Here are some steps to get rid of chipmunks from home and backyard gardens permanently.
Chipmunks are considered to be agricultural pests. Compared to other pests, their feeding activities are considered to be minor.
Whatever the case is, lots of people would prefer to rid their surroundings of chipmunks especially when there are large numbers.
This article will show you how to get rid of chipmunks using the most effective way possible.
Early rodent control is also required to limit the damage.
How to Identify and Remove a Chipmunk
Identification is the first step in the treatment/control process. Identifying chipmunks isn’t difficult. Chipmunks are largely outdoor rodents and members of the squirrel family. They are little creatures that weigh a little above 5 ounces.
These striped rodents have several species that include;
Chipmunk species include the Townsend’s, Alpine, Hopi, Least, Eastern, Siberian, and Yellow-Pine. Other species include Uinta, Allen’s, Yellow Cheeked, Gray Collared, Durango, Gray-Footed, Siskiyou, Buller’s, and the Panamint among other species.
Among these species of chipmunks, the common ones are Western and Eastern Chipmunks. The tails of Western Chipmunks measure up to half of their body length while their body length measures 7 to 11 inches long. These are mainly found in the western part of the USA and Canada.
You can easily identify them by their fur colors which include white, brown, grey, and reddish. All chipmunks have stripes on their bodies.
Eastern chipmunks are larger than Western chipmunks up to a foot long. Tail length measures 3 to 5 inches. Areas you will find these species include the Eastern and Midwestern parts of the USA.
Hence, if you are faced with a chipmunk infestation problem in any of these locations, chances are that any of these species are responsible.
Chipmunk Feeding Habits
Knowing how to get rid of chipmunks involves understanding their feeding habits. Chipmunks feed on a variety of substances that include seedlings, nuts, insects, berries, grains, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and several other agricultural products.
Whenever you notice damage to your crops that include any of the above-mentioned, you may be faced with a chipmunk infestation problem.
Diseases Spread by Chipmunks
Ordinarily, chipmunks are not known to spread diseases. However, in an event where this pest is infested by ticks or fleas are infected, it will spread a range of diseases. Such diseases may be fatal or mild.
Rabies is quite fatal and can be spread by chipmunks.
Others include flu, plague, and skin rashes. In any case, you will have to visit health personnel for further diagnosis and treatment.
Identifying Chipmunk Infestation Damage
Damage caused by chipmunks is usually visible. These pests are known to burrow through ground surfaces hence the need to check beneath the porch or dug-up plants and seedlings.
You also need to inspect your foundation and walls as well as your lawn for possible chipmunk holes.
If spotted, you may have chipmunks around.
Finding a Chipmunk Burrow
While identifying damage is important, locating a burrow or several burrows is equally vital. The lives of chipmunks revolve around their burrows. This is because such burrows are used for both shelter and storage of food for the winter season.
To combat this problem, you need to be able to spot borrows and apply your preferred control method.
This could include the use of traps, electronic repellents, or a combination of several other measures.
If you prefer calling for a pest control service, a thorough inspection of the area is done by a pest control technician.
A recommended control strategy is chosen and treatment follows immediately. When identifying damage, this step is very important and will lead to tackling the source of the problem.
How to Spot a Burrow
Having discussed the need to find a chipmunk burrow to rid your surroundings of them, you need to know how to do so. Chipmunks will find any form of covering to make their nests or burrows.
Hence, places with lots of shrubs, stony surfaces as well as logs of wood will provide the perfect covering. Your search should be focused on such areas.
How to Get Rid of Chipmunks – Removal Methods
Chipmunks do not pose a significant threat compared to other rodents like mice and rats.
Given this, some people prefer using humane methods to help them get rid of such pests. These include a combination of preventive and non-preventive (for existing problems/infestation) methods.
They include the following;
The Use of a Live Trap
There are special chipmunk traps you can buy.
Before using this chipmunk control method, you need to have identified specific areas showing signs of damage. Because chipmunks come in different sizes, such traps have tiny holes to prevent escape. You only need to bait the trap with any of the earlier mentioned foods such as seedlings, nuts, or grains.
Once in, the chipmunk triggers the plate which shuts or traps it.
Regular inspection is required to release such chipmunks away.
Wire Mesh Fencing
Wire mesh fencing is primarily used as a preventive measure and is quite effective in getting rid of chipmunks. One of the few ways to use this is by building a mesh fence along the perimeter of your garden or your home.
When using this option, you need to ensure that the wire mesh extends a little below the ground surface. This prevents chipmunks from digging as they will encounter the wire mesh.
Another way to use Wire meshing as a Chipmunk deterrent is by laying it on the ground where you need to prevent it from accessing and covering the same with earth or other things that can conceal it.
This cost-effective method of getting rid of Chipmunks has proven to be quite efficient.
Have a Cat Around
Cats are effective predators and prey on all rodents (Chipmunks inclusive).
Hence to get rid of chipmunks easily from your property, you only need to get a cat. This scares them away and makes them keep their distance from your home and garden. Your home is kept free of damage. It also ceases to be a breeding ground for Chipmunks as long as the cat remains.
This is one good home remedy to get rid of Chipmunks.
Make your Home Surroundings Free of Clutter
Chipmunks will thrive in areas having clutter around. Therefore if you have such around your home, you may want to consider clearing such. The cleaner and well-groomed your home surroundings are, the less likely you will have a Chipmunk problem.
It is a well-known fact that chipmunks burrow through ground surfaces to feed or move unspotted.
This action causes significant damage to properties because the soil structure is affected. Significant soil burrowing can lead to structural defects.
In addition to clearing up all forms of clutter, you can include any of the above-mentioned methods to enable you to get rid of chipmunks completely.
This is a cost-saving preventive measure that can be deployed by you.
Making Use of Electronic Repellents
This is one of the most effective methods you can use to keep chipmunks at bay.
Electronic repellents work using motion sensors. These repellents are triggered whenever moving chipmunks or other rodents move close by. It works by sprinkling water around such areas to scare these pests away.
Electronic repellents/sprinklers can be placed wherever you think they will be most useful.
Clear Food Sources
Chipmunks like all rodents are attracted by food. This is in addition to the availability of shelter or the right conditions for a dwelling.
To get rid of chipmunks, you will need to eliminate all forms of food such as seedlings, nuts, berries, grains, etc.
An abundance of these makes your yard a destination for these pests. How your flowers or shrubs are planted will determine if you have chipmunks living within or around your home.
One of the ways to do this is by trimming overgrown flowers or shrubs, especially those close to your building’s foundation.
Do you keep birds? If you do, their feeders should be kept a considerable distance from your home.
Doing this helps in no small measure to discourage chipmunk populations from thriving.
Exclusion plays an important part in ridding your home of chipmunks.
Open spaces are open invitations for these pests. Hence you can block such open spaces or cracks by caulking or sealing entry points. The whole point is to keep your private space out of reach to these pests.
Through exclusion, you will be adopting a cost-effective method of pest control that is also highly efficient.
Knowing how to get rid of chipmunks is a process that requires significant insight. In this article, we have tried to provide the same by focusing on important aspects of chipmunk behavior.
We also discussed their species, feeding habits, as well as health risks (diseases spread by them) posed. Other equally important sections of this article include identifying damage caused, the types of treatment which also include preventive measures and more.
We hope you will find this useful in controlling all forms of chipmunk invasion you may be faced with.