Are chipmunks destroying your garden?
Chipmunks may play cute characters on television shows and in movies, and they may even be fun to watch running around your yard on a summer day, but don’t be fooled – chipmunks are also destructive little rodents that can wreak havoc on your property if you’re not careful.
If you’ve ever found yourself trying to think of creative ways to get rid of chipmunks, fear not! There are several methods you can use to deter these cute yet problematic animals. Yes, that’s right – we’re talking about chipmunk repellent!
Chipmunk repellent works as a safe and humane way to keep chipmunks out of specific areas. These versatile products come in many forms, including sprays, predator decoys, ultrasonic sound machines, and more.
But because there are so many types of chipmunk repellent products on the market, it can be difficult to know what to look for or what might be best for your property.
That’s where we come in. Join us today as we talk more about chipmunks, chipmunk repellent, and how to keep these cute critters in the forest where they belong.
What Are Chipmunks?
Chipmunks are small rodents closely related to squirrels.
Chipmunks are small, furry rodents that are most commonly found throughout the United States and Canada. They tend to make their homes in wooded areas, but they also share space with humans in parks, backyards and even cities at times.
The common name for a chipmunk is a ground squirrel, which can be confusing since they aren’t actually squirrels! Their proper name is “Tamias”, and though they are related to squirrels, chipmunks have different habits that can lead to different types of destruction.
Chipmunks come in a few shades of brown, gray, black and white. They have short tails, small ears, and they often have two dark stripes down their backs. These rodents are small, measuring only about six to ten inches from head to tail. They have small rounded ears, small eyes and large front teeth that are used for gnawing on nuts and seeds. Because they live in different types of environments, chipmunks rely on their dense fur coat to help them stay warm during cold winter months.
Although chipmunks aren’t usually aggressive toward humans or pets, their presence in your yard or home can quickly become a nuisance. If you don’t get rid of them quickly enough, chipmunks may chew through wires, shred insulation, or even begin burrowing into your yard or the walls of your house.
How To Identify A Chipmunk Problem In Your Home or Yard
Chipmunks may be cute and fun to watch, but they can be destructive.
If you’re experiencing the kind of damage that indicates a rodent problem, it’s important to first identify which type of rodent you’re dealing with so you can use the right products to remove or repel that rodent.
How To Tell Chipmunks And Other Rodents Apart
Chipmunks and other rodents are often confused for one another, but there are some distinct features that set them apart, as we mentioned above.
Chipmunks are not very social unless it’s mating season, though you may often see them around one another. They are active during the day, with most of their activities occurring during dusk and dawn. Chipmunks have alternating black and white stripes on their face and body, whereas squirrels, moles, rats, and mice do not. Chipmunks also emit a high pitched sound that is distinct and unique.
Other indications you are dealing with a chipmunk and not a squirrel, rat, or mole could include finding holes in your yard left by chipmunks digging or burrowing, or piles of droppings left behind near holes of these pests. If you have chipmunks in your walls or attic, you’ll likely hear strange sounds.
Nests may build up in your attic in the form of chewed insulation. You may also find gnaw marks through wires or on wood.
Let’s take a closer look at how to identify a chipmunk problem in your yard or garden.
Chipmunk holes in the Yard
Chipmunks dig holes in your lawn and garden for shelter. These holes are generally about two to four inches in width and are often located along the exterior of your home or under decks and porches.
Another sure sign that you have chipmunks and might need a good chipmunk repellent is by identifying their waste. Chipmunk waste is similar to rat droppings but smaller (about ¼ of an inch long). Like rats, squirrels, and mice, chipmunks can carry and spread disease, so be careful when cleaning up their waste.
If you’ve seen chipmunks around your yard and now it looks like something has been digging through your plants, chances are you have chipmunk damage! If a chipmunk is inside your home, pay close attention to your furniture.
if your furniture cushions look like they’ve been chewed on by small creatures with razor-sharp teeth, then a chipmunk may be to blame.
You may not see chipmunk nests directly unless you find them in your home. For the most part, chipmunks prefer to nest underground. However, if you find shredded leaves or other plant matter around the yard, it may be nesting materials left behind by chipmunks.
Why Do You Have Chipmunks In Your Yard, Garden Or Home?
Like all animals, chipmunks look for a safe place to live that provides them with food, water, and shelter.
Before you start looking at the best chipmunk repellent for your property, it’s important to know what is making your home or yard such a desirable living spot for a chipmunk.
