Ten Humane Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks
Chipmunks - Cute But Destructive
If chipmunks are making you crazy, consider these ways to protect your plants and property without actually killing the cute crittters. Maybe they're digging up all your tulip bulbs, nibbling on the strawberries, and making holes all over the yard. Perhaps it's even worse... chipmunks can undermine foundations for patios and homes. Chipmunks can get into attics and chew on wiring.
At first you thought the scurrying, little creature was fun to have around, but changed your mind when you saw the damage it did. If the family is set against killing it, then you need a humane way to prevent the damage. I've hunted high and low for ways to get rid of chipmunks for this kind of situation. Here's what I've found. Take your pick of methods or work your way down the list to get rid of your pesky chipmunk problem in a humane way.
(chipmunk photo by Virginia Allain)
Graphic Cedit: Screech a Zazzle card
Scare Them Away - Use an Owl Decoy or a Hawk
A garden owl with a head that swivels and eyes that light up should strike fear into the heart of any chipmunk. Some of these owls use electricity, some use batteries and some use wind power to move their wings. Just click on any owl to see reviews and links to the rest of the owls on Amazon. One should be just what you need for your garden pest problems.
If you're in a hurry, choose one that has PRIME next to it. With Amazon Prime, you get the product in just 2 days.
No batteries needed, just let the solar power do the job. This one turns its head and the eyes are quite realistic. Move it around now and then so the critters won't get used to it.
This one doesn't perch, it's wings flap with the breeze. Since it is life-sized, it gives a very realistic effect.
Use a Scent That Chipmunks Won't Like
Foxes mark out their territory, so if you don't have a real fox, you can mimic one. Chipmunks don't want to hang around where a fox might be looking for a snack (like a tasty chipmunk).
Fox Urine to Drive away Chipmunks
Granular form is easy to distribute around your property.
Get a Chipmunk Trap - Trap the Chipmunk and Take It Away (far away)
My favorite story from someone who used this trap was about a chipmunk her cat brought into the house. It set up housekeeping under the refrigerator. (I bet it was enjoying the dry food in the cat's dish)
Anyway, she caught it right away when she got a havahart trap.
Trapped Chipmunk - Ready to Go to a New Home
Here's an Example of Trapping and Releasing a Chipmunk
Be aware that chipmunks can have diseases such as rabies.
When relocating a chipmunk, travel far enough that you put a major barrier between the release area and your home. This could be a river or a good-sized highway. The strong instincts of the chipmunk are to return to its stash of food.
I find a trap works the best for me. Several of my neighbors use them as well. Baiting it with peanut butter seems to work fine.
Check on eBay. I see some real bargains on there. Just keep checking back if you don't see exactly what you want.
Catch Multiple Chipmunks with a Chipmunkinator
Check out my comparison test pitting the Havahart against the Chipmunkinator. Find out which one is capturing the most pesky chipmunks since the test started.
Go High-Tech to Repel Chipmunks - Deter Them with Ultrasonic Sound
Keep pests out of your house! The Attack Wave Pestrepeller is an effective, user friendly and environmentally safe way to combat rodents. The device produces strong sound pressure in the air, attacking the auditory and nervous systems of rodents causing them to abandon their food sources and shelters. The ultrasonic sounds continuously penetrate up to 5,000 unobstructed square feet. In addition, the Attack Wave Pestrepeller utilizes automatic wave variation, minimizing the chance that pests become immune to the sound. Inaudible and harmless to humans and common pets*, this unit operates totally chemical and battery free, making it the easiest way to keep bugs on the run. Do not use in the presence of Gerbils, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, and other rodent pets. (product description from Amazon)
Where Are You Having Problems with Chipmunks? - Vote in the poll
after voting, you can see how over 3000 others voted
A New Repellent for Chipmunks - I have no personal experience with this one, so let me know how well it works for you
Read the reviews carefully on Amazon as this has a pretty strong odor apparently.
It works by irritating the paws and nasal passages which drives the animals away from the area. It can also irritate family pets who use the yard. Good if you want to keep out the neighbor's dog, but not-so-good if you have your own dog.
I used to suggest mothballs
but no longer do. These can be a carcinogen for people and dangerous to small children who might pick one up and eat it.
This is supposed to catch multiple chipmunks at one time. I tried it and it works, as you can see from my photo. If you are seriously infested with chipmunks, you would be thrilled to catch as many as twenty at a time.
Try Hot Pepper Wax to Deter Chipmunks
Hot Pepper Wax is not just a good natural insect repellent, it's a GREAT rabbit and squirrel repellent, too (according to the manufacturer). I'm figuring if it deters a squirrel, it will deter a chipmunk.
Try the Cat Urine Method to Drive Chipmunks away
Put used kitty litter in the hole where the chipmunks run in and out. If you don't have a cat, maybe a friend can donate some smelly kitty litter. Obviously you wouldn't use this for getting the chipmunks out of your house. This is an outdoor method.
