Don’t let their small bodies and chubby faces fool you. Chipmunks may be cute at first glance, but they are pests that, if left uncontrolled, could cause horrific damage to your home and yard, all while leaving you with a hefty bill in repairs. Knowing how to kill chipmunks isn’t the first skill you’ll acquire as a homeowner, but there is likely a time when you will find yourself in a position where you’re googling the best ways to kill chipmunks and keep them away from your home for good.
Killing chipmunks may seem like a cruel act to some, but there are severe risks if their population gets out of hand. Chipmunks spend most of their time in their underground burrows. Burrowing creates tunnels that reach as long as 30 feet and usually have places for the animals to store food and nest.
Knowing how to kill chipmunks is essential because a chipmunk infestation leads to structural damage to your home’s foundation, decks, retaining walls, patios, and even concrete slabs. On top of that, chipmunks carry fleas, which may make their way into your home if you have pets. Whether you choose to deter them or kill them, there are many ways to handle a chipmunk problem around your home.
- About Chipmunks
- Ways to Kill Chipmunks
- Make Your House Less Appealing
- Plants to Deter Chipmunks
- Using Traps to Catch Chipmunks
- How to Kill Chipmunks with Snap Traps
- Killing Chipmunks with Water Traps
- Shooting Chipmunks
- Use Your Hair
- Create a Cayenne Repellent
- Using Hardware Cloth
- Mothballs as Chipmunk Deterrent
- Commercial Repellents
- Hire an Exterminator
- Handling Dead Chipmunks
One of the most common chipmunks found across North American is the Eastern chipmunk. Although these small animals are part of the squirrel family, they aren’t the same. Chipmunks are different in size, color, weight, and behavior.
Most chipmunks are much smaller than squirrels. These small rodents spend most of their time in their burrows as opposed to trees. They are also incredibly lightweight and weigh less than six ounces as an adult.
Most chipmunks have brown or rusty red hair with grey, black, and brown stripes on either their faces or back. Chipmunks have two breeding seasons after hibernation.
The first season starts on mild days in the springtime, and the second occurs during July and August. Chipmunk litters often include two to eight babies each, although many die as prey to bigger predators.
Aside from the damage caused to your home, chipmunks are also dangerous to humans if they are bitten or scratched.
Chipmunks cause Colorado tick fever, rabies, and rocky mountain spotted fever. Although some of these have common flu-like symptoms, some become deadly when left untreated.
Ways to Kill Chipmunks
What kills chipmunks, and how do I know that they’re a problem? When it comes to killing chipmunks, you must know the signs to look out for. You likely have a chipmunk problem if you notice small holes in your lawn, often around the foundation of your home.
They often leave corn or sunflower seeds behind, causing the plants to sprout up in your flower beds.
You may find piles of seeds and grains hidden around your house, dug up flower bulbs, and some critters may make their way into your veggie garden. Once you’ve identified the problem, you’re ready to find a long-term solution.
Of course, there are also many natural ways to get rid of chipmunks without killing them. Use the method or methods that you are most comfortable with.
Make Your House Less Appealing
No chipmunk wants to live in a place that doesn’t fit their needs, just like it is an easy DIY skunk repellent. The best type of pest control for these small rodents is to clean up your yard and keep nearby wooded areas tidy.
Achieve a more orderly space by removing fallen branches from bushes and trees. Bag up and dispose of small rocks and vines that allow chipmunks to hide. Keep your bird feeders and pet food high off the ground and away from potential chipmunk paths.
Plants to Deter Chipmunks
One of the most incredible things about plants is that there is always one that deters the pests that you’re targeting.
Planting garlic, daffodils, and peppermint work as a natural chipmunk deterrent to keep the rodents at bay, especially when you want them to stay away from your garden and their food source.
Other at home solutions like coffee grounds and white vinegar will work as well. White vinegar keeps squirrels away from your yard as they detest the smell.
