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Problem with pest chipmunks? Build a "CHIPPER DIPPER"

Updated on June 1, 2011

Cute until it eats through the wiring in your home

The enemy - cute until they become pests bent on destroying your home!
The enemy - cute until they become pests bent on destroying your home!

Alvin the Chipmunk by any other name is a rodent

When you think of chipmunks do you think of the singing sensation "Alvin and the Chipmunks" or do you think about all of the holes in your yard and rodents chewing through your house? If you said "Alvin" please stop here and go to watch a Disney movie. If you are looking for pest control, keep reading.

I used to think chipmunks were kind of cute. That is until I found out they were burrowing from under my front porch, up the side of the house and into the attic where they had stored a huge pile of acorns. I'd hear them moving about in the ceiling and when I banged on the walls I could hear them scattering over a pile of nut shells. Enough is enough. I didn't pay all of this money in an overheated housing market to watch my equity get chewed up by a bunch of stripped rats.

What is a Chipmunk?

Chipmunks are actually ground squirrels. They are considered one of the "cleaners" of the forest floor because they have anomnivorousdiet consisting of grain, nuts, fruit, berries, birds' eggs, small frogs, fungi, worms, insects and on occasions small mammals like young mice! In other words they will eat just about anything including your prized flowers and home.Chipmunks play an important role as prey for various predatory mammals and birds, but at the same time they are opportunistic predators themselves, particularly with regard to bird eggs and nestlings.

First Attempts at Chipmunk Pest Control

I tried poison baits like the ones for rats and mice but there are several drawbacks in using baits on chipmunks.

  • Chipmunks don't eat them
  • If they do the poison persists in their bodies and any animal that eats the dead or ding chipmunk can be killed - like owls, cats etc.
  • Dogs or other pets might eat the bait by accident

Next I tried a Havaheart type "let them live by relocating them" live animal trap. It worked but then I had a horrible discovery. I went to check the trap and the little rodent had managed to squeeze half of his body through the cage wire and had gotten stuck! It was horrendous to look at as his head was through the trap and his innards were all pushed down to his hip bones. I went away and came back later to find that somehow the rat had managed to free himself. No wonder they can get into the house!

The Most Effective Chipmunk Trap

I've found that the "Chipper Dipper" as its know in the trade is the most effective trap for killing Chipmunks. Basically (see the video below for a good idea of how it works) you fill a five gallon bucket about 3/4s of the way full with water. Then float a layer of sunflower seeds on the top of the water. Make a ramp up the side with a board or tree branch. It's a very effective trap because of two things - one the chipmunks have tiny brains and two they can't swim very long. So what happens is the stupid chipmunk comes along and looks down at the treasure trove of seed and jumps down on to what he thinks is solid ground, and drowns.

Last year I put a similar trap near my chipmunk problem area and killed four chipmunks in the first hour. They just couldn't wait to die it seems. If you see one chipmunk around you probably have 30. I knocked off 18 last summer and they are still seen around the house. Like any rodent they multiply well, like rabbits. You have to keep at it if you want to put a dent in the local population so plan on staying in the battle for the long haul.


If you liked this article you might like "Mullets"

The effective home made "Chipper Dipper"


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    • peanutroaster profile image

      peanutroaster 22 months ago from New England

      Don't forget to add the water! Deep enough so they can't touch the bottom. I had a red squirrel commit suicide in a bucket of water without any seeds in it.

      If there are small children around don't do this. Also be sure to empty the water and replace so you won't be breeding mosquitoes.

    • profile image

      Lee Foo 22 months ago

      I'm with disappointed....this failed miserably.

      I even put some penaut butter on the sides inside the bucket.

      All seeds and PB chipmunks. Probably the squirrels?

    • profile image

      DogfordStudios 2 years ago

      Hot pepper flakes mixed in with the seeds might work.

    • profile image

      slightly amused 2 years ago

      The chipper dipper worked for a while last year, but now the squirrels are up on the game. as soon as i put the bucket out, they are stealing the sunflower seeds. any advice?

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I know what you mean about the problems with the cute but pesky critters. I have 4 hubs about them. I didn't find the bucket method very effective for me, but maybe I was too stingy with the sunflower seeds.

    • profile image

      Jim 2 years ago

      Pretty good success with a rat trap and a peanut in the shell tied to the trap trigger.

    • peanutroaster profile image

      peanutroaster 3 years ago from New England

      Go ahead, invite them to sleep in your bed.

    • profile image

      Bhvcfg 3 years ago

      Murdering innocent animal just trying to live humans invaded there homes so how is it we are calling them pests

    • profile image

      Bryan 4 years ago

      I find shooting them in the head with a .22 to be very effective as well.

    • profile image

      Dan 5 years ago

      Yep, I thought it was fun watching chipmunks with my grandkids scurrying about the front porch. But when a big fat rattler showed up on my front porch one day to get in on the action and grab a quick bite to eat, I knew it was time to thin out chipmunk population!

    • peanutroaster profile image

      peanutroaster 5 years ago from New England

      Glad to hear it. Its a tough call to spread your joy with the neighbors. If you run into a PETA type freak they are libel to get upset with you. I find its better to just keep it to yourself.

    • profile image

      Rogers 5 years ago

      Cannot believe my success. My "Chipper dipper" enticed 35 chipmunks to their final resting place. My neighbor calls me the chipmunk assassin.

    • profile image

      Disappointed 5 years ago

      If you also have squirrels and raccoons around, don't bother with this chipper-dipper trap. The squirrels just hang from the lip of the bucket, and the raccoons sit on top of the ramp, and they scoop seeds up by the handful! After the first sqwuirrel, I added a second bucket to raise the trap height, putting the seeds out of reach from the top. I guess a squirrel fell in, because next morning, the top bucket was all chewed up and tossed aside. The war was on! I changed to 2 metal buckets! That's when the raccoon showed up - too big for the trap. Final adjustment was to attach a piece of wire fencing over the top, so that only the chipmunks could fit through. Next morning the whole trap was tipped over, presumably by the raccoon, and all the sees were dumped on the lawn. Not a total bust, because the 'bait pile' allowed me to pick off several rodents with my pellet gun.

    • profile image

      ChipDip 6 years ago

      Here's another video showing the Chipper Dipper