I'm figuring that this works on the same principle as the fox urine. The chipmunks don't want to be around where there are predators like foxes or cats. This is a cheap method to try. If it doesn't work with your particular critters, try one of the other methods offered on this page.
Fill Indoor Holes with Expanding Foam to Keep out Chipmunks
We've used this to seal up opening where we've run a wire into the garden shed. It expands to fill the gap. You can trim off the excess and even paint it to match the wall if that is a concern.
PRESTO... no entry way for chipmunks, mice or insects.
It's mostly a one-use spray, so fill all the holes you can find. The instructions say it can be reused within a week or so. Any longer than that, we found, the nozzle clogs up and won't spray.
A New Chipmunk Deterrent
I was excited to discover this new deterrent for chipmunks. It's made of cork and plant oils.
Just stick it in a flowerpot or around the area where you don't want the chipmunks hanging out. Reviewers say it keeps the neighbor's cat out of the plantings too.
I'll have to try this during the summer. Probably to protect my strawberry patch, I'll need quite a few to place around the perimeter of the plants.
I Can't Personally Guarantee All of These Methods for Deterring Chipmunksks
I've tried some myself and have talked to others about methods they've used. I wish you success with the method you select but keep in mind that each situation has different factors affecting it.
If All Else Fails, Try Applying Some Humor to Your Situation
Buy this postcard from Zazzle and post it around the yard.
Questions and Answers about Chipmunks
Ask your question in the comment section at the end of this page. I'll try to find the answer for you.
Check Out These Issues and My Suggested Solutions
- Laura Apr 19, 2013 @ 3:50 pm
We filled a hole in our sunroom with the foam, but he/she chewed right through it. It took a couple days (and we would hear it crunching and gnawing on it), but there it was this morning at 7:00 scurrying through the dining room and out into the kitchen . . . it's either behind the fridge or went under the door to the basement. I had to leave for work, but I got my husband up and he brought the Havahart into the kitchen. I haven't heard from him so don't know if he caught it. I told him this time to stuff the hole with steel mesh or steel wool or screening.
vallain Apr 19, 2013 @ 5:45 pm
Wow, I may have to switch to the steel mesh then. It must have really wanted into your house. The Haveahart should do the trick and take him far, far away.
- ernaldo Jun 14, 2013 @ 5:20 pm
A couple years ago I had a family in my walls. They chewed a hole in my baseboard and moved in, chewing everything, and doing their business. In the spring, I started trapping and by July relocated over THIRTY! Repaired the entrance hole and later that year they started appearing again, so I started trapping again. I lost my patience with the little rats, now I try to trap, but if I see one pass it, I just shoot it. I gave up on squirrels as well...I see one and bang, gone. They usually die when they're moved anyway, so why waste the gas?
vallain Jun 14, 2013 @ 7:25 pm
Wow, you have an extreme case, but as you point out, you never know how many you are dealing with. Check out my other page on Chipmunks - the Final Solution for a wider range of traps.
- Stacy Aug 20, 2013 @ 10:14 pm
I have a chipmunk in my kitchen, it is obviously getting in and out, probably doesn't help that the basement is a dirt partial, the neighborhood cats have been surrounding my house for months now and I just found out why. My goldfish disappeared a month ago and we had no clue what happened to it till now....not too thrilled.
vallain Aug 20, 2013 @ 10:41 pm
I've never heard of a chipmunk going after a goldfish. Maybe it would, because they do eat insects. Mostly they eat nuts and berries. I recommend you get a Havahart trap right away and put peanut butter on the lever.
- Marie from Vermont Sep 05, 2013 @ 2:02 pm
My car engine light came on so I went to the auto dealer. He discovered that they built a nest near my engine and chewed some wires. It was in the shop for 4 days and cost me a lot of money to get it fixed.
The next day I saw one sitting on my back wheel. I opened the hood and discovered they were building a new nest. Their food souse is acorns from my BIG Oak Tree. Which would cost me lots of $$ to cut down. I've tried the granular stuff but I would see them eating it. I have heard from a few people to try peppermint oil/leaves . Has anyone ever tried that ? Does anyone know where I can buy some ? Please help!! M from Vermont.
vallain Sep 05, 2013 @ 8:59 pm
Marie, I really recommend you get a trap and put peanut butter on it. Look around for where you see acorn shells (their eating place). Put the trap close to that.
Chipmunk Crossing Sign
This cute sign is available from Amazon. Because it is so popular, sometimes it goes out of stock. You aren't the only one with lots of chipmunks.
Which Humane Method for Getting Rid of Chipmunks Sounds Best to You?
I try to switch around so it keeps the chipmunks guessing.
Vote in the poll
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