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.

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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.



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.

11)  Chipmunks hoard food which will attract mice, voles and other vermin.



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.



The best repellent one can use to keep them out of the yard is COYOTE URINE. Since coyotes are are predatory and love small rodents, chipmunks don’t want like being close to areas which have active coyotes. Applying urine close to old burrows, around trees or shrubs and long property lines where chipmunks are active can keep them away.

The use of urine really proves effective when applied before the animals have established themselves. If you know they are active on 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 and should be considered to help keep your treatments “fresh” and longer lasting. But understands that once a population gets established, the use of repellents will probably not work. At that point you’ll need to start using some of the control methods listed below.

Use 1 oz per 10-20 feet. Renew every 30 days when applied directly to the ground; every 60-90 days when used in either of the guards.

Coyote Urine




To enable the urine to last longer after being applied, set out LIQUID GUARDS every 10-20 feet. These are easy to install and can hold 1-2 oz.

Liquid Guard



CAPSULE GUARDS work the same as Liquid Guards but they’re more discreet and better suited if you want to use something well hidden.

Capsule Guards






For chipmunks which are chewing on plants, wires of a car or AC pipes, use PEST RID SPRAY to stop the unwanted behavior. Pest Rid tastes terrible and once chipmunks detect its presence, they will avoid treated surfaces.

Pest Rid is easy to apply and 1 quart can cover up to 125 sq/ft. Simply spray it over any item you want to protect and you’ll see immediate results. It goes on clear and is mostly odorless and won’t stain. Pest Rid will not harm pets, children or the chipmunks but it will get them to stop chewing whatever you spray. Generally, treatments will last up to 30 days. Expect longer residual during dry weather; less if its raining a lot.





Now if you see them foraging around your property, set out both PEST RID GRANULES and PEST RID SPRAY.  Neither will hurt or injure plants, the chipmunks or other animals but when used together, will provide a strong natural repellent action. Like coyote urine, Pest Rid won’t chase off existing 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 don’t want to use urine, set out Pest Rid Granules along with Pest Rid Spray over the top and this should keep them at bay.

1 lb of Granules will cover up to 250 sq/ft; the 2 lb jar covers 500 sq/ft. Renew once a month when they’re active; every 3 months for ongoing repellent action.

Pest Rid Granules






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 of this method is to kill the chipmunk with the smoke. It usually takes 2 smokers to treat every burrow. For small limited nests, this can be extremely effective. But if the burrows go deep or run throughout a large area, it can be hard to get proper coverage. Basically if you don’t get the smoke to fill every part of the burrow, the chipmunks will usually move to another part where there is enough air for them to survive.

So for this method to be effective, you need to be sure all entry and exit holes to the burrows are closed. Do this by covering all holes with rocks and dirt. If the holes to the burrows are sealed and the gas is able to fill their tunnels, it will kill them.

The 4 pack is usually enough to treat up to 2 dens; expect to use two sticks per den for every den that has 2-3 entry/exit holes.






The most practical and effective method for controlling a chipmunk problem is to live trap. 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 burrow or under plants, trees or bird feeders where you’ve seen them active. 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 with TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE. The aroma is very attractive to chipmunks and they’ll find your offering quickly.

Expect to use 1-2 teaspoons per set.

Pecan Paste




Mixed Seed




Apply 1-2 teaspoons of the paste on the trip pan of the trap and smear it across the metal plate. Now add 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 good amount of seed placed in the back, behind the trip pan is important for success.

But as explained in the video above, it’s many times not enough by itself. Place Pecan Paste on the trip pan and you’ll get far faster 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.



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 is what we call “commercial grade quality”. These traps are used by professionals, built to last, easy to set and spring loaded.

Live Trap





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.


For minor or light infestations, the 5X5X16 GREEN LIVE TRAP is a viable option for small animals like chipmunk. This trap blends into the natural 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, its a decent choice to consider.

Live Trap Green






The last option you have for fast control is the use of ELECTROCUTION DEVICES. These devices can be set alongside burrows where chipmunks are known to be active. They work by storing an electric charge in capacitors which then “release” the shock when a small animal grounds out the connection.

This 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 will flow through them leading to a quick and humane death. The shock has good voltage but is not a hazard to animals over 5 lbs.

The “Classic” is okay for a “light” problem where the average animals are small and their numbers are low (10 or less).





For populations of 10 or more or where the animals are thought to be a bit “large”, go with the more powerful Ultra Max. This unit uses “D” cell batteries and will hold up longer and work faster.

Raticator Max




Either unit can be used outside but because they rely on electricity, they need to keep dry. This can be done by setting them out inside a  TRAP TUBE.

Trap Tube





For some reason, chipmunks don’t seem to get afraid of these devices even if they find dead chipmunks inside. In fact its not uncommon for chipmunks to forage over dead animals to get the food inside. Unlike traps that rely on “squishing” to kill which leads to animal deformity, the zappers don’t change the body of the animal. For this reason its thought that the dead animals are perceived as having died naturally.

To get them to enter, add dabs of PECAN PASTE at the entrance way along with some BIRD SEED in the back of the zapper by the trip pad.

Pecan Paste




Mixed Seed




When using zappers, you must be ready to remove dead chipmunks as soon as you find them. To insure this happens, inspect them daily.



Once you trap out the existing population, set out either the COYOTE URINE or PEST RID listed above to keep new chipmunks from coming around. Renew the applications every 3 months to insure they stay away. Vacated chipmunk dens are likely to be found by local animals so get them treated once you know all the residing animals have been removed.


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).

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Comments on CHIPMUNK CONTROL Leave a Comment

June 13, 2012

Ayden @ 10:23 am #

I need to know how to catch them so tell us that and where to get the cages.

June 15, 2012
June 24, 2012

Kay @ 9:52 am #

I’m live trapping; how far do I have to take them so they don’t return? Thanks!

June 27, 2012

N'oreaster @ 3:07 pm #


The Rat Zapper works better than anything I’ve tried; I empty it a couple of times a day. And the chipmunks all look so peaceful!!

July 7, 2012

TT @ 11:12 am #

Do I need to lure the chipmunks into the Rat Zapper with Pecan Paste?

September 27, 2012

CR @ 11:46 am #

I have 2 dogs that roam the property, supposedly hunting down chipmunks, but that isn’t working very well. One is a miniature daschund (7 lbs) and the other is a sheltie. They are both chow hounds and are constantly looking for something to eat, which is what leads to my question. Will the pecan paste be attractive to the dogs as well? And can the dogs, especially the little one, get into the rat zapper and get a shock or worse?

May 22, 2013

LinC @ 5:08 pm #


Customer recommendation: Trapper’s Choice Pecan Paste is the best chipmunk bait on the planet! Last year we caught 60 chipmunks in our backyard using two wire traps and the paste. (If you think you have three chipmunks, you probably have 20.) The coyote urine works great for getting rid of chipmunk holes in flower beds. Put a few drops of the stuff down the hole before filling it in. It’s unlikely they’ll dig it out again. Thanks, guys.

June 25, 2015

Steve Reed @ 11:14 am #

@Tech Support: How far do I have to relocate the chipmunks when live trapping?

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