Generally, chipmunks like to live in wooded areas, under porches and decks, in piles of old leaves or wood, in flower beds, and in gardens. Chipmunks are omnivores, and they feed on both insects and plants. They will often make their nests near these food sources, so if you have a chipmunk in your home it could be a sign of a secondary pest infestation.
Other factors that could attract chipmunks and lead to you needing a chipmunk repellent include outdoor bird feeders. Bird seed is highly attractive to chipmunks and they are common culprits of stealing that bird seed before the birds have had their fill.
Along with all these potential attractants to chipmunks, there are other things you should consider as well.
Like all animals, chipmunks seek out places that are safe and have the basic essentials they need to survive. This means that if you have chipmunks in your yard or in your home, you may be unwittingly providing them with food, water, and shelter.
Does Your Yard Offer Shelter And Safety From Predators?
Chipmunks are preyed upon by a number of animals, including owls, hawks, coyotes, foxes and snakes. They prefer to build their nests in places that offer shelter from the elements and safety from predators. If your yard has trees and shrubbery on the edges, it will provide enough cover for chipmunks to dig a burrow safely away from predators.
They Can Find Food In Your Garden
As we just discussed, chipmunks are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and insects. They will eat flowers, leaves, seeds, nuts, berries and mushrooms, along with crickets, beetles, caterpillars and spiders. If you have a garden or landscaping with any of these things growing in it, then you will likely attract chipmunks to your yard and be on the hunt for a good chipmunk repellent.
Chipmunks have a voracious appetite for acorns, nuts, birdseed and plants. They are not picky eaters, and they are often found in gardens that homeowners would like to keep rodent-free.
Chipmunks can cause damage to flower bulbs, dig holes in lawns and gardens, eat vegetables and chew on wood.
There Is Water
Like all animals, chipmunks need water in order to survive. Chipmunks get their water like many other mammals – they simply drink it. This means sources of water could include fountains, pet bowls, puddles, ponds, rivers, and streams
While it won’t be possible to remove all water sources from your yard to keep chipmunks at bay, it is important to recognize that if you have food, shelter, AND water on your property, you’re providing a free haven for these pesky rodents.
How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks Using Chipmunk Repellent
Chipmunk repellents are a safe and humane way to keep chipmunks at bay.
Chipmunks are active all year-round, which means there is no off-season when it comes to pest control for these rodents. If you’re looking for a quality chipmunk repellent, you should note that repellents are best utilized when used in conjunction with other methods of chipmunk removal.
One of the best ways to go about removing and repelling chipmunks is to make your yard or home less inviting for them. Remove any sources of food that may be attracting the chipmunks. Eliminate bird feeders or other food sources from your yard like insects and certain plants chipmunks may feed on.
Keep garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids, and pick up pet food every night to prevent that food from becoming an all-night buffet for wild animals.
Next, use one of the following treatments to scare away chipmunks:
Ammonia-Based Chipmunk Repellent
Ammonia is a strong odor that can irritate the chipmunk’s sensitive noses. Ammonia also mimics the smell of predator urine, so it has a two-fold ability to repel chipmunks by tapping into their natural survival instincts
Home remedies allow you to use household items like vinegar, ammonia, cayenne, or red pepper flakes as a DIY chipmunk repellent.
You might also be able to use essential oils to repel these pests as well like caster oil or garlic. (For more on how to use home remedies for chipmunk repellent, scroll down).
Electronic, Motion Activated, Or Ultrasonic Chipmunk Repellents
Chipmunks are very sensitive to certain sounds just as they are to certain scents. Ultrasonic sound repellents work by emitting a vibration or frequency that is highly irritating to chipmunks but harmless to people and pets.
Ultrasonic pest repellent machines work not only to repel chipmunks, but also many other pests like other rodents, lizards, snakes, and insects.
Chipmunks aren’t high up on the food chain, and they have quite a few natural predators. For this reason, they are naturally skittish animals and they will avoid building nests or even hanging out where predators could be nearby. There are plenty of predator decoys you could invest in to use as chipmunk repellent, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Catch And Release Traps
For the most part, getting rid of chipmunks in your yard or garden using chipmunk repellent is doable. However, getting rid of chipmunks in your home or beneath your deck could be more difficult.
If this is the case, you may want to use humane live traps that capture the chipmunks, allowing you to release them at least five miles away from your home so they can’t find their way back.
