Chipmunks are some of the more adorable rodents we humans encounter here in North America. Related to squirrels, chipmunks are known for their unique striped backs, their chubby cheeks, and their starring roles in movies and shows like Alivn and the Chipmunks.
Still, despite being cute and entertaining, chipmunks can also wreak havoc on yards and gardens and even cause hundreds of dollars in damage to your foundation if they burrow too closely to the perimeter of your home.
So, how do you get rid of chipmunks in your yard and garden and keep them from returning? That’s what we are here to talk about. Join us as we go over how to get rid of chipmunks and learn a few interesting facts about these cute creatures along the way.
What Are Chipmunks?
Chipmunks are small rodents closely related to squirrels.
Chipmunks are small rodents who grow up to 11 inches tall and weigh about 4.4 ounces. There are 25 different species of chipmunk, all of which are native to North America.
The exception to the rule is the Siberian chipmunk, who occupies areas around Northern Asia.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of chipmunks, we have some good news for you. Chipmunks do not live in large colonies and are actually quiet solitary animals. They only meet up twice a year when it’s time to mate, and then they part ways again. Female chipmunks raise their young on their own, and then the young move on to live their separate isolated lives eight weeks later upon reaching maturity.
However, while chipmunks are solitary, they are not shy. Chipmunks are rather talkative little rodents who chatter all day long. You’ve likely heard chipmunks, although you may have thought you were listening to birds.
You can listen to some chipmunks chattering in the video below.
And while chipmunks are interesting, cute, and even fun to listen to, the damage even one chipmunk can cause when it burrows too close to your home or garden can be extensive. Let’s take a look below at how to recognize chipmunk damage and how to get rid of chipmunks once they become problematic.
Chipmunk Damage – How To Recognize A Chipmunk Problem
Chipmunks are famously cute but they can also be famously destructive.
Chipmunks are burrowing rodents who can dig as far as three feet underground. They make two different types of chambers and dwellings, most often preferring to make their dwellings near covers like trees, stumps, woodpiles, and other forms of hideouts so they can escape from predators quickly if need be.
Sometimes, chipmunks will make their nests near your foundation, and this can be problematic. If you’re here wondering how to get rid of chipmunks, then you may have noticed a few tell-tale signs of a chipmunk problem.
But if you’re not sure what to look for to determine if you do indeed have a chipmunk problem on your hands, we’ve listed some of the most common signs of chipmunk damage below.
The most common signs of a chipmunk problem in your yard include:
- Uprooted bulbs or plants
- Small holes near the foundation of your home or near trees, woodpiles, or other sheltered areas
- Trails along walkways or leading to holes
- Disturbed bird feeders
For the most part, chipmunks keep to themselves and may not need to be removed at all, so long as they aren’t causing any serious problems to your home, garden or foundation.
In fact, chipmunks are beneficial rodents who help aerate the soil and even disperse plant seeds in their waste as well as when they bury seeds to hoard. Chipmunks are also an important food source for other wildlife and have countless predators, including eagles, owls, fox, and more.
However, if these rodents have nested too close to your home and burrowing has gotten out of control, it may be time to look into some of the best methods for how to get rid of chipmunks.
How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks – Three Popular Methods
You can get rid of chipmunks using three popular methods like trapping, repelling, and professionals.
Since chipmunks are beneficial and solitary rodents, they are usually not too difficult to get rid of. Most experts advise against using poisons and other lethal procedures for chipmunk removal.
Instead, they recommend using the below methods for how to get rid of chipmunks.
Before you decide which method is right for you, make sure you do some research into the laws in your region. In some states, capturing and relocating chipmunks may be illegal without a license.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how to get rid of chipmunks using the above methods, and learn about the most common tools used by experts for each.
Using small rodent catch-and-release traps are one of the easiest methods for how to get rid of chipmunks. These traps are humane, safe to use, and don’t require the use of any chemicals or poisons.
If you aren’t sure which traps would be best for how to get rid of chipmunks, don’t worry. We listed several of our favorites below. However, if you prefer to look for your own chipmunk traps, keep in mind that most traps that work for squirrels will work for chipmunks as well.
