How to Get Rid of Chipmunks in Yards and Gardens
Chipmunks are cute little creatures, but they can do a lot of damage to your yard.
They will eat all the produce from your garden and dig holes everywhere around your yard and landscaping. Unfortunately, if you don’t get them out of your yard then the problem will just get worse.
Here are some ways to get rid of chipmunks in your yard and garden without harming the animals or yourself.
8 Tips on How to Get Rid of Chipmunks
The sections below will give you multiple tips to get rid of chipmunks in your yard or garden. The tips are divided into 3 sections:
- Discouraging Chipmunks from Your Yard
- Detering Chipmunks from Your Yard
- Removing Chipmunks from Your yard
Follow these tips and your yard will be free of chipmunks in a few days.
Discourage Chipmunks from Coming to Your Yard
The first method of getting rid of chipmunks is making your yard or garden less attractive to them. We will focus on the chipmunk food and habitat that are attracting these creatures to your yard.
1. Keep Your Yard Clean
Chipmunks need places to put their food and to shelter themselves from predators. If you can reduce the number of places that they can take refuge then they are less likely to come to your yard.
One way to do this is by picking up any fallen branches or leaves that are lying around the ground and make sure there aren’t stacks of wood, lumber, bricks, or other things in a pile. These piles provide great shelter for chipmunks and their food sources will be easy to find because all they have to do is climb up the stack.
Chipmunks love living in grassy fields, tall weeds and hedges, or long bushes on the side of a building where they can hide from predators. Minimizing these types of locations will discourage chipmunks from coming to your yard.
2. Remove Food Sources
Another way to stop attracting chipmunks from your yard is to remove their food sources. They like to eat fruit, vegetables, and nuts. A simple first step is that you can pick up fallen fruit and vegetables off the ground so there is nothing left for them to eat.
Bird feeders are also a common food source for chipmunks. If you have a bird feeder then it’s best to clean up the ground below them so there aren’t any fallen seeds on the ground. Also, try keeping your bird feeders away from chipmunks by attaching them to an elevated metal pole that a chipmunk can’t climb.
Deter and Repel Chipmunks from Your Yard
The second method to get rid of chipmunks is to use repellents, predators, and fencing. These tips all rely on different types of deterrents to keep chipmunks out of your yard.
3. Natural Repellents
One way to keep chipmunks out of your yard is by using natural repellents.
Citrus rinds (lemon, orange, lime) and hot pepper flakes are effective repellents for getting rid of chipmunks. Using citrus and hot peppers can be as simple as placing them around your yard, sprinkling hot pepper flakes around fruit-bearing plants, or even mixing hot peppers with water and spraying it on the plants.
You can find homemade hot pepper recipes that not only deter chipmunks but also keep other pests such as rabbits away too. They don’t like the smell or taste of hot peppers, so they will avoid your yard in order to not get a mouthful of fiery hot chili peppers.
Mint is a common and effective chipmunk deterrent found in many commercial products. One benefit of a mint deterrent is that it smells good if you need to spray it around areas frequented by people. If you don’t want to make your own chipmunk deterrent then you can buy one of several natural repellents on the market.
4. Moth Balls
Mothballs are a time-tested and inexpensive repellent to chipmunks and other pests. They can be effective at keeping chipmunks out of your yard if you use them sparingly and in areas where they are likely to come into contact with the mothball.
One way to do this is by placing mothballs in the chipmunk tunnels found in your yard. You can also scatter mothballs around fruit-bearing plants, or even attach a few mothballs to stakes near woodpiles, brick piles, or other places that chipmunks are near.
Mothballs work best when they’re nearby the food sources or shelter that chipmunks like.
5. Owl Box or Decoy
Owls are a natural predator for chipmunks. Place an owl box near your yard to attract a real owl, or place a decoy of an owl in your yard to scare away the chipmunks.
An owl box is simply a manmade home for owls to nest. They consist of a wooden box around 3 to 5 feet high with a small opening for the owls to enter. If an owl makes its nest in your box, then it will hunt chipmunks and other small rodents in your yard.
An alternative solution is by setting up decoys made to look like a real owl. The decoy will scare off chipmunks and other pests by making them think there is an actual predator nearby.
6. Fencing or Barriers
The final method for deterring chipmunks is by installing a fence around the perimeter of your garden or any other sensitive areas that you want to protect.
For chipmunks, fencing only works for small areas since the chipmunks can scale or dig under the fence if you don’t install it appropriately.
