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Get Rid of Chipmunks - The Final Solution

Updated on March 31, 2015
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia has years of experience with gardening and wild pests in New Hampshire.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. One fellow had trouble with two chipmunks getting into his furnace pipes where they died, causing blockage and a smell.
  3. I'm not sure what a wiring harness in a truck is, but one person had troubles with chipmunks chewing through that.
  4. In New England, the chipmunk can ruin the tubing used in maple syrup operations.
  5. Many had flower bulbs dug up and nibbled on. Chipmunks are notorious for this.
  6. If there are lots of chipmunks around, check patios, stairs, retention walls and any foundations for damage caused by the chipmunk burrowing under these.
  7. Chipmunks can chew through the rubber at the base of a garage door, then cause other damage once they are in the garage.
  8. 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

Chi[pmunks burrow into banks, under stumps and under steps, decks and sheds.
Chi[pmunks burrow into banks, under stumps and under steps, decks and sheds. | Source

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

Chipmunk in New Hampshire
Chipmunk in New Hampshire | Source

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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.

Snap Trap for Rats or Chipmunks - Read the reviews on Amazon

Tomcat Rat Snap Trap, 1-Pack
Tomcat Rat Snap Trap, 1-Pack

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

Foxes mark their territory with urine. You can duplicate that effect with commercial products.
Foxes mark their territory with urine. You can duplicate that effect with commercial products. | Source
Cats can be mighty fine hunters, but not all cats.
Cats can be mighty fine hunters, but not all cats. | Source

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.

Visitors Come from All Over - counter added June 20, 2012

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What Kinds of Problems Are You Having with Chipmunks?

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    • profile image

      Lee Foo 11 months ago

      The Chipper Dipper didn't work for me either and I covered the bucket with a layer of seeds. I even put peanut butter and seeds down inside the bucket.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 18 months ago from the short journey

      They are destructive and potentially deadly critters. They constantly damage property, sometimes severely, and they carry ticks and fleas that transmit nasty-bad diseases. In an area without natural predators they just keep multiplying. Thanks for ideas other than poisons.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
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      Virginia Allain 24 months ago from Central Florida

      I didn't have success the first time I tried the bucket method. Your adjustment sounds just right.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 24 months ago from Central Florida

      You could try covering the end of the down spouts some mesh wire from the hardware store but nothing with holes bigger than a nickle. They can squeeze through quarter size holes.

    • profile image

      Julie 24 months ago

      The chippers are climbing the down spouts and scratching during the night. What van I use to put on the end of spout to keep them out? Very annoying at night.

    • profile image

      chipmonk funk 24 months ago

      I also used to think disney cute chipmunks. NOT! I used the bucket method with board ramp and a can with drilled holes on each end. Place a piece of coat hanger through the can, spread peanut butter and seeds all around the middle part of the can. When I tell you these critters are smart. They looked ate, laughed. I began to feel like Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. They even stood on the rim of the 5 gallon bucket and pulled the can to the side and laughed some more between bites. After adjusting the ramp board to a bit higher level, I made a plank from a shim and placed it from the board to the can. Precariously balanced waiting for one critter step. I had the last laugh. Felt bad but not enough to pay repair bills.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 2 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      oh dear, I hadn't stopped to consider chipmunks as pests before, I suppose I'm used to Chip n' Dale

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: This is good to know about. I might have to put it to the test.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      @Pat Goltz: There is a new product on the market called the Rodent Terminator and it works great on rats, chipmunks, mice, mongoose...you name it, any small animal that is causing problems and needs to go. The Rodent Terminator has a unique two piece housing which allows it to be used outdoors without fear of frying the electronics in the event of unexpected rain, or a malfunctioning sprinkler.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      My dog kills chipmunks. Problem is that he is tearing up the new vinyl siding trying to get to them as they drive him nuts! Do you think fox urine will help our situation w/ the critters and will it also repel the dog too?

    • Virginia Allain profile image
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      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: Try to find gaps in your house where they are getting in and seal those up. If you transport the chipmunk away, make sure it is far enough that it doesn't come back. They have a strong instinct to return to where they have stored food for the winter.

      Keep using the trap since it is working well for you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: I think I have them in my walls also. The trap works great with peanut butter, works every time. The problem is there are so many as soon as we set it we catch one. My question is are they like cockroaches & rats, where's a one there's a million? As much as I hate to say it I might have to go the less humane way. They're cute but I'm over it.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      I have been using a Havahart to catch chipmunks all summer and fall. They have been making dens under my driveway and walkway. I live right next to a wooded area, so I don't think there is any getting rid of them, but will relocate them as I can.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @Pat Goltz: I hope some of these Chipmunk solutions work for your packrats. I had no idea they caused that many problems.

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      We're not high enough in altitude to get chipmunks. Our problem is pack rats. They're just as cute. They cause a number of problems. They chew wiring. We have had a couple thousand dollars' repair bills to our car wiring because of them. The mechanic finally installed an LED under my hood because they won't come where there is light. They also get into the ceiling and chew wiring there. We have had to abandon several light fixtures (can't turn them on to light the room) until we have time to fix the damage. And they are the perfect place to breed kissing bugs. Kissing bugs are NASTY! They have bitten me several hundred times, and I now have an infection which I am trying to get rid of, as a result. It has been several years. I have made progress, but it's not gone. To keep kissing bugs away from the house, you also have to keep pack rats away from the house. I like your ideas. They might work in my situation.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      They started coming around when I was feeding the birds during the drought. They would jump in the bird feeder and vacuum up the sunflower seeds, then dance on the dog's head as she tried to locate them. I've caught one using a havahart trap and took him 2 miles away to the park. But the next day, one of the little suckers jammed a walnut under the metal ledge so it wouldn't move and then ate all the seed in the trap!

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: I recommend luring them out with a havahart trap and some peanut butter. They need to come out to find food, so you'll be ready.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      chipmunks are in the walls of my house

    • Virginia Allain profile image
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      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: I have another page about 10 Humane Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks. Some people are having such problems, that they needed more severe measures, so I made this page.

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 4 years ago

      I don't have a lot of problems with chipmunks, but I still want to keep them out of my house.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Chipmunks have never been a problem for me, have always lived in harmony with the. You do bring up a great point, after using a permanent solution, another group will move into the fresh territory.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @VeseliDan: I have a friend who leaves the windows open and the door ajar in her lake home so chipmunks scamper around inside her house. A little too much nature for me. I keep my screen door shut.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We have a chipmunk in the furnace vents. We haven't been able to get it out!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      I don't think it's chipmunks, but moles! They are tunneling all through my backyard and I don't know what to do about them. Drat.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 5 years ago from La Verne, CA

      We have the not so cute rat. The rat Zapper may be what we will need.

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