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Why Do Chipmunks Dig In Flower Pots? (And 7 Ways to Stop Them)

Why Do Chipmunks Dig In Flower Pots? (And 7 Ways to Stop Them)

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Imagine repotting your flowers to see them scattered in your yard the next day.

If you live near the woods, chances are your flower pots fell victim to one of nature’s cute little rascals—chipmunks.

You might be wondering why chipmunks dig in flower pots, and the answer is pretty simple: they want food.

Chipmunks are one of the notorious flower pot diggers in gardens. They would sneak into your pots at dawn or sunset to dig for soft sprouts growing from your plant.

If you’re facing this problem, don’t fret. It’s not hopeless; you can still save your poor flowers.

How To Stop Chipmunks From Digging Your Flower Pots

There are various tools you can use to protect your precious flower pots. You can use the following:

1 – Physical Deterrents

The first step directly creates a barrier between the chipmunk and your pots. You can start simple by using sticks or investing in chicken wires or mesh.

A. Sticks

The goal of using sticks is to discourage the chipmunks from getting closer to your plants.

You can cut the skewers short and insert them into the soil with the pointed end out. Bury these skewers around the base of your plant.

Think of it as a land mine. No chipmunks will get hurt, but the slight pricks will at least discourage them from going further.

B. Chicken Wires/Mesh

If the first one didn’t work, you might as well barricade the whole plant. You could buy a chicken wire or soft mesh to protect the parameters of your plant’s base.

It usually works but isn’t aesthetically pleasing as it covers the beauty of your flowers. If your plant’s safety comes first, then this one’s for you.

2 – Chemical-Based Deterrent

You can also get some help from chemical products. These are often accessible and user-friendly too.

Examples of these are mothballs and Irish Spring soap. Both of these products have a strong smell that could irritate the sensitive noses of chipmunks.

However, since these are chemicals, we can’t put them directly into the plant’s base. Watering the plant can melt its particles and possibly poison the plant.

To use them safely, get a thin pouch or cloth and put pieces of these products inside. Next, tie it to your plant’s stem or to a stick away from the soil.

3 – Organic-Based Deterrent

If you want to go natural, you can opt for deterrents found on your kitchen counter.

A. Apple Cider

Since it also has a pungent smell, using apple cider is a natural alternative for mothballs and Irish Spring.

You can spray it on the hard edges of the pot or soak sponges with it. You can put these sponges in areas where the chipmunks usually hang out.

B. Spices

You can also use spices like ground peppers, cayenne, chili powder, or flakes. Just sprinkle an ample amount of these on the base of your plant.

4 – Pets

What could get scarier for a chipmunk than alive and running predators? If you have a pet dog or cat, let them regularly roam around your garden.

These would allow them to leave their scent around the place and alarm the chipmunks that the territory is marked and they’re not welcome.

You could also leave your cat’s litter near the pots to discourage the chipmunks from getting nearer. It sounds a bit nasty, but worth the try!

5 – Decoy

If you’re not into pets or not ready to take one, you can settle for decoys. Buy solid figurines of a cat or dog to plant around your garden or on your pots.

Chipmunks are very observant, and they’d often scan the area first before getting in. Using a decoy would alarm them and prevent them from entering the area.

6 – Sensors

If you have some bucks to spare, buying sensors that activate a sprinkler or light beam is a must-try.

Repeated and surprising stimuli are what discourage most animals from doing something.

If they’re consistently blinded by the beams or drenched by the sprinklers, chances are they won’t be back soon.

7 – Live Trap

If you’ve used most of the tools above and still get the critters, you might as well invest in a live trap.

You can put these traps near your pots or where you think they pass all the time. Put down their favorite snacks as bait to ensure a catch.

Do Not Huddle Your Plants Together

Chipmunks, like any other rodent, are quite fast and flexible. They can disappear in seconds—all thanks to their ability to squeeze into the tiniest corners.

They love to live in areas with enough places to hide when a threat is around.

To discourage them from hanging out in your garden, arrange your plants with enough space between pots.

Plus, keep the corners of your garden clean with minimal clutter. This way, the area will look too wide and unsafe for these furry critters to sneak into.

Final Thoughts

Co-existing with nature, specifically with chipmunks, is a challenge when you have a garden.

To protect your flower pots from chipmunks, you can install physical barricades or use products with a strong smell to discourage them from getting closer.

You can also use your pets or sensors to drive them away consistently.

If all else doesn’t work, consider getting a live trap to capture and send the furry critters away from your property.


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