Trapping is the most practical method of eliminating chipmunks in most home situations. Cage-trap (wire-mesh) or common rat snap traps can be used to catch chipmunks. Common cage-trap models include the Tomahawk (Nos. 102, 201) and Havahart (Nos. 0745, 1020, 1025) traps among others.
A variety of baits can be used to lure chipmunks into cage traps, including nutmeats, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, raisins, prune slices, or common breakfast cereal grains. Place the trap along the pathways where chipmunks have been seen frequently. The trap should be securely placed so there is no movement of the trap prematurely when the animal enters. Trap movement may prematurely set off the trap and scare the chipmunk away. A helpful tip is to “prebait” the trap for 2 to 3 days by wiring the trap doors open. This will condition the chipmunk to associate the new metal object in its territory with the new free food source. Set the trap after the chipmunk is actively feeding on the bait in and around the trap.
Cage-traps can be purchased from local hardware stores, farm stores, department stores, animal damage control supply companies, and pest control companies, or they can be rented from local animal shelters.
Check traps frequently to remove captured chipmunks and release any nontarget animals caught in them. Avoid direct contact with trapped chipmunks. Dispose of chipmunks in accordance with state regulations. If euthanization is required, use a carbon dioxide chamber. Remember to check state and local laws regarding the type of methods for euthanizing wildlife.
Common rat snap traps can be used to kill chipmunks if these traps are isolated from children, pets, or wildlife. They can be set in the same manner as cage traps, but hard baits should be tied to the trap trigger. Again, “prebait” snap traps by not setting the trap until the animal has been conditioned to take the bait without disturbance for 2 to 3 days. Set the snap traps perpendicular to the chipmunk’s pathway or in pairs along travel routes with the triggers facing away from each other. Set the trigger arm so that the trigger is sensitive and easily sprung.
To avoid killing songbirds in rat snap traps, it is advisable to place the traps under a small box with openings that allow only chipmunks access to the baited trap. The box must allow enough clearance so the trap operates properly. If snap traps are placed against structures, conceal them by leaning boards or plywood over them. Small amounts of bait can be placed at the openings as an attractant.
Effectively Get Rid of Chipmunks with Proper Baiting and Trapping
At first glance, chipmunks appear to be cute, harmless little critters. What isn't quite as endearing is the amount of destruction these squirrel-like rodents can create. While you might think of chipmunks as feasting on nuts, berries, seeds and grains, they also take great pleasure in digging for roots and tubers and can eat young shoots and leaves. Chipmunks love to build nests underground, in stone walls or near fallen logs.
Female chipmunks breed twice a year and can have four to five babies per season, so imagine how much damage a large extended family of these burrowing varmints can do to your plants and property! An effective chipmunk repellent like Critter Ridder®, along with a reliable trap like the Havahart® Small 1-Door Easy Set® Trap can be your best defense against chipmunk damage.
Using Chipmunk Repellents
Learning how to repel chipmunks is easy as long as you choose the right repellent. Chipmunk repellent tips include using a homemade concoction made with ingredients like cayenne pepper and water, or purchasing a premium multi-species repellent that is proven to work. Unfortunately, the homemade remedies may only work some of the time and require frequent reapplication.
Can You Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of Chipmunks?
Some people even use baking soda for chipmunk repellent. Unfortunately, when it comes to baking soda, chipmunks just don’t seem to view it as much of a deterrent for staying out of your garden.
How to Get Rid of Chipmunks in Your Garden
The most effective answer to the question of how to get rid of chipmunks in gardens, lawn and landscaping areas is to use a specially made repellent that targets the chipmunk’s keen sense of taste and smell. Choose one a Critter Ridder® Animal Repellents. It’s proven to work on chipmunks, and better than getting a snootful of cayenne pepper!
Chipmunk Trapping Tips
If you’re the adventurous type, you can try your hand at trapping chipmunks. The best chipmunk trap has a tight mesh pattern to prevent “Alvin” from squeezing his little body through. A trap that’s ideally suited for a chipmunk’s body type is the Havahart® Small 1-Door Easy Set® Trap.
As an alternative, an upside-down box propped up with a stick attached to a string can also work. Important tip: place a board underneath the box to make it easier to pick up and transport the trapped chipmunk. A trapped chipmunk can become extremely agitated (and who could blame it?), so don’t leave it in the trap overnight, as the anxiety could result in its death.
How to Get Rid of Chipmunk Problems with Proper Trap Baiting
Properly baiting a chipmunk trap is important. Did you know that chipmunks are peanut butter connoisseurs? They even enjoy a morsel of cheese now and then. Other effective chipmunk bait includes prune pits, unroasted peanuts, corn, sunflower seeds, cereal, grains and popcorn. Be sure to put bait near, in and on the trap, so that they’re guaranteed to be drawn in by the tantalizing aroma. Now that you know how to get rid of chipmunks, you can put an end to your chipmunk invasion safely and humanely.
Chipmunks, as you are probably aware, are small rodents. They tend to be just two to six inches long with a three-inch tail and weigh less than one pound.
Chipmunks typically live to be about two to three years old in the wild. They are commonly seen with shades of brown, yellow, and grey in their fur and often feature a white and black stripe down their back.
