While many people may consider chipmunks to be cute and harmless, having too many in your backyard can cause quite the disturbance to your garden. They can interfere with the growth of your plants and vegetables, as well as ruining the overall landscaped look with the holes they create. Fortunately, there are a number of different steps that you are able to take in order to get rid of the infestation of chipmunks on your property.
The first thing that you really want to know is what exactly attracts chipmunks in the first place. This is in addition to their regular habits as they scurry around property. Things that attract chipmunks include the following:
1. Clean up food scraps
Chipmunks will eat almost anything, including grass, as well as human food such as peanuts and bread. They will also eat small rodents and birds, however they do not actively seek them out as a food source.
By keeping your yard tidy and free of food scraps, you’ll make it less inviting for the little critters to set up camp.
2. Mr. Sun
Chipmunks don’t like open spaces as it is easier for them to be caught by predators, and as such they are attracted to sheltered areas with trees or even the rain gutters on your house. If you have areas in your yard with a lot of open cover, chances are you are giving these chipmunks plenty of real estate to scamper about.
You can make the effort worthwhile by trimming trees and bushes in your yard. That way, you can get some much needed yard work done while solving the chipmunk problem.
3. It’s a trap!
If you want to pursue these strategies further, your next step would be to purchase a live animal trap. The most common form these come in is a metal cage in which you would place peanuts or other food items to lure the chipmunk inside.
These types of traps are designed to close once the chipmunk is inside and eating the food. Once the chipmunk cannot get out, you can remove them from your property and the trap in accordance with any animal control laws in your area.
4. Make your own trap
Instead of purchasing a trap, you may also consider making one at home. The most popular homemade trap is the bucket of water. For this trap, you want to pour water into a bucket until it is about half full, then lean a wooden plank up against the bucket. Make sure that it is at an appropriate angle so that it is easy for the chipmunks to walk up the plank.
After the plank is set up, you will then want to scatter peanuts and sunflower seeds around the bucket and plank, up the plank, and in the bucket of water. This will attract chipmunks to your trap and cause them to walk up the plank while eating the food, before falling into the bucket and drowning.
5. Dispose of dead chipmunks
While you must make sure to check with your local animal control about how to dispose of dead chipmunks, there are two main things that you will have to do regardless of location: The first is to wear gloves whenever you have to handle dead chipmunks and other dead animals. But even when you are wearing gloves, you should always wash your hands after handling dead animals as they may be infested with fleas, mites, or other unpleasant things (including diseases).
While traps can leave chipmunks alive, this type of method often kills the chipmunks. If you only wish to get them off your lawn but do not want to kill them, natural methods tend to be the better option, although chipmunks can still be killed in a few of these methods.
6. Use some mothballs
First, you can place mothballs around the foundation of your house, the plants that you wish to protect, and any chipmunk holes. This method will not kill the chipmunks, but as chipmunks do not like mothballs and are deterred by their scent, mothballs will end up pushing the chipmunks back to the perimeter of your lawn.
If you don’t want to use mothballs, you can replace them with another item that chipmunks do not like smelling. This includes blood meal as well as un-chewed sticks of fragrant gum.
7. Use your pets
If you have a pet, another more natural method would be to let your cat or dog roam around outdoors. This will often scare the chipmunks away, as most pets will chase them. Keep in mind however, that even though chipmunks are quite fast and will often escape, this is the natural method that can result in some chipmunks being killed if your pet manages to catch them.
The other more natural option is to use a hot sauce and water solution to deter chipmunks from eating your plants. All you have to do is mix these two ingredients in a bottle and spray the solution over your plants. Chipmunks stay away from hot sauce and similar tastes such as cayenne pepper. As a result, this method limits their food supply in your area and will drive them to move and seek out food sources in other locations.
Remember that any sprays you use will need to be reapplied frequently in order to remain effective.
8. Call in the profess
If none of the above methods work, you don’t have enough time, or there are simply too many chipmunks for you to handle, the other option available to you is to simply call a professional to handle the situation.
Professionals are trained in getting rid of pests and animals like chipmunks and may often have other methods that are unavailable to you. They are also better equipped to handle any dead chipmunks. Generally, this is also a foolproof way to get rid of the critters terrorizing your property.
Getting rid of chipmunks doesn’t have to be overly difficult. They are fairly sneaky animals, but remember that they are quite small and are easily scared. This is a battle that you can win! Follow the suggestions listed above and there will hopefully no longer be any chipmunks in your life.