Chipmunks are rodents related to squirrels, so most repellent methods used for squirrels will also work for chipmunks. You can use repellents like ultrasonic stakes or plug-ins, scent repellents, and fencing to help reduce chipmunk activity in your yard and garden.
If you have a few chipmunks on your property or are even dealing with some nesting chipmunks with young, you may want to turn to a professional pest control expert for help. If you trap and release a mother chipmunk and relocate her too far, her babies will slowly die of starvation. If you relocate her too close, she will simply return.
The best way to go about handling a nesting chipmunk with young is to contact a professional and ask for help.
This Video Further Discusses The Above Methods Of Chipmunk Removal And Prevention
How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks Using Traps
Traps are a quick and effective way to capture and relocate pesky chipmunks.
Many experts agree that using a live trap is the most effective and ethical method for how to get rid of chipmunks. And, as we mentioned above, since chipmunks are so closely related to squirrels, most live squirrel traps or small rodent catch-and-release traps will work well for relocating chipmunks.
We have listed a few of our favorite traps for how to get rid of chipmunks below.
RatzFatz Catch And Release Live Trap
First on our list is this catch-and-release trap by RatzFatz. Specifically designed for small rodents like chipmunks, rats, squirrels, voles, moles, and mice, this trap is a safe and humane way to capture and relocate chipmunks without harming them.
The trap uses a pedal-trigger and allows you to set the sensitivity of the trigger so you can specifically target the size and weight of the chipmunk causing you problems.
We also like that you can reuse this trap as many times as needed and that it’s easy to clean and can be used both indoors and outdoors for humane rodent removal.
Havahart 2-Door Trap
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This chipmunk trap by Havahart works using two different doors for a better chance at trapping and relocating the chipmunks in your yard. The doors are spring loaded, so you have a higher rate of success in trapping them and reduce the chances of the chipmunk escaping.
You can use this trap inside and outside as well, and it is made for safe relocating with a covered base at the handle for your safety. Best of all, this trap has smooth metal edges on the inside, so it is safe and harmfree for the chipmunk.
Rugged Ranch Squirrelinator Trap
Again, any trap that works for a squirrel will work for a chipmunk, which is why we have included this Squirrelinator on our list. This is a great trap if you have several chipmunks on your property, as it can catch many at once.
This is a bait and set trap, which can be baited with peanut butter, birdseed, peanuts, or sunflower seeds to attract chipmunks.
Kensizer Small Animal Trap
Chipmunks are often a bit smaller than squirrels, which is why we like it when we come across traps that have smaller mesh wiring, like this live rodent trap by Kensizer. This is a small animal trap specifically designed for smaller animals and works using a trigger loaded door.
You can use this trap for rats, mice, squirrels, and other pesky rodents you don’t want running around your yard. Like many of these traps, you can use this both inside and outside, and it is a great trap for how to get rid of chipmunks near the foundation of your home due to its size.
Havahart One-Door Trap
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This is another Havahart trap we like for chipmunk control. Although it is specifically designed for squirrels, it will work fine to trap chipmunks as it uses a “gravity action” door lock which is triggered by weight and locks when closed, which helps prevent chipmunks from escaping.
The trap is also ideal for relocation as it has a handle for you to safely remove the chipmunk from your property.
How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks Using Repellents
Repellents will help keep chipmunks from becoming a problem around your home and property.
Repellents can be controversial when it comes to the best methods for how to get rid of chipmunks. Some repellents can use harsh chemicals and even poisons that are harmful not only to chipmunks, but also to people, pets, and the environment.
Luckily, there are plenty of all natural repellents you can use safely and humanely, and we’ve listed some of the top repellents for how to get rid of chipmunks recommended by experts below.
Ultrasonic Electronic Pest Repellent
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Ultrasonic pest repellents work best for inside homes, but they can still be used on covered porches with outlets to help those looking for how to get rid of chipmunks and keep them from nesting too close to the perimeter of your home.
This ultrasonic pest repellent product can also repel mice, mosquitoes, ants, bed bugs, spiders, and squirrels. However, ultrasonic pest repellent products may need to be used with other repellents to help keep chipmunks at bay, so keep that in mind.
