Chipmunks love nibbling at anything growing in your backyard right from tiny seeds to ripe tomatoes, and strawberries. To prevent them from digging holes and destroying your vegetable garden and flower pots, try out the following methods.
5 Humane Ways to Keep Chipmunks out of Your Garden
1. Trapping Chipmunks
A live trap, particularly a wire mesh or a box trap (shoebox can be used) is a good and safe option as you can move it to a different location so safely release the rodent. It is advisable to avoid using a snap trap as it might actually hurt or kill the animal.
Where to Place the Trap
Position the trap at a spot frequented by them. Keeping two traps one after the other improves the chances of success and gives faster results. However, make sure it is not within reach of children, pets, or other wildlife animals. In fact, you can place it into or underneath a box with holes large enough for only chipmunks to enter.
How to Bait and Trap it
Chipmunks have a taste for nuts, peanut butter, raisins, cereal grains, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and meat. You need to first bait the trap for a couple of days to make them get used to feeding off it, and then set the trigger.
2. Getting Rid of Chipmunks in Your Yard through Fencing
A tall fence with small holes buried about 6 inches under the surface would discourage the ground chipmunks to climb it. Placing a net over the top and at the sides provides an additional guard.
You can also install an L-shaped footer around the house, including porch/deck, driveway, sidewalks, shed, garage (to keep them out of your car), downspouts or any other extended structure to prevent them from digging. Burying a ¼-inch mesh hardware cloth a few inches below the surface of the soil might also give the same result while covering plant bulbs with it protects from direct damage.
3. Eliminating Chipmunks Naturally with Repellents
The following organic repellents, including some homemade remedies, could be the best options to remove chipmunks.
- Pureed garlic and hot peppers soaked in a cup of hot soapy water, strained and then mixed with 1 tablespoon of oil
- A mixture of 1 tablespoon of Lysol, 3 ounces of Epsom salt, and 1 gallon of water
- Chili powder
- Castor oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Predator (red fox or cat) urine spray bottles as well as granules (available at stores)
Just sprinkle any of these around areas where they are most active.
Plants that Repel Chipmunks
- Strong-scented herbs
Note: As an alternative, mothballs or any commercial product containing nicotine sulfate, methyl nonyl ketone crystals, thiram, polybutene, bitrex, or ammonia can be scattered over flower beds and non-edible plants that might help in deterring them due to the strong odor. However, there is a possibility of a health risk if they eat off the vegetation, so these should be avoided as much as possible.
The above natural remedies may not work for large chipmunk infestations, and in such cases, commercial repellents may be more useful. Ultrasonic repellents that emit high-frequency sound waves have also been found to work on some rodents, but its effectiveness against chipmunks is yet to be determined.
4. Controlling Chipmunk Infestation through Landscape Changes
- Remove small plants, rock walls, brush piles, pet foods, or stacks of firewood or stones surrounding the yard to make it less attractive for chipmunks as well as eradicate pests.
- Maintain a considerable gap between the garden area and your house.
5. Deterring Chipmunks with Predators
Having cats as pets can keep chipmunks off your yard. Apart from that, you can either fix an owl box for attracting the nocturnal bird to keep the rodents in check or place a toy owl to scare them off.