You can often find chipmunks in wooded areas that house plenty of logs, shrubs, trees, bushes, etc. The woods are a perfect place for chipmunks. However, they are common in urban areas like parks and backyards. As long as there is sufficient coverage, chipmunks will be happy.
These small rodents like to burrow. They create burrow systems beneath the ground that can go as deep as three feet. It is in these burrows that the chipmunks will store food and hibernate.
Since chipmunks are very small and vulnerable, they tend to dig their burrows directly next to or under some kind of cover, like a shrub or a tree.
Like other rodents, chipmunks hoard food and store it in their homes so that come winter they have a sufficient supply. They breed twice a year, once in the spring and once in the summer, and give birth to about four or fives babies each time.
Massachusetts > Animal is under my porch, deck or shed > Chipmunk
Lethal trapping might be practical in areas less than an acre where children, pets, or other wildlife are not likely to disturb traps. Use rat-sized snap traps baited with peanut butter and sunflower seeds, pieces of fruit, or vegetables. Place the traps where chipmunks have been seen moving or feeding, or at burrow entry points.
To avoid attracting birds or non-target squirrels, conceal traps by placing them under plants next to active burrows, or under inverted boxes with a 2-inch hole cut in each end. Alternatively, if placing the traps next to a wall or structure, conceal them by leaning boards over the traps.
Breeding seasons should be considered. Delay trapping until young are active.
Laws and regulations to be aware of
Regulations for Massachusetts
While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.
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How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks
Chipmunks are closely related to ground squirrels with fifteen different species distributed in North America. The two most common species with the widest distribution are theeastern chipmunksand the least chipmunks. They are often confused with thirteen-lined ground squirrels (striped gophers) and red squirrels. Chipmunks spend a considerable amount of their time on the ground in burrows as opposed to red squirrels which will be found in trees mostly.
Chipmunk Burrows and Damage
Their burrows are hidden near woodpiles, stumps, brush piles, basements, and garages. Their burrows are typically about 20-30 feet in length that usually includes food storage and nesting areas. They have escape tunnels and side pockets connected to their main shafts. These burrows may be hard to detect because there is no obvious mound of dirt around the entry points. The chipmunk will carry the excavated dirt in here cheek pouch and scatter it away from the burrow to hide the entrance from predators.
Chipmunks can be a pest because they can cause damage due to their burrowing activities. They can cause structural damage to decks, patios, foundational walls, retention walls, and slabs. Chipmunks can also carry fleas to and from your yard.
Unfortunately, there are no poison baits for chipmunk control. Sometimes people use gasser products like Giant Destroyer or Revenge Smoke Bombs placed in the burrows, but they are not labeled for chipmunks and often make the chipmunks scatter due to the sulfur smell. Do not use these gas cartridges near and under buildings.
As a second choice (and not a great one), you can try using rat-sized traps such as the Trapper T Rex Rat Snap Traps or Live Cage Traps. Snap traps do not work as well as live cage traps. But even live cage traps do not work all the time for chipmunk control. Unfortunately, without a bait labeled for chipmunks, trapping or using gasser products are the only current solutions.
Chipmunks are most active on warm and sunny days in the spring and less active during rainy or cool days; trap on warm and sunny days. Since chipmunks are active during the day, check the traps at noon and just before dusk. It may take several weeks of intensive trapping to eliminate the population.
Place the traps along the pathways where you have seen the chipmunks. Use such baits as peanut butter, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, fruits, and cereal grains. It may be helpful to prebait the trap for a couple of days by wiring the trap doors open to condition the chipmunk to the new object in its environment. Work the traps into the ground to provide similar footing on the ground. If you are using a live trap, and want to release the chipmunk, be careful of handling the trap to avoid bites or euthanize them according to local regulations.
If you are using a snap trap, keep the trap away from children, pets or other wildlife. Peanut butter is an excellent bait. You can prebait a trap by placing the bait on the trigger, without setting the trigger to condition the chipmunk to the new object. Set the snap traps perpendicular to the pathway or in pairs (with triggers facing away from each other) along the travel paths. Make sure the trigger on the snap trap is sensitive and easily sprung. Conceal the snap traps by setting them against structures with boards placed over them, hiding them.
Exclusion and Elimination Tips
- If you have bird feeders, you may want to place them further away from your home. The birdseed will attract the chipmunks.
- Clean up any fallen fruit, berries or nuts.
- Minimize debris and woodpiles around your home. These areas are natural habitats for chipmunks. Ground cover, shrubs, and trees should not be planted in a continuous fashion connecting wooded areas with foundations of homes because they provide protection and encourage the chipmunks to form burrows next to buildings.
- If they have entered your home for shelter or nesting, you can place hardware cloths or copper mesh to close possible entry points.
They feed on birdseed, seeds, seedlings, berries, nuts, mushrooms, and flower bulbs. Chipmunks are very active in the late afternoon or early mornings. They never enter a deep hibernation, but depend upon the cache of food stored in their burrows. They can become active on warm and sunny days during the winter months.
The eastern chipmunk is found mostly on the eastern half of the United States (except Florida, southern Georgia and most of the Carolinas).
The least chipmunk is found in the upper Midwest, the Rocky Mountains, and Canada.
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