▷ How to Get Rid of Chipmunks Naturally (2024 Update)

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks – Natural Chipmunk Repellent Options

By Sabrina Wilson / August 26, 2020

Chipmunks may look cute, soft, and cuddly, but they can wreak havoc on your property. These are small, burrowing rodents that are close cousins of the squirrel.

If you have a large yard or live near a park, you may seem them around trees, across sheds, and in your lawn. If left unchecked, they can cause excessive damage by digging holes across your property.

They can even get inside your home (good luck finding them then). The rodent is small and quick enough to prevent detection till it is too late.

The good news is that you can get rid of these pesky critters with some natural chipmunk deterrents and remedies.

Top Products for Getting Rid of Chipmunks

Essential Oil-Based Product

For a product that uses essential oils to repel chipmunks and other rodents, see our full Rodent Sheriff review.

Liquid repellents

An all natural liquid repellent is Bonide Repels-All.

Dry repellents

An all-natural version of a good dry repellent is Natural Guard.

Electronic repellents

A very popular and effective electronic repellent is the Ultrasonic Solar-Powered Rodent Repeller.

Common Concerns About Chipmunks

How to Identify Chipmunks

Depending on the species of chipmunks that have taken over your home, you can expect to see ones that are either gray or reddish brown in color. They also have dark and light stripes that run across their back, tail, and the sides of their faces as well.

They range in size as well. Some cannot grow more than 8.5 inches, while others such as the eastern chipmunk can grow up to 11 inches (Source).

chipmunk on a log

Where Do Chipmunks Hide/Burrow?

Chipmunks dig burrows that spread out in tunnels and chambers to create a big network. Some also live in nests, bushes, and logs.

Common Species of Chipmunks

Eastern chipmunk

These are usually 5 to 6 inches long, but can grow as big as 11 inches too. They have a brown coat and two stripes above and below the eyes, as well as brown and white stripes across their back that end at the rump.

Least chipmunk

A smaller version of the eastern chipmunk, the Least chipmunk can grow up to 8 inches tall and is faint yellowish or grayish in color. It has black stripes that go all the way down to the tail. (Source)

What Damage Can Chipmunks Do To Your Property?

Dig up lawns

Kiss your plants, flowerbeds, and vegetable garden goodbye if you have a chipmunk infestation. They like to hoard food before the cold sets in so that they have a full ‘pantry’ to munch on while semi-hibernating.

Damage birdfeeders

The same is the case with birdfeeders. If you don’t apply grease to the pole that the feeder is on, chipmunks can easily get to it and tear it apart to get the seeds inside.

Can cause excessive damage in large numbers

If they are present in large numbers, they can cause structural damage under your walls, patio, stairs, and even the foundation!

Destroy flowerbeds

Seeds are the main diet of chipmunks so if you have a flower bed planted, chances are they will get to the seeds before they have a chance to germinate. Even seedlings are not safe (Source).

Steal pet food

If you have a bag of dog or cat food lying around your home or near the kitchen door, an errant chipmunk may try to get at it especially if it is hoarding food for the winter.

Chipmunks vs. Squirrels




6 to 12 inches

12 to 20 inches


Small plants and seeds

Seeds, nuts, acorns, berries, twigs, and leaves


Clucking and high pitched chirps

Rapid clicking sounds accompanied with flicks of the tail

Can Chipmunks Transmit Diseases to Humans?

Diseases from ticks, lice, and mites

Like their close cousin the mouse and the rat, chipmunks can also play host to parasites which can easily move into your home if you have an infestation. A bite from a tick can cause Lyme disease.

The plague

Chipmunks can also carry infected fleas and plague--a disease that can be transmitted if you touch a chipmunk that is infested. (Source)

What Are the Best Ways to Avoid Exposure to Chipmunks?

Stay away from their nests

Chipmunks like to live in logs and bushes, which you should stay away from if you have an infestation. Even if the pesky critters are not there, their parasites may be.

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks

How to Prevent Chipmunks from Getting into Your Home

Use naphthalene crystals

You will need a lot of these to keep chipmunks at bay (4 to 5 pounds per 2000 square feet). Just place them in the attic or basement. (Source)

How to Prevent Chipmunks from Getting into Your Yard, Garden, or Flower Beds

Landscape modification

This is the best answer to ‘how to keep chipmunks out of gardens’ you can get. Make sure that no ground cover, trees, and shrubs are planted in a straight line that connects the woods to your garden.

Chipmunks can just scurry from one leafy shelter to the next to get to your seedlings!

