Problem with pest chipmunks? Build a "CHIPPER DIPPER"
Cute until it eats through the wiring in 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.
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