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What Food Is Poisonous to Chipmunks?

What Food Is Poisonous to Chipmunks?

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Chipmunks are adorable critters with furry bodies and cute little faces. However, behind their seemingly harmless appearance is a problematic issue familiar to gardeners and farmers.

These little creatures can damage gardens, harm your house landscaping, and eat your crops. They dig holes underground, burrowing below porches and nesting in crawl spaces.

Sometimes, repellents won’t suffice to keep these creatures out of your property. And some homeowners might think, “What food is poisonous to chipmunks?”

In this post, we’ll discuss food and plants that are harmful to chipmunks. We’ll also talk about the best methods to prevent these furry creatures from infesting your home or garden.

Overview of Chipmunks

Chipmunks are small rodents and are members of the Sciuridae family. They’re closely related to squirrels, hence the similarity between these two species.

These furry animals are omnivores. They eat small animals and plant materials, such as vegetables, flowers, fruits, seeds, nuts, insects, frogs, and birds.

Experts divide chipmunks into three general types: the Eastern chipmunk, the Siberian chipmunk, and the Neotamias. The Eastern chipmunk is the most common type in the US.

One notable feature of chipmunks is the stripes of dark fur running across their eyes and back. They also have expandable cheek pouches used for transporting quantities of food.

These animals build burrows or den underground. Their tunnels can go as deep as two to three feet, with lengths spanning as wide as 20 to 30 feet.

Chipmunks are usually nesting in mature woodland areas. You can also find them around suburban and urban areas, burrowing around areas with rich plant food supply.

Chipmunk Infestation: Potential Damages

It’s worth noting that chipmunks seldom cause economic damage. As surprising as it sounds, these animals prefer to live alone, so they rarely cause considerable harm.

However, there are instances where these creatures provoke headaches for homeowners, gardeners, and farmers. In such cases, prevention and control methods may be necessary.

For example, these critters tend to burrow deep underground. These tunnels can run under your home’s foundation, which can cause significant damage over time.

Their omnivorous diet can also pose issues among gardeners and farmers. They eat garden seeds, flower bulbs, gnaw on seedlings, and even eat your pet food.

The constant digging can become destructive to the landscape as well. Leave them unchecked, and they can compromise the integrity of your patio, stair steps, and retention walls.

What Food Is Poisonous to Chipmunks?

Chipmunks are adorable, but they can get annoying. So, here is some food that might help you with your home’s rodent problems:

Coffee Grounds

Coffee is a kitchen ingredient known for its toxicity to animals. And it turns out you can also use it to discourage your furry friends from harming your garden plants.

Sprinkle coffee grounds all over your garden, especially around chipmunk dens. Plus, coffee grounds contain high levels of nutrients, which can help your plants and crops grow.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a well-documented chipmunk repellent. These animals dislike the intense spicy flavor of pepper and would stay away just from its scent.

Spice up your garden by spraying cayenne pepper on your plants and flowers. Mix crushed cayenne pepper with boiling water, let the mixture cool, and apply it to your crops.

Apple Seeds

It’s common knowledge that apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. As such, feeding rodents, like chipmunks, these seeds can poison them.

While consuming apple seeds might not cause any harm to larger mammals like humans, constant consumption of these pips can prove fatal to small animals.

Avocado Pits

Avocado seeds are another toxic food that can harm animals. Almost every part of these fruits contains persin, which can cause fatal symptoms to most animals.

Rodents, like chipmunks, are particularly sensitive to the effects of this toxin. It can even cause heart, lung, liver, and kidney damage to larger animals like sheep and horses.

Cherry Pits

Like apples, cherry pits contain cyanide, which can prove fatal if consumed in large amounts. The stems and leaves of these fruits also possess the same chemical.

Cyanide poison is a fatal toxin that can be deadly minutes after consumption. It affects the heart, lungs, and central nervous system of animals.

4 Garden Flowers to Repel Chipmunk Infestation

Some people consider harming chipmunks to repel them inhumanely. So, here are some chipmunk-repellent plants to prevent them from infesting your house or garden:

Grape Hyacinth

Chipmunks like bulbing flowers, but they don’t eat every kind. In fact, you can use other types of bulbing flowers, like grape hyacinth, to steer chipmunks away from your home.

Plant these hyacinths around your garden in the fall. Scatter the seedlings around shrubby areas, near trees, and chipmunk holes for the best results.


Daffodils are excellent additions to any flower garden. These hardy perennials produce attractive and colorful flowers in late winter and early spring.

Don’t get fooled by the stunning aesthetics of daffodils, though. These plants are toxic to animals and cause skin irritation to squirrels, moles, and chipmunks.

French Marigold

Mexicans love the dense yellow and orange flowers of French Marigolds. They typically use it to prevent pests from invading their farms and gardens.

The terpene content of these flowers makes their leaves smell pungent. And as you may already know, chipmunks dislike highly aromatic and smelly plants.

The Glory of the Snow

Another excellent chipmunk repellent that doubles as an attractive ornamental is Glory of the Snow. Despite their vulnerable-looking appearance, rodents avoid them altogether.

Plant them around trees and typical chipmunk covers, such as rock piles and outbuildings. Line these flowers around your garden or mix them with other early-flowering perennials.

Final Thoughts

The picture of chipmunks, cheeks full of nuts, scuttling around your home looks innocent and harmful. Their adorable appearance makes it hard to imagine they cause harm.

Unfortunately, they do generate several headaches for farmers and gardeners. And sometimes, severe control methods are the only viable solution to keep them from damaging your house.


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