IMustGarden Rodent Repellent Granules
Because chipmunks can cause major problems to our landscaping and our gardens, we like the idea of using rodent repelling granules to help keep them at bay. These repellent granules are specifically made to help you not only figure out how to get rid of chipmunks but also help keep out squirrels and other garden-destroying rodents.
They help repel chipmunks using all natural ingredients and keep them from digging in your garden or flower pots. You can use this safely on plants and in areas where pets and children play.
Rodent Defense Natural Repellent
Another natural repellent we like for how to get rid of chipmunks is an all natural repellent by Rodent Defense. You can use this product inside or outside the home and along your home’s perimeter. In fact, you can even use this in your vehicle or in your RV, tractor, or boat.
It works to not only repel chipmunks, but also squirrels, rats, mice, and other rodents. And because it uses all natural ingredients like peppermint oil, it’s safe to use around children and pets.
Ultrasonic Electronic Repellent
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Another ultrasonic plug in we like as a natural and safe method for how to get rid of chipmunks is an electronic repellent for rodents. It should not only help protect your property from chipmunks, but should also work to repel mice, mosquitoes, ants, bed bugs, spiders, and more.
This product is mostly for indoor use, so you can use it in your garage, or in your garden shed if you are having trouble with chipmunks intruding inside. It is also safe to use in areas with children and pets, and will not harm the environment.
Plantskydd Animal Repellent
Plantskydd offers an all-around animal repellent for gardens to help you get rid of chipmunks. We like this product because it specifically helps keep gardens safe from these burrowing rodents while also being safe to use on plants
This repellent won’t only work for how to get rid of chipmunks, but it will also help get rid of other garden-eating wildlife like deer, rabbits, moles, squirrels, and voles.
Each application lasts about two weeks and it is weather resistant and safe to use around children and pets.
Grandpa Gus’s Squirrel Repellent
Last but not least is Grandpa Gus’s Squirrel Repellent. This is an all natural repellent that should work to repel both squirrels and chipmunks using all natural ingredients that are safe to use around pets and children.
You can use this repellent inside and outside of your home as well as on garden plants, in sheds, barns, vehicles, and anywhere else you want to keep chipmunks at bay.
But what if you try all the above methods for how to get rid of chipmunks and they don’t work? Then it may be time to call in the professionals. Let’s learn more.
How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks – When To Call The Professionals
If you have an overwhelming chipmunk problem, it may be time to contact professionals.
While chipmunk infestations are usually rare considering chipmunks are solitary rodents, there may be a chance you cannot get rid of the chipmunks on your property and will need to call in a professional.
You will most likely need professional help if you come across a chipmunk nesting too close to your property who has had pups. If this is the case, capturing and relocating a mother chipmunk and her newborns could be difficult and dangerous for the animals.
Luckily, most professional pest control experts will be able to advise you on what to do and how to go about removing the chipmunk family safely. Then, once you have figured out how to get rid of chipmunks on your property, you should immediately go about using preventatives to keep chipmunks from returning and causing damage.
Along with the commercial preventatives and repellents listed above, you can also work on how to get rid of chipmunks and keep them from returning using home remedies.
Take a look.
How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks Using Home Remedies
Pureed hot peppers and garlic can help keep chipmunks away.
When looking for homemade remedies and how to get rid of chipmunks, keep in mind that chipmunks are rodents. That said, most homemade remedies that repel other rodents should work to also repel chipmunks.
Some of the best home remedies for how to get rid of chipmunks are:
- Garlic And Hot Pepper Mix
Chipmunk are sensitive to hot peppers and don’t like the smell of garlic. You can dice fresh garlic and mix it with hot peppers. Let this formula sit in water for a day or two, then put it in a spray bottle and spray it around the perimeter of your home, lawn, and garden to help keep chipmunks and other digging rodents away.
- Plant Chipmunk Repellent Plants
If chipmunks have become a problem in your garden, we suggest planting chipmunk repellent plants like daffodils, allium, hot peppers, peppermint, geranium, lily of the valley, and hyacinths.
- Plant Bulbs Under Mesh Fencing
Chipmunks are notorious for digging up bulbs. If you want to keep your garden intact and protect bulbs from chipmunks, try planting them beneath mesh fencing that measures 1” x 1”.
