Chipmunks are small animals that resemble grey squirrels. Their bodies are tan/brown with dark or light stripes running down their back. These dorsal stripes vary with the species. The two main species are the eastern and western chipmunk. Eastern chipmunks have three dark stripes while the western species has five. Both are small only reaching 8-10 inches at maturity. Either can hibernate, but western chipmunks seem more likely to stay active all year. Both species breed in the spring and summer months. Gestation usually takes one month and litters may have 2-8 young. The eastern species seems to be more likely to have more than one litter a year, although either species may have several if the conditions are right.
Related articles: GOPHERS GROUND SQUIRRELS MOLES PRAIRIE DOGS SHREWS SQUIRRELS VOLES
Other Information: PEST ARTICLES
CHIPMUNK BIOLOGY *
Chipmunks are ground dwellers. They are active during the day and move around cautiously and tentatively. Chipmunks exist in all 48 of the main states of America and seem to be thriving more now than ever. As with other animals, chipmunks have been able to take advantage of suburban areas. They can exist alongside man in parks, wooded lots or in our yards. The rule is simple; if there is a supply of food around your property then expect to have some chipmunks moving in as neighbors. Chipmunks have a large list of food on which they will readily feed. This list includes slugs, snails, insects, small birds, eggs, mice, seeds, fruit, vegetables, seeds, flower bulbs, and pet food. They seem to have an endless appetite and will hoard food if given the opportunity. Homes with pet food, bird feeders, nut trees, gardens, flowers or an abundance of insects are likely to have chipmunk activity. In most cases, the first signs of chipmunks are welcomed. These small animals are both cute and innocent looking. Most people like to watch them as they forage for food and move about in the yard. But don’t let their harmless looks charm you. Chipmunk infestations can quickly grow out of control and once established, they can be difficult to remove! Watch to online video to see just what one looks like.
CHIPMUNK PROBLEMS *
Chipmunks can be a problem several ways. Each case is different, but they all start the same. One day, a chipmunk is seen foraging in the yard. The homeowner leaves the animal to do as it likes not realizing what will happen. Soon, this one chipmunk becomes many. This increase in population leads to problems from the chipmunks behavior. If you have chipmunks in your yard, here are some of the problems you might expect to have happen.
1) Chipmunks eating garden vegetables and fruits
2) Chipmunks eating from bird feeders.
3) Chipmunks chewing on cable lines, air conditioning pipes and electric lines.
4) Chipmunks burrowing into the ground which leads to water undermining patio slabs, driveways and foundation walls. This undermining will eventually lead to water getting inside your home, cracked cement slabs and broken driveways.
5) Flowers, bulbs and other plants being eaten or dug up.
6) Flea problems developing on the chipmunks and then ultimately becoming for pets and people.
7) The possibility of diseases such as plague, Rocky Mountain spotted fever or the Powassan virus to be transmitted to you or your family increases with these animals being around.
8) Flower beds, retaining walls and trees have been tunneled and burrowed into leading to water problems. For flower beds and trees, this excessive water will lead to fungus and water rot. This ultimately will lead to the plant becoming diseased or sick. Retaining walls which are tunneled through will become weak and damaged leading to repair quicker than normal.
9) Burrows made against the home will lead to a quicker breakdown of any termiticide barrier.
10)Snake infestations. Chipmunks will inevitably attract snakes which will come looking for the chipmunks for food.
CHIPMUNK CONTROL THAT DOESN’T WORK *
1) Baiting with “Poison Peanuts” or other Rodent bait. Chipmunks are fussy and only seem to like tasty and selective foodstuff generally not available in a “bait” form.
2) Flushing water or gasoline down their burrows. Putting gas down their burrows will sterilize the ground and the chipmunks will simply avoid treated areas. Since their burrows usually go 20-40 feet, it is not likely that you can reach them with either gas or water. Don’t waste your time or money.
3) Rat snap traps. Although you may get an animal or two, the rest of the population will quickly learn to avoid them.
4) Cats and dogs. Although your cat or dog may occasionally kill one or two, more will quickly occupy the vacated area. Typically, the chipmunks which inherently are coy enough to escape the pets reproduces and their offspring inherit these same qualities which allow them to survive as well.
5) Moth balls. As the name implies, this product is for moths – not chipmunks. Although they smell to people, don’t expect them to do anything to chipmunks. No one knows where this old wives tale originated but you can rest assured it will not chase away chipmunks.