Professional Pest Control Experts
If you’re really struggling with chipmunks and getting rid of them using a chipmunk repellent or other methods, you always have the option of contacting professional pest control experts to help you rid yourself of these rodents.
But before you do, let’s first go over some of the best chipmunk repellent products we recommend.
Best Chipmunk Repellent Products, According To Experts
Chipmunk repellents are some of the best methods you can use to help manage a chipmunk problem.
Should you use a chipmunk repellent to get rid of chipmunks?
While there are many methods you can use when it comes to getting rid of chipmunks, we do suggest using a quality chipmunk repellent first.
Chipmunk repellents come in many different forms and are available in natural products that will not harm people, pets, or the environment. Furthermore, many people who wish to control chipmunks are not trying to harm them.
We’ll be honest. Chipmunks have a lot of personality and will liven up your backyard. They can be fun to watch for families especially if you don’t have many other animals around.
However, they can cause a lot of damage, which is why it’s a good idea to control how many chipmunks come around your property. It’s also a good idea to keep them at a safe distance as they can carry disease, as we mentioned earlier.
But what are the best chipmunk repellent products, according to experts? Take a look!
Natural Armor Peppermint Rodent Repellent
If you’re looking for a natural option for chipmunk repellent, we like Natural Armor Peppermint Rodent Repellent above. This repellent works using essential oils like peppermint oil to repel not only chipmunks but many other rodents like mice, squirrels, and rats.
The product is safe to use around people and pets and it is even safe for the environment. You can use this product both indoors and outdoors to repel chipmunks and rodents.
When applied correctly, the peppermint odor can also help repel insects that could potentially be attracting chipmunks to your property like spiders, beetles, ants, and roaches.
Plantskydd Animal Repellent
If you’re dealing with chipmunks munching on your vegetable garden, you might consider a chipmunk repellent specifically for keeping chipmunks away from your garden. The above product by Plantskydd is an animal repellent that repels not only chipmunks but other pests like deer, moose, rabbits, voles, and more.
It covers up to 4,000 square feet and can offer protection for up to eight weeks when applied correctly.
Grandpa Gus’s Natural Chipmunk Repellent Spray
The above spray by the Grandpa Gus’s Store provides a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical sprays and poisons that will work to deter chipmunks without harming them.
This product uses natural plant and essential oils like cinnamon oil to keep chipmunks from becoming problematic. Like many sprays of this nature, however, this product is a temporary fix to keeping chipmunks at bay.
It is best utilized with other methods and chipmunk repellent products on this list.
CherryPig Solar Rodent Repellent
These waterproof rodent repellent stakes work using solar power to send ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations into the ground to deter pests like chipmunks, voles, moles, and other digging pests.
It comes in a pack of four stakes and each stake emits an ultrasonic pulse into the ground every 20 seconds. The stakes are safe for children and pets and will not harm the environment.
They not only will help repel rodents like chipmunks, mice, rats, volees, and moles, but they will also help keep snakes at bay.
Hausse Solar Powered Owl Decoy
Last, we have a predator decoy as an effective chipmunk repellent for yards and gardens. Chipmunks are naturally fearful of birds of prey like owls and hawks, and you can use this decoy to not only deter them, but also deter other pests like squirrels, rats, mice, and voles.
They will also help keep smaller birds like pigeons from building nests on your roof or siding.
These decoys also double as decoration for gardens and yards.
Best Chipmunk Catch And Release Traps
Catch and release traps are a great way to humanely relocate problematic chipmunks that are difficult to get rid of.
There are many different types of chipmunk catch and release traps available, however, the best chipmunk catch and release traps should be humane, easy to set up, and easy to release the chipmunk.
Chipmunks may be caught using a live cage trap with a padded trigger. You can bait the chipmunk using apple slices, peanut butter, and even birdseed. Once chipmunks are trapped inside of your live trap, it’s time to release them.
Be sure to release the chipmunks at least five to ten miles away from your home to ensure they do not return.
Below we have listed some of the top rated catch and release traps you can use in conjunction with chipmunk repellent below.
Gingbau Live Traps
The Gimbau Live Traps above come in three sizes depending on which type of animal you are trying to catch and relocate. For chipmunks we recommend the medium size, which comes in a set of two.
This live trap is ideal for smaller rodents and works using a sensitive trigger. The door automatically locks, and all you will need is the bait to lure the animal inside. We also like that the metal is rounded and will not harm the chipmunk once he is inside the trap.
