid repellents do.
The long-standing presence there also tends to deter chipmunks from burrowing.
The dry repellents are granular and can usually be easily sprinkled around your garden or key areas in your yard or around your house.
Think of these granules as a barrier to access, so strategically sprinkle it. Many of the products suggest using it not only around your garden or flowers but adding it near your house foundation, just inside crawl spaces, or even in attics — any place where a chipmunk might gain entry.
Many suggest that just as cayenne boiled in water mixed with olive oil makes a great liquid repellent, that you can just sprinkle cayenne in these areas as a dry repellent too.
It might keep lots of pests away!
7 – Add fencing
Mesh fencing is often mentioned as an effective barrier against chipmunks. You can add mesh fencing even around the base of your home’s foundation. Doing this might save you thousands of dollars.
Mesh fencing is also a good barrier around fences, walls, and porches. An L-shaped design is often mentioned as the most effective structure to keep chipmunks out.
8 – Add other barriers
Instead of shrubbery, a gravel border can be an effective way to keep chipmunks away. Other small mulch can work as well.
Likewise, plant your bulbs in bulb cages as well to place a barrier around something chipmunks consider a tasty treat.
9 – Humanely trap chipmunks
There are many cages that you can use to trap chipmunks. Place the fresh fruit or tender plant at the back of the cage where the chipmunk can get in fully before the trap closes.
The goal is to humanely trap them and then set them free miles away from your home (and hopefully anyone else’s). The best traps are up to 20 inches long and have one door. They are less costly and more simple to operate as well.
As mentioned previously, a human scent is particularly avoided by chipmunks, so plan to wear gloves while handling and baiting your trap.
There are many places you can hide your trap, but near your home’s foundation or near a shed or fence are also great places for it. Any seed or sweet treat will likely attract a chipmunk.
It is always a good idea to check local laws about trapping and releasing wildlife. Better to be safe than sorry in these situations.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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