CHIPMUNK REPELLENT *
The only repellent which has shown to have any ability to scare or repel is COYOTE URINE. Since they are are predatory and love small rodents, chipmunks don’t want like being close to areas which have active coyotes. Applying some close to burrows, around trees and shrubs where chipmunks are active and any plant you want to protect has proven to scare chipmunks in some instances. The use of urine really proves effective when applied before the animals have established themselves. If you know they are a nuisance in nearby properties, it will serve you well to apply some around your property line every few months to help keep them out. REPELLENT GUARDS will help to keep the material protected from the rain and sun. This will allow applications and odors to last even longer. Once established, however, the use of repellents will probably not work. You will need to start using some of the more specific materials we have for active infestations.
CHIPMUNK REPELLENT SPRAY *
If you are trying to control nuisance chipmunks, there are things you can do. We will now list the products available for the type of control you are looking to accomplish. For chipmunks which are chewing on plants, wires or pipes, use ROPEL SPRAY to stop them. Ropel tastes terrible and once the chipmunks get the taste of it, they will avoid treated surfaces. Ropel is easy to apply. Simply spray it with a pump sprayer or a trigger sprayer. It is clear, odorless and does not stain. It will not harm pets, children or the chipmunks, but it will get them to stop chewing whatever you spray with it. Generally, treatments last 30 days. Expect longer residual during dry weather and less with a lot of rain. However, Ropel tastes so bad that even trace amounts are enough to keep them away.
And to chase away chipmunks seen foraging on your property, you can set out a combination of PEST RID GRANULES and PEST RID SPRAY. Understand that neither will hurt or injure plants, the chipmunks or other animals. But what Pest Rid will do is make the area annoying to the chipmunks and in turn, chase them away. Pest Rid won’t work on relocating nesting chipmunks so if you have burrows and know they’re nesting on your property, you’ll have to remove the existing population using one of the methods listed below. But if you’re seeing a chipmunk or two here and there and want to make sure they don’t start creating nests on your property, set out some Pest Rid where they’re being seen and this should deter them.
Pest Rid Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/granule/pest-rid-exempt-granules-2-pound
CHIPMUNK FUMIGATION *
If you have several burrows throughout your yard but are not quite sure where the chipmunks are active, the use of GAS STICKS might help. These are sulfur gas smokers that have fuses. To use, light the fuse and then place the smoker down the burrow. The intention is to kill the chipmunk with the smoke. It usually takes 2 smokers to treat every burrow. The problem with this treatment method is that it is very hard to get proper coverage. If you don’t get the smoke to fill every part of the burrow, the chipmunks will usually move to the part where there is enough air for them to survive. In order for the coverage to be complete, you need to be sure all entry and exit holes to the burrows are closed. Do this by covering the holes with rocks and dirt. If all holes to the burrows are sealed and the gas is able to fill their tunnels, the gas will kill them. This approach may be less expensive and time consuming, but it is difficult to be successful. Expect some to live and that you will more than likely have to do several treatments to knock out existing populations.
Giant Destroyer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/fumigant/giant-destroyer-4-pk
CHIPMUNK TRAPPING BAIT AND LURE *
The most practical and effective method for chipmunk control is live trapping. Chipmunks are easy to catch and can be caught with little effort. The use of a live trap is humane and they won’t become afraid of it. Simply place the trap by their burrows or under plants, trees or bird feeders where you have seen them. Use any of the food stuff you know they are eating as bait and you will quickly catch foraging animals; if you’re not sure what it is they’re eating locally, go with MIXED BIRD SEED. To catch them real fast, add TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE to the set. The aroma is very attractive and will cause them to find your trap rapidly.
Pecan Paste: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Apply one tablespoon on the trip pan of the trap and smear it across the metal plate. Now add some seed to the back of the trap, behind the trip pan, as well as to the middle and front entrance. This video shows how to make a great trap set for chipmunks.
As explained in the video, the Pecan Paste is what will get them to the trap and once they arrive at it’s side, they need to see something in the trap which will make them want “in”. A seed placement at the back, behind the trip pan is important. But as explained in the video above, it’s many times not enough by itself. Place Pecan Paste on the trip pan as well as trailing some lure and seed out the front door and you’ll get better results. Chipmunks have a keen sense of smell so make a set that takes advantage of this trait. By drawing a “line” using both lure and seeds, you’ll enable them to find their way exactly where you want them to go. And don’t forget to line the bottom of the cage with some pine straw or something else that’s around the set location to cover the metal wire. Making it more like the ground they’re walking on will increase the odds and speed at which they enter which in turn will lead to a faster catch.