The best type of fencing for chipmunks is a wire mesh fence (1/2″ or smaller) which can be found at any hardware store. You’ll need to place the bottom of the fencing six inches into the ground so chipmunks can’t dig underneath it.
Wire mesh fencing is a good option for raised bed gardens, but it isn’t the best option to protect your yard as a whole.
Remove Chipmunks from Your Yard or Garden
The third method to get rid of chipmunks is to remove them with live traps or the help of a professional.
7. Live Traps
Live traps are a great option for getting rid of chipmunks. They contain a bait that will lure the chipmunk inside the trap where it will be trapped until you release it far away from your home.
The only downside to live traps is that they are only effective if you check and manage them regularly. You need to keep fresh bait in the traps for them to be effective. Additionally, you need to know the hot spots for chipmunk activity in your yard and so you can place the trap in those areas.
You will likely have to move the trap to multiple areas to rid your entire yard of chipmunks. It isn’t uncommon to trap 20 or more chipmunks over a few week’s time with this method.
Live trapping is a very effective method for getting rid of chipmunks in your yard or garden, but they need daily checking so you don’t leave a trapped animal alive without food or water. It’s not very humane to leave a trapped animal inside the cage without food or water even for one night.
8. Call a Professional
The final option for removing chipmunks from your yard or garden is through professional services such as animal control companies, pest management specialists, or exterminators.
Professional service providers often have experience with invasive species like chipmunks. It’s their job to know where hot spots are so that you don’t have to worry about setting up and managing traps around the property yourself.
This solution is the most effective option because a professional service provider will have many different strategies and tools for removing chipmunks from your yard or garden.
Chipmunk Removal Options to Avoid
There are a couple of other options to remove chipmunks from your yard, but these options should be avoided if possible. There are many humane ways to remove chipmunks from your yard that you should always try first.
I strongly recommend that you only use these methods in extreme situations.
Chipmunk Snap Trap
A chipmunk snap trap is a trap that has been made to kill the rodent instantly when it enters. Think mouse trap but a little bigger. These traps are baited and provide an instant death for any animal who walks inside.
While effective, snaps traps are inhumane and they are less effective after the first use since it is difficult to remove the scent of the dead animal.
Poisoning chipmunks is the least humane and most ineffective option of them all. Poison bait for rodents is a bad idea because it can take up to a whole day for the rodent to die, and they are likely to die away from where they’re poisoned.
If you use poison as an option, you will end up with multiple chipmunk carcasses around your yard that will fill the area with an unpleasant smell.
Chipmunk Bucket Method
The bucket method for getting rid of chipmunks is a little more old-fashioned but surprisingly effective.
With the bucket method, you fill a bucket with water and place sunflower seeds in the bucket of water to attract chipmunks. A 2×4 board is placed from the ground to the bucket to give the chipmunks an entryway to the trap.
Once a chipmunk climbs into the bucket, they jump in for the sunflower seeds and drown after they tire from exhaustion. Effective but extremely inhumane.
Other Questions – Get Rid of Chipmunks
Here are a few common questions about how to get rid of chipmunks from your yard or garden.
What do chipmunks hate the most?
The best kind of chipmunk repellent is a hot pepper spray that will create an unpleasant smell for any animal who walks into it and it won’t harm any other critters in your area.
Do dryer sheets repel chipmunks?
Surprisingly, dryer sheets will repel chipmunks if you place them around your yard. They work because the scent of a dryer sheet is unpleasant to a chipmunk and they will avoid the area if it smells like dryer sheets.
What do chipmunks eat?
Chipmunks prefer to eat seeds, nuts, and fruits. However, they will also eat eggs if they find them in a nest or even bugs and worms around your yard.
What is a chipmunk’s natural predator?
The natural predator of chipmunks is the owl. Chipmunks have to be on guard when they’re near trees because owls will swoop down and catch them for a meal.
How deep do chipmunks burrow?
Typically, chipmunks will dig a hole that is about 12-36 inches deep. Their tunnels can extend up to a few hundred feet in extreme cases.
Conclusion – How to Get Rid of Chipmunks
Do you want to keep chipmunks from eating all your produce, destroying your garden, and digging holes in your yard and landscaping?
If so, then follow the tips in this article on how to get rid of them naturally and humanely.
Live traps are my preferred method for getting rid of chipmunks. This method is incredibly effective and easy for anyone to set up.
Live traps are also a humane option because chipmunks will not be killed when you relocate them to another area for them to thrive.
This double-sided trap is the perfect size to attract and capture chipmunks in your yard.