- Install an L-Shaped Footer Around Gardens and Landscaping
The ideal footer will be made of welded wire mesh and will be buried at least a foot below the earth to work properly and to keep animals like chipmunks from burrowing under. However, you can also bury the footer just under the soil if you can’t dig that far down, and should still help.
Make sure you have the footer bent at a 90 degree angle and aiming away from the garden or landscaping you are trying to protect and that it extends at least another foot. This should also help keep moles, voles, and other burrowing pests from getting into your garden.
- Cayenne Pepper Or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Since chipmunks don’t like spicy things, it makes sense they won’t like cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes. If you are looking for a safe and natural way for how to get rid of chipmunks around the perimeter of your home or garden you can create a barrier using hot pepper flakes and cayenne. However, remember that chipmunks burrow, so this remedy should be used with other repellents like L-shaped footers.
Quick Facts – What You Should Know About Chipmunks
Chipmunks can be problematic, but they are also beneficial.
Most people find chipmunks to be delightful little creatures and, thanks to the help of Hollywood, rarely see them as pests. However, you will see them as pests if they begin digging up your lawn or garden or if they cause damage to the structure of your home.
That said, chipmunks are fascinating, intelligent, and entertaining little rodents worth learning about. Let’s take a look at some quick facts about chipmunks.
Chipmunks are only social during mating season, which is during spring and summer
During this time, female chipmunks will use a mating call to entice males. Once they are done mating, male and female chipmunks go their own way. Female chipmunks raise their young on their own. Typically, chipmunk young, known as pups, kits, or kittens, are born in litters of four to five.
Chipmunks babies stay with their mother for up to two months
In fact, they don’t even venture out from their underground nest until they are about 40 days old.
Chipmunks “hibernate” during the winter…sort of
Well, they don’t completely hibernate. During the winter, chipmunks spend their time in their burrows with a decreased heart rate and undergo a prolonged period of sleep, only waking periodically to much on foods they have hoarded beforehand to prepare.
Chipmunks have a pretty average lifespan when compared to other rodents
Chipmunks have a variety of natural predators, but tend to live between three and six years in the wild. The Siberian chipmunk, however, can live between six and ten years.
Tips On Preventing Future Chipmunk Problems
Preventing chipmunks means making a few changes to your environment.
Since no one has time to run around after chipmunks and try to trap and relocate them, the best method for how to get rid of chipmunks is to prevent them from becoming a problem in the first place.
Along with repellents for how to get rid of chipmunks, we also recommend using some preventative techniques to keep them at bay, which we have listed below.
- Plant Chipmunk Repellent Plants In Your Yard
As we mentioned above in our home remedies section for how to get rid of chipmunks, planting chipmunk repellent plants in your garden is one of the easiest and most efficient ways you can help keep them from digging up your flowers.
While there are a number of plants we listed for repelling chipmunks, the most effective seem to be daffodils and allium.
However, we should note that some species of plants are toxic to pets if ingested, including daffodils, so do your research before you plant animal-repellent plants in your yard or garden, especially if you have dogs or cats.
- Invite The Predators
Another way you can help keep chipmunks under control in your yard and garden is to invite their predators. This isn’t a difficult task, considering chipmunks have so many predators they have to be on the lookout for.
Owls make a formidable predator to a number of rodents, so try placing owl boxes around your property. Owl boxes provide owls a safe space to nest, encouraging them to come to your property and thus keeping chipmunks and other rodents away.
- Clean up fallen fruit and nuts from trees and install rodent-proof bird feeders
Clean up around your yard and remove fruits and veggies as soon as they are ripe from your garden and trees. You should also install bird feeders that are rodent-proof to help eliminate easy access to food, which will only encourage chipmunks to hang around.
- Fence in gardens
Along with using an L-shaped footer at the base of your garden, fencing gardens will help protect your plants and bulbs from being destroyed by burrowing pests like chipmunks, moles, voles, and even squirrels.
- Use repellents
Once you have figured out how to get rid of chipmunks successfully, you can still implement repellents in your gardening routine to continue to keep them from coming back.
What do you think? Do you find chipmunks a nuisance, or do you enjoy having them around your yard? We would love to hear from you! Tell us your thoughts about chipmunks and methods for how to get rid of chipmunks in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.