BEST CHIPMUNK LIVE TRAPS *
When it comes to choosing a live trap, there are several that can do the job. But if you want a trap that will last 10 plus years and work for a wide range of animals, get the LT5518. Its definitely the best chipmunk live trap around and would be considered “commercial grade quality”. These traps are used by professionals, built to last, easy to set and spring loaded.
The LT5518RD features a rear sliding door which makes for easy baiting and animal release. The following video shows this trap in action as it catches a typical chipmunk after making a set detailed in the video above.
As shown in the above video, a good trap set placed out in the right area will lure any chipmunk. Once they arrive to the trap, its best if you have it set in a way that will help “funnel” them to enter. Once caught, you’ll want to relocate them at least 5 miles away before releasing them; 10 miles to be sure they don’t return. Chipmunks can travel several miles and in rural areas, they’ve been known to travel great distances.
CHEAP CHIPMUNK LIVE TRAP *
For minor or light infestations, the 5X5X16 GREEN LIVE TRAP is a viable option. It blends into the landscape well and isn’t easy to see. But its not nearly as good quality wise and in many cases, will require some tweaking to get the trip mechanism to work smoothly. It’s definitely our “economy model” but for a small problem or when the budget has limited resources, a decent choice to consider.
Green Live Trap: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/live-trap-green-5-x-5-x-16
CHIPMUNK KILL TRAPS *
The last option you have is the use of kill traps This includes the use of ELECTROCUTION DEVICES. These are set alongside burrows where chipmunks are known to be active. They work by storing an electric charge in capacitors. The charge is drawn from batteries and when a small rodent like a rat or chipmunk enters the device and steps on the ground pad a lethal electric charge kills them. The shock has good voltage but is not a hazard to animals over 5 lbs.
Rat Zapper Classic: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/electric/rat-zap-classic
Rat Zapper: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/electric/rat-zap-ultra
Use a TRAP TUBE to protect either of the above zappers from moisture.
Like live traps, chipmunks will not get afraid of these devices. They will readily enter them never noticing others that have been killed by the shock. It probably appears as though the animal died naturally since there is no apparent physical damage like that sustained from a snap trap. Bait them with little dabs of PECAN PASTE at the entrance way, along with a few pieces of BIRD SEED and this will get them to enter.
Pecan Paste: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Remove the dead chipmunks as soon as you find any. Try to inspect them daily to insure they are properly set. This is a humane way to kill chipmunks since the charge delivered is both quick and strong.
In fact, many people who choose to destroy nuisance animals will use both the LT5518RD and the zapper together. Animals which enter the electrocution devices are killed right away; animals trapped in the live trap are then destroyed by aligning the rear of the trap with the opening of the device. When the rear door is opened the chipmunk will exit and be killed quickly. This reduces the amount of drive time since you are not having to relocate trapped animals and may be the only option when local populations have reached high numbers.
CHIPMUNK REPELLENT SPRAY AND GRANULES *
After you have completely removed the current population, there are a couple of things you can do to stop new ones from coming around.
First, placing out some of the COYOTE URINE discussed above can deter new activity. Foraging chipmunks will smell the urine and the scent of other chipmunks. However, they will soon figure out there are no chipmunks around. This will alert them to “danger” and in most cases get them to look elsewhere for a place to live. Use LIQUID GUARDS or CAPSULE GUARDS to enable the placements to last 2-3 months.
Second, place out PEST RID GRANULES down existing burrows to keep away new animals from finding these locations. Pest Rid uses nothing but food grade actives which many animals find repelling including chipmunks. Just don’t use Pest Rid to chase away chipmunks already nesting; it will only work once the current population has been removed!
Pest Rid Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/granule/pest-rid-exempt-granules-2-pound
CONTACT US *
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. On Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
Email questions here: http://www.bugspray.com/about-us/contact-us
Order online and get a 5% discount! We ship fast with 99.9% of all orders shipping within 1 business day!!
Learn more about BUGSPRAY.COM and why it’s never been easier or safer to do your own pest control.
Please show your support for our business by purchasing the items we recommend from the links provided. Remember, this is the only way we can stay around to answer your questions and keep this valuable web site up and running. Thanks for your business!