Chipmunks are adorable with their puffed-up cheeks and brown and black striped fur, but not when they are chattering loudly outside your bedroom window with the rising sun. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent a chipmunk infestation without calling in an exterminator.
As cute as these critters are, these small rodents are also a nuisance to many homeowners. While chipmunks have an innocent appearance, don’t let that fool you. They are actually rodents, just like squirrels, mice, and rats, and one of the most destructive.
The eastern chipmunk is common in the United States, and these omnivores eat everything around your home, from beneficial insects to garden plants.
Not only that but their underground burrowing damages a home’s foundation. If you notice chipmunk activity in your garden daily, there is a good chance you have a chipmunk infestation.
They are notorious for their lightning-fast speed, and it seems impossible to stop them from their destructive habits, but there are ways to keep them out of your yard.
How to Get Rid of Chipmunks and Keep Them Out of Your Yard
Chipmunk damage is a common problem, but it’s reasonably easy to rectify. We show you how to control the chipmunk population around your home with the best chipmunk repellents and take the right preventative measures to stop them from returning.
Ways to Stop Chipmunks from Destroying Your Garden
Chipmunks have a bad habit of making a mess of flower beds while they burrow and search for food sources. Here are a couple of ways to stop chipmunks from destroying your vegetables, bulbs, and plants and to get rid of chipmunk tunnels for good.
Chipmunks love flower bulbs as much as you do, so consider planting bulbs that they cannot stand, such as daffodils or allium. Otherwise, one way to keep chipmunks out of your garden is to make sure to use bulb cages. These contraptions protect the bulbs from being devoured by hungry chipmunks.
Spread a decent layer of mulch over the dirt after preparing a new garden. Chipmunks are attracted to freshly dug soil, and mulching the area is a great form of ground cover.
Set mesh hardware cloth around your flowers and gardens, and cover large plants with bird netting.
Chipmunk Control Tips to Keep Them Out of Your Home
Chipmunks are curious critters and sometimes find themselves trapped within a structure while being nosy. These chipmunk control tips are the best way to keep them from getting inside your home.
Rather than planting vegetation around the base of your home, it’s wise to fill this space with gravel to keep chipmunks from digging beneath the foundation of your house.
Place L-shaped footers along sidewalks, retaining walls, porches, and foundations. These underground wire mesh barriers stop these animals from burrowing.
Preventing a Chipmunk Infestation using Common Items
If you’re wondering what to use to get rid of chipmunks, you don’t have to look very far. You already have several things in your home that work wonderfully to repel chipmunks from the yard.
What smells do chipmunks hate? Chipmunks hate the smell of moth balls, and placing them in strategic locations keeps them at bay. Use mothballs for squirrels in the attic, too. Rodents cannot stand peppers, so try sprinkling pepper flakes or cayenne pepper powder around your gardens and flowers. This solution is one of the natural ways to keep mice away, too.
Another great tool for keeping chipmunks out of your flowerbeds is hair. They often stay away from areas where they smell the presence of a human or pet, so keep your hair clippings and pet fur shedding and scatter them in key areas of your yard.
Electronic Repellents to Keep Chipmunks Away
One of the easiest ways to stop chipmunks from disturbing your garden or making a mess of your yard is to use an electronic repellent. These units are relatively inexpensive and sold at many hardware and online stores.
Electronic Chipmunk Repellent
There are a couple of different electronic repellent types. The first uses a spray of water to startle pests out of the yard.
The second emits ultrasonic pulses that the human ear does not detect but irritates rodents such as chipmunks, forcing them to look for another place to live. These devices either run on batteries or a plug outlet and typically cover an area of 900 to 1200 square feet.
Keeping Chipmunks Out of the Birdfeeder
Squirrels aren’t the only pest that likes to empty bird feeders with their continuous munching.
Chipmunks also enjoy snacking on sunflower seeds and bird food, leaving nothing behind for your feathered friends. Here are a couple of chipmunk control tips to keep those pests out of your feeders.
One of the easiest ways to keep these critters out of your bird feeders is to plant daffodils around the base. Chipmunks hate these flowering bulbs and steer clear of them when searching for food sources.
Other plants that deter chipmunks include garlic. Most rodents can’t stand the smell.
If your bird feeder perches on a pole, a great way to keep them from having convenient access to the food is to smear olive oil or another slippery substance around the bottom.
Making a Chipmunk Repellent Spray with Cayenne Pepper
While there are many chipmunk sprays on the market, some of them are harmful to the environment. This natural chipmunk deterrent spray recipe is simple to make and works wonders at keeping rodents away.
Pour a quart of water into a large spray bottle and add the pepper and olive oil. Give the container a good shake to combine the ingredients, and then spray the repellent around your yard.
Pay special attention to bird feeders, wood piles, garbage cans, and other chipmunk hot spots. Reapply the spray after each rainfall for optimal results.
Use this spray as one of the natural rat repellents to keep them out of your garage, basement, or storage buildings, as well.
Here is How to Trap a Chipmunk in Your Home
Discovering there is a chipmunk trapped within your home is not a pleasant experience. These small animals are swift and difficult to catch, and using a live trap for chipmunk removal is the easiest way to capture them.
Before trapping the chipmunk, try closing all of the interior doors and opening the exterior door and windows in the room where the animal is hiding.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to use a chipmunk trap. Consider using a live trap rather than snap traps, which are designed to kill animals.
Follow the instructions for your particular trap and bait it with peanut butter. Set it on the floor in the same room as the chipmunk, close the interior door and let it be for a couple of hours.
After trapping it, relocate the chipmunk to a wooded area away from your home.
Ways to Prevent Chipmunks from Infesting Your Yard
The key to keeping your yard pest-free and avoiding a chipmunk problem is to take preventative measures. Here are a few simple steps to take to make your yard less inviting to rodents.
Chipmunks love nesting and hiding in logs and bushes, and some of them even take up residence in abandoned chipmunk burrows.
Therefore, cleaning up your yard is one of the best ways to keep them from taking over your outdoor space. Remove all woodpiles and rock piles, clean up leaves and yard debris, and keep shrubs and bushes well maintained.
Another reason there are chipmunks in your yard is food. These rodents eat just about everything from insects, birdseed, and nuts to berries, fruit, and pet food.
They pack their generous cheek pouches full of these goodies and disperse them in their nest or burrow for winter munching.
Raking up fallen nuts and berries, feeding your pets indoors, and keeping chipmunks out of bird feeders forces them to search elsewhere for food sources.
Take action as soon as you notice chipmunk activity in your yard. The most significant sign of their presence is chipmunk holes in the lawn, especially around foundations, along edging, and pathways.
Other things to look for are uprooted bulbs, clumps of corn or sunflower sprouts in the lawn, and piles of food caches in hidden areas.
If you discover any of these, it’s time for immediate chipmunk control. Make a batch of DIY pepper spray or use commercial repellents and apply it around the outside of your home in the areas where the activity is prevalent.
Doing this right away discourages the rodents from making themselves at home and forces them to look for greener pastures before becoming a bigger problem.
It’s easy to be fooled by the cuteness of chipmunks – that is until you discover that they destroyed your favorite gardens.
Fortunately, there are several quick and simple ways to get rid of chipmunks and prevent them from destroying your property without calling pest control.
We hope that you enjoyed discovering the many ways to prevent a chipmunk infestation from taking over your yard, and we’d love it if you’d share our chipmunk deterrent tips with your circle of friends on Facebook and Pinterest.