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Spooked Chipmunk

Updated on October 31, 2010
Spooked Chipmunk
Spooked Chipmunk | Source

Many would assume that wee little chipmunks are most often spooked by the larger hazards of their yardscape — cats, lawn mowers, the occasional hawk, kids on bikes, and Nasty Nate, the cranky octagenarian in the corner house.

But, in fact, chipmunks are most often spooked — like this guy right here — by chinch bugs. That’s right: chinch bugs. Blissus leucopterus. That tiny pest of Southern American grasslands across multiple states.

The young nymphs of this voracious pestiferous species are small (2 mm or less), bright (almost luminous) red, banded about the abdomen in white, and have a distinctive screech, that, when rendered abruptly upon a chipmunk unawares, is capable of sending said chipmunk vertically airborne, wide-eyed, in an instantaneous cold shivering sweat.

The particular chinch bug encountered here has clearly got its screech down to a science.    

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    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 

      8 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Our cats would bring their prized moles dead or alive to the back door as if they were waiting for their reward. I am so glad God created animals!

    • rickzimmerman profile imageAUTHOR

      Rick Zimmerman 

      8 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      My cats will occasionally crunch down a moth or grasshopper, presumably for the extra protein. They have also, over the years, delivered live chipmunks, birds, and bunnies into the house.

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 

      8 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      I have always been fascinated by these cute little creatures that live underground in my parent's yard. I love to just sit in the driveway and watch them play. I wrote a very creative story which personified chipmunks. I won't tell you anymore than that for the fact that I may publish it someday. My cats never liked bugs either, and actually, I had a cat that liked to eat flies if the opportunity arose. I will keep my eyes more peered for those chinch bugs next time I see the chipmunks. :)

    • rickzimmerman profile imageAUTHOR

      Rick Zimmerman 

      8 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Funny thing: chipmunks ARE squirrels — small ground squirrels. btw chinch bugs are a dime a hundred dozen . . .

    • Duilen profile image

      Duilen 

      8 years ago from Mountain View

      Very useful. If my backyard squirrels ever get run out of town by chipmunks I'm going to import some of those bugs and do a top 10 video for Youtube.

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