Get Rid of Chipmunks - The Final Solution
Chipmunk Control Methods
I have a web page about getting rid of chipmunks humanely and it has been very popular. The focus there was on deterring chipmunks. It became obvious to me over time, that some people wanted something more than Havahart traps and owl decoys.
They wanted swift and permanent eradication of this pest that was undermining their deck or steps, eating their tomatoes and strawberries and getting into their attics and walls. They wanted to kill the chipmunks.
Since I had researched the topic so thoroughly when I created the first page, I learned quite a bit about how to kill chipmunks. For those of you who have made pets of your chipmunks, please cover your eyes or go enjoy my other page of Fun Facts about Chipmunks.
This page is for desperate people who feel a rodent, albeit a cute rodent, is destroying their property and making them miserable. Continue on to see the most effective ways to rid your property of chipmunks.
(photo: chipmunk on a stump by Virginia Allain)
Damages Chipmunks Cause
In researching the chipmunk problem, here are some of the stories I found:
- One man had problems with the chipmunks undermining his 100 year old stone walls. He estimates that it will cost almost $10,000 to have the wall replaced.
- One fellow had trouble with two chipmunks getting into his furnace pipes where they died, causing blockage and a smell.
- I'm not sure what a wiring harness in a truck is, but one person had troubles with chipmunks chewing through that.
- In New England, the chipmunk can ruin the tubing used in maple syrup operations.
- Many had flower bulbs dug up and nibbled on. Chipmunks are notorious for this.
- If there are lots of chipmunks around, check patios, stairs, retention walls and any foundations for damage caused by the chipmunk burrowing under these.
- Chipmunks can chew through the rubber at the base of a garage door, then cause other damage once they are in the garage.
- Chipmunks can carry off a whole crop of strawberries or take bites out of the ones they don't carry away.
Chipmunk Hole - Usually There Are Several Entrances
The Rat Zapper Works for Chipmunks - Click on the picture to see all the reviews
I have not personally tried this battery operated rodent control device out, but people who have used it say it is quite effective.
I talked to someone today (July 9, 2011) who said this works great for them to kill chipmunks. The device is not cheap, but you'll get many years of use from it.
(update 2013) My friend Ralph reports his Rat Zapper is still going strong and decimating the chipmunk population in his yard.
The Rat Zapper also works for squirrels (and rats).
Chipmunk Stealing a Strawberry from the Garden
Have You Tried the Rat Zapper?
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Havahart Chipmunk Trap
This quickly catches any chipmunks you have around. You can take them for a car ride past some natural barrier like a river and then release them. There is some question about how humane this is. Separating the chipmunk from his stash of food that he is accumulating for the winter may doom him to starvation when cold weather comes.
Alternately if you want to be absolutely sure the chipmunk won't return, submerge the whole trap in a container of water. Put the water in first, then the cage and the chipmunk quickly drowns.
Do not open the trap and try to dump the chipmunk into a bucket of water. Chipmunks are quite agile and it will grip the cage wire, climbing around to leap to freedom.
Using a Havahart chipmunk trap, we removed nine chipmunks from our yard and garden last summer. They readily enter the trap if you spread peanut butter on the center lever. When they nibble on the peanut butter, their weight triggers the door(s) to snap shut.
A New Trap That Can Catch Multiple Chipmunks
I've tested this out for four weeks at the request of the manufacturer. My review is posted on Amazon and I also have a page showing the comparison test.
I found the trap effective and after about 3 weeks have caught all the chipmunks in my yard. Usually a new batch will show up in the fall, so I'll keep this ready for that time.
Read My Comparison Test of the Two Traps
- Chipmunk Trap Comparison Test
I've become an expert in chipmunk behavior. If you are having troubles with these pesky little fellows, here's my comparison test of two kinds of traps.
Snap Trap for Rats or Chipmunks - Read the reviews on Amazon
Be sure to put this where a larger animal (raccoon, cat or kid) won't get a foot into it. It works by snapping down on the rat or chipmunks head and neck, usually killing it right away.
Chipmunk Trap Using a Bucket - The Bucket of Death - YouTube Video
In the pest control forums where frustrated homeowners gather to swap tips on getting rid of chipmunks, I found this method mentioned quite often. It is called The Bucket of Death and it seemed that everyone who tried it found it pretty effective.
I tried it with a small amount of sunflower seeds, but my chipmunks were too smart and wouldn't dive into the bucket. Possibly my error was being too stingy with the seeds. I did not totally cover the surface of the water with the seeds.
Recently a friend told me that he tried this with just a sprinkling of sunflower seeds on the ramp and a few in the bucket of water. His chipmunk worked its way up the board, stuffing the seeds into its cheeks, then fell into the water and drowned. I'm not sure why it worked for him, but not for me.
You'll need a bucket, some water, a board, and sunflower seeds. This video explains the technique.
Video Tutorial - Bucket of Death for Chipmunks
Rodent Bait May Not Kill Chipmunks
Here's why it isn't recommended for chipmunks
You can purchase a variety of poisons intended for rats, but there is a problem using these with chipmunks. Since chipmunks gather food and store it for the winter, it is unlikely that they will eat enough of the bait at any one time to effectively kill one. Some of the poisons have a blood thinning effect, but need to be taken in concentrated form to kill the rodent.
What Chipmunk Solution Do You Need?
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No Permanent Solution
Once you clear away all the current chipmunks, it is likely that new ones will move in from adjacent territories. Continue use of the traps for this.
Fox Urine Can Keep New Chipmunks from Moving in
Since a fox is a natural predator of chipmunks, commercial products containing fix urine serve as a deterrent to chipmunks. It needs to be re-applied after rain.
I don't feel this works as well on chipmunks who are already entrenched in an area. They are unlikely to leave their network of burrows, stored supply of food and nest of young, even though the possible presence of a fox frightens them.
The situation where this will work is after clearing out existing chipmunks. Spread the repellent around and wandering chipmunks are deterred from moving into your territory. They will seek other areas without the threat of foxes.
Chipmunks Fear Foxes
Make Your Own Critter Repellent of Capsacin and Pepper
- Squirrel mace! Ok fine, repellent.
This organic concoction will keep squirrels, cats, dogs, people and any other annoyances at bay. Recipe and instructions.
Or You Can Buy It Ready Made
Cats for Ridding a Yard of Chipmunks
A number of people suggested getting a cat to catch the chipmunks. Not all cats are good mousers, but if you have one that's a hunter it will probably solve your chipmunk problems. Here's how to tell if a cat is a mouser.