Catch And Release Chipmunk Traps
The above chipmunk traps by The Cat Kense Store also come in different sizes. For chipmunks specifically we recommend the small set that comes in either two or four. The material is made of durable polystyrene and is easy to clean and reuse.
The traps are safe for children and pets and will not harm the chipmunk when it enters the trap. It is easy to free the chipmunk with the removable door, so you can do so safely without having to handle the critter.
How To Make Chipmunk Repellent At Home
Sprinkle some cayenne in your birdseed to deter chipmunks and other rodents.
Home remedies to get rid of chipmunks can provide you with a less costly and sometimes even safer option for getting rid of chipmunks than some commercial solutions. However, be aware that homemade chipmunk repellent may not be as effective as store bought repellents, though they are certainly worth a shot.
Before you try a home remedy to get rid of chipmunks on your property, make sure that the products you are using are legal in your area. Some states have limitations on what you can use to deter animals from your property.
There are many home remedies that you can use to try to keep chipmunks out of your yard and garden. We have listed some of the more common and effective methods for you to consider below:
Cayenne pepper is highly irritating to chipmunks. It bothers their eyes, nose, and throat, but it will not harm them. To deter chipmunks using cayenne, sprinkle cayenne pepper in and around your garden. Not only does cayenne pepper repel chipmunks, but it can also deter other rodents as well.
Pro tip – if you want to keep chipmunks out of birdseed, simply mix it with cayenne! It will not deter the birds but it will deter the rodents!
Try Companion Planting
Companion planting specific plants will help keep chipmunks away from your home or garden. A few plants you can use to keep chipmunks at bay include lavender, alliums (like onions or garlic), rue, rosemary, pennyroyal, mint, and even catnip.
As we mentioned earlier, ammonia mimics the smell of predator urine. It is also a strong scented substance that is highly irritating to chipmunks in the same way cayenne pepper is.
To use ammonia as a chipmunk repellent, place an ammonia soaked rag near the entrance of your garden or where the chipmunks are nesting. Replace the rags with freshly soaked rags once every three days. You can also use cotton balls soaked in ammonia for the same effect.
Coffee Grounds And Ammonia-Soaked Cotton Balls
Fill a bucket with coffee grounds and ammonia-soaked cotton balls and place this bucket near the entrance of their burrow or along the fence line where they enter your yard to keep them out of your space altogether
Caster oil is another powerful scent that can help repel unwanted animals like chipmunks. Simply apply it directly on entry points and reapply after rain showers to maintain its effectiveness
Garlic cloves cut in half can be placed near problem areas as well; the smell from garlic repels a number of pests including animals, stray cats, and even insects!
Blood meal mixed with water can also act as a repellent for chipmunks by making them think there’s something dead nearby. It does not harm these animals but does deter them from coming near your home.
How To Repel Chipmunks – Tips And Tricks To Protect Your Yard and Home
Though chipmunks are fun to watch, they can be damaging. Using methods like chipmunk repellents can help to protect your home and yard.
If you want to be successful at getting rid of chipmunks, the first step is to make your yard and home less appealing to them. Most chipmunk repellent products aren’t very effective but you can use some tricks that will keep the animals away from your property.
First and foremost, eliminate any food sources that may be attracting the little pests in the first place. Make sure trash is put away properly, compost piles are covered tightly, bird feeders are hung away from shrubs and trees, fruit trees are picked clean and pet food bowls are put inside once pets have had their fill.
If a chipmunk comes around looking for a meal or a drink of water only to find it isn’t there then the animal is much more likely to move on somewhere else quickly.
Another important step to protecting your home from chipmunks is to seal up any holes or open spaces on your home where chipmunks might gain entry.
Many rodents can get into spaces as small as ½ inch across so even if you don’t think an opening looks large enough for a chipmunk to fit through we suggest sealing off anyway.
Make sure you look for openings along sidings or window frames as well as around pipes or chimneys that lead into crawl spaces or attics inside your house.
And remember, the best long-term chipmunk repellent is going to be a combination of chipmunk repellents, predator decoys, and home remedies like ammonia, pepper flakes, castor oil or cayenne.
We hope these tips listed above will help you repel chipmunks safely, humanely, and effectively. Some of these methods require some work, but with a few minor tweaks, you should be able to drive chipmunks away from your home for good.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!