Get rid of hiding spots

Piles of firewood, rock walls, and gardens should be situated well away from your home. (Source)

Products for Getting Rid Of Chipmunks

Conventional Methods

Moth Balls

Moth balls or naphthalene may repel chipmunks but they can also attract pets and small children. These are poisonous when consumed which your child and furry companion will be unaware of.


Chemical bait that contains toxic elements can attract and kill chipmunks either by ingestion or just with contact. You can also poison natural bait such as acorns and nuts but like moth balls, your child or pets may not realize they are inedible till it is too late.

Trap Bucket

The trap bucket can work if you only a couple of chipmunks to worry about but since it drowns the rodents, it is not exactly a humane or cruelty free method of getting rid of them.

Natural Repellents - How to Get Rid Of Chipmunks Naturally

Essential oils for getting rid of chipmunks

Scents that repel chipmunks include oils that contain peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon and citrus. Use some on yourself when you go outside or sprinkle them around the house to keep them out.

Consider these as natural chipmunk repellents or homemade chipmunk repellents. For a product that uses essential oils to repel chipmunks and other rodents, see our full Rodent Sheriff review.

Liquid repellents

How to deter chipmunks and keep them at bay? Liquid spray repellents can keep these pesky critters at bay.

Apply directly to surfaces that chipmunks frequent or invade when they search for food such as bird feeders, plants, trees, mulch, and wood piles. An all natural liquid repellent is Bonide Repels-All.

Dry repellents

Granular repellents can be used to create a chipmunk barrier around areas where they normally take shelter such as mulch, attics, wood piles and basements. 

These last longer than liquid repellents but don't spread as easily. An all-natural version of a good dry repellent is Natural Guard.

Electronic repellents

Electronic chipmunk repellents rely on sight to activate. These can be set up to shoot jets of water to condition the pests to stay away from certain areas such as flower beds, pool areas, trees and garbage cans.

A very popular and effective electronic repellent is the ultrasonic solar-powered rodent repeller.

When to Call a Professional

If you have more chipmunks that you can get rid of on your own, are allergic to fur or just can’t locate them no matter what you do, it may be time to call in the professionals.



Q. Does vinegar repel chipmunks?

A. The sharp smell of vinegar is efficient in deterring chipmunks. Just sprinkle it around your home or the holes they make.


Q. Are there plants that repel chipmunks?

A. Some plants that chipmunks won’t eat include yarrow, milkweed, spiderwort, catmint, chives, irises and narcissus. These may not be home remedies to get rid of chipmunks, but at least you will have a full garden.


Q. What do chipmunks hate?

A. Chipmunks cannot stand the smell of some essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and citrus.


Q. How do you stop chipmunks from digging?

A. Prevent chipmunks from digging up flower beds by planting the bulbs underneath a wire or plastic screen or encasing them in bulb cages.


So did these remedies to keep chipmunks at bay help you? These can come in pretty handy when you have an infestation in your hands. Spread the information by sharing and do share your comments and tips in the comments.

About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

Judie Fine - August 23, 2017

what ratio of cayenne to water is best? My garden is overrun with those cute little chippies!

    Sabrina Wilson - August 24, 2017

    What I did was cut a couple peppers up and soaked them in vegetable oil for a few days. Then I mixed that into the garlic oil/cedar oil mixture I spray. I’d say I used about an ounce of that oil to a gallon of water in the sprayer. I don’t know if that’s optimal but it seemed to work.

    Christopher - September 1, 2017

    Go into “U-tube & type in the words “recepies for chipmunk repeller or killer” & it’ll show a bunch of people making mixtures/potions w/peppers, salad dressings, jalipino peppers & any other thing U can think of, & boil it in water, Cayanne Pepper “by itself, won’t work” once U think all of the juices are out of any of the veggies that U boiled, & spice dissolved, take & dump it all outta the pot U had on the stove, & pour it thru a white coffee filter, since U’r gonna have to spray it all around U’r garden or flowerbed, that way u’ll strain all the juice out & either put it in a spray bottle, or the white insect bug sprayer, that way U won’t plug-up the trigger on U’r spray bottle, or the wand on the bug sprayer, chipmunks were digging-up Grandmas Rose Garden & if I way living in the country instead of the city, I’d get rid of’em in a whole nother way, Cha, Cha, BOOM!!

anita a lamm - August 13, 2018

loved this site,
chippies under my b feeders, lots of them, plus squirrels, ( i did make a very clever feeder using thing s that i hav in garage, that do not allow seed droppings, )
i took a Mc C coke cup, went thru the cupboard and put all hot things i could find, lots of paprika, lots of cut garlic,
i watch them get within maybe 5 -6 ft, and scamper away. havent seen a squirrel in the whole week.
try it

youmovies - December 4, 2020

what ratio of cayenne to water is best? My garden is overrun with those cute little chippies!

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