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.
An all natural liquid repellent is Jim's All Natural Animal Repellent.
An all-natural version of a good dry repellent is Natural Guard.
A very popular and effective electronic repellent is the TBI Pro.
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).
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 Jim's All Natural Animal Repellent.
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 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 TBI Pro.
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.