how to get rid of chipmunks


Chipmunks, with their adorable appearance, can become unwelcome guests when they start causing damage to your garden, burrowing near your home’s foundation, or raiding bird feeders. If you’re looking for humane and effective ways to manage chipmunks on your property, this comprehensive guide provides a range of strategies to help you coexist peacefully with these critters.

I. Understanding Chipmunks:

Before taking any action, it’s important to understand chipmunks and their behavior.

a. Identification:

  • Chipmunks are small, striped rodents with distinctive markings on their fur.
  • They have cheek pouches for storing and transporting food.

b. Behavior:

  • Chipmunks are active during the day (diurnal) and are known for their quick movements.
  • They are omnivores, feeding on seeds, nuts, fruits, insects, and small invertebrates.

II. Prevention Methods:

a. Secure Garbage and Compost Bins:

  • Ensure that garbage and compost bins are tightly sealed to prevent chipmunks from accessing food sources.

b. Properly Store Birdseed:

  • Use bird feeders designed to deter chipmunks.
  • Choose seed blends that are less attractive to chipmunks.

c. Remove Food Sources:

  • Limit the availability of fallen fruits, nuts, or birdseed on the ground.
  • Regularly clean up food debris in outdoor spaces.

d. Install Fencing:

  • Use fencing to protect garden beds and plants.
  • Bury the bottom of the fence several inches underground to prevent burrowing.

e. Limit Access to Structures:

  • Seal off entry points to sheds, garages, and crawl spaces to prevent chipmunks from seeking shelter.

III. Humane Trapping and Relocation:

If chipmunks have become a persistent issue, humane trapping and relocation can be considered. Follow these steps for responsible trapping:

a. Choose Live Traps:

  • Select live traps designed for small rodents.
  • Choose models with a single door and ensure they are appropriately sized for chipmunks.

b. Select Bait:

  • Use bait that chipmunks find attractive, such as sunflower seeds, peanut butter, or small pieces of fruit.

c. Strategic Placement:

  • Place traps along known chipmunk pathways, near burrow entrances, or in areas where they frequent.

d. Check Traps Regularly:

  • Regularly check traps to minimize stress on captured chipmunks.
  • Release captured chipmunks at least five miles away from your property to prevent their return.

e. Consider Professional Help:

  • If you’re uncomfortable trapping and relocating chipmunks, consider hiring a professional wildlife removal service.

IV. Natural Deterrents:

a. Predator Urine:

  • Sprinkle predator urine, available at garden centers, around the perimeter of your property.
  • The scent may deter chipmunks as they perceive the presence of potential predators.

b. Natural Repellents:

  • Use natural repellents like garlic, pepper, or capsaicin-based sprays around areas frequented by chipmunks.

c. Predator Decoys:

  • Place fake predators like owls or snakes in strategic locations to create a sense of danger for chipmunks.

d. Planting Deterrent Plants:

  • Choose plants that chipmunks find less appealing, such as daffodils, hyacinths, or alliums.

V. Habitat Modification:

a. Remove Shelter:

  • Trim back overgrown vegetation and remove dense shrubs to reduce hiding spots for chipmunks.

b. Use Mulch Alternatives:

  • Consider using gravel or stone as mulch in garden beds, as chipmunks may find it less attractive for burrowing.

c. Modify Landscaping:

  • Create a buffer zone between your property and wooded areas by incorporating a strip of mulch or gravel.

d. Install Hardware Cloth:

  • Place hardware cloth or mesh around the base of plants to prevent chipmunks from digging.

VI. Exclusion Techniques:

a. Seal Entry Points:

  • Identify and seal any potential entry points into your home, shed, or other structures.

b. Use Mesh Barriers:

  • Install mesh barriers around decks and porches to prevent chipmunks from burrowing underneath.

c. Protect Trees:

  • Wrap tree trunks with a metal tree guard to prevent chipmunks from gnawing on the bark.

VII. Electronic Repellents:

a. Ultrasonic Devices:

  • Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that are irritating to chipmunks.
  • Place these devices strategically to cover areas frequented by chipmunks.

b. Motion-Activated Sprinklers:

  • Install motion-activated sprinklers that release a burst of water when chipmunks are detected.

VIII. Legal Considerations:

a. Check Local Regulations:

  • Before taking any action, familiarize yourself with local regulations regarding the trapping and relocation of wildlife.

b. Consult Professionals:

  • If in doubt, consult with wildlife professionals or local animal control to ensure compliance with regulations.

IX. Maintenance and Regular Checks:

a. Regular Property Inspections:

  • Conduct regular inspections of your property to identify and address potential chipmunk-related issues promptly.

b. Adapt Strategies:

  • Be flexible and willing to adapt your strategies based on the effectiveness of the chosen methods.

c. Stay Informed:

  • Stay informed about new and innovative methods for managing chipmunks while respecting their role in the ecosystem.


Managing chipmunks on your property requires a combination of prevention methods, humane trapping and relocation, natural deterrents, habitat modification, exclusion techniques, and electronic repellents. By adopting a comprehensive and responsible approach, you can minimize the impact of chipmunks while promoting coexistence with these charming creatures. Always consider local regulations and, when in doubt, seek professional advice to ensure humane and legal practices.

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