Using Traps to Catch Chipmunks
There are many traps for catching small animals. A more humane chipmunk trap is a Havahart live trap, a brand often used by a professional trapper. You can also use these as squirrel traps for attic and basement spaces.
These traps are common when catching rodents, and they work by luring the animals inside the wire mesh trap with bait like bird seed or peanut butter.
Once inside, the door closes behind them and prevents them from escaping. It’s often quite easy to catch a chipmunk or squirrel in these traps. Set the critters free far away from your property.
How to Kill Chipmunks with Snap Traps
Whether you call them snap traps, rat traps, or mouse traps, these are some of the easiest traps to set up and kill the rodents around your home.
This trap is the best way to keep mice out of your house, as well as other small animals like voles. These traps are set with bait so that when the chipmunk grabs the food, the trap snaps shut and kills the rodent instantly.
Killing Chipmunks with Water Traps
Another way to kill chipmunks or kill ground moles in the garden is to make a DIY rodent trap. To make this trap, fill a bucket with water and lead a trail of seeds to the bucket.
Lean a piece of wood at an angle against the bucket with seeds on top and put seeds that float on top of the water. The chipmunk gets tricked into jumping into the bucket and drowns in the water.
Although this isn’t the easiest way to get rid of chipmunks, this strategy may work well for you if you’re a sharpshooter. Piling up a food source on a surface away from others attracts the chipmunks to the food and allows you to aim and kill them.
Shooting is a more humane way to kill the animals because they die instantly. Make sure to do this in an area where no humans or other animals can be harmed.
Use Your Hair
One of the best chipmunk repellents is something that is already found in your house. Using your shedding hair or asking your barber for hair clippings work as natural chipmunk repellents and the best homemade squirrel repellent. Since these critters are so similar, they are deterred by the same things.
The smell of humans frightens the critters when spread around your property and along the foundation of your home. It also works as a natural fertilizer for your plants as it breaks down.
Create a Cayenne Repellent
One of the best chipmunk control tips is to use cayenne pepper as a deterrent.
Bring a quart of water to a boil and mix in two tablespoons of cayenne pepper and two tablespoons of olive oil. Once cooled, add the mixture to a spray bottle and spray it over infested areas and the entrances to chipmunk burrows.
Using Hardware Cloth
Hardware cloth is a wire mesh fabric that is handy for when you’re willing to put in extra work. Placing this wire mesh around your garden beds works to keep the chipmunks out of your beds and prevents them from digging up the bulbs and ruining all your labor.
If you’re redoing your landscaping, try laying some before planting your flowers. The cloth allows the roots to grow while protecting them from the ground up.
Mothballs as Chipmunk Deterrent
Mothballs keep chipmunks at bay because they contain naphthalene. Naphthalene creates a strong odor that rodents detest. If a chipmunk eats a mothball, it kills them.
Put mothballs in and around your garage, shed, attic, and porch. These balls are especially useful for keeping chipmunks outside of your home.
Various thiram-based repellents are available for purchase at your local hardware store. Thiram works as a fungicide and pesticide that gets sprayed around your property and potential problem areas. It keeps chipmunks away and requires little work.
Hire an Exterminator
As always, calling pest control is the best way to ensure that your chipmunk problem is handled. They are useful when you have an infestation that is too out of control for one person to manage.
Don’t be afraid to contact pest control if none of the above options seems to fix the problem.
Handling Dead Chipmunks
Never handle a rodent with your bare hands. If you used one of our ways to kill chipmunks and had success, make sure to put on gloves and long sleeves before disposing of the animal.
Pick up the animal with your gloves and take it far away from your home, preferably in a field. Once the animal is off your property, remove your gloves and sanitize them.
Thoroughly wash your hands under hot, soapy water and repeat for every dead chipmunk you find.
Although chipmunks are common in North America, too many of them in one area is cause for concern. Chipmunks are pests that could leave you paying thousands of dollars in damages if not appropriately taken care of.
Knowing how to get rid of chipmunks isn’t as hard as you may believe, and there are humane ways to handle them, so these pests stay away from your house for good.
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