Chipmunk Control: Eliminating Chipmunks From Your Garden

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(Image credit: Gordo25)

While TV typically portrays chipmunks as cute, many gardeners know that these small rodents can be as destructive as their larger cousin, the squirrel. Getting rid of chipmunks in your garden is similar to getting rid of squirrels. Chipmunk control requires just a little knowledge.

Eliminating Chipmunks with Traps

Traps can be an effective way to rid chipmunks from your garden. Since chipmunks are small, you can use the same types of traps for chipmunks that you would for rats. Both snap traps and live traps are an option for getting rid of chipmunks. Snap traps will kill them, while live traps will make it so you can transport them to a more suitable location. Be aware that chipmunks are protected animals in some states. Check your local laws before using snap traps for chipmunk control. Chipmunks are fond of nuts and seeds, so peanut butter and sunflower seeds are good bait for your traps.

Using Chipmunk Repellent for Chipmunk Control

Common chipmunk repellents are pureed garlic, hot peppers, or a combination of both. Steep the pureed garlic and hot peppers in 1 cup (240 mL.) of hot, soapy water until the water is cool. Strain and add 1 tablespoon (15 mL.) of oil. Shake and pour into a spray bottle. Spray this on plants you wish to keep the chipmunks from. Other chipmunk repellent suggestions include castor oil, predator urine, and ammonium soap.

Getting Rid of Chipmunks Through Landscaping Changes

Chipmunks like shrubs and rock walls because they provide convenient places to hide. Removing these types of plants and structures from near your house will make your yard more dangerous and less attractive to chipmunks.

Put Up an Owl Box

Eliminating chipmunks through attracting one of their predators is a way to work with nature to fix the problem. Build an owl box to try to attract these beautiful, nighttime predators to your yard. Owls feed on small rodents like chipmunks. Not only will the owl take care of chipmunk control, but will also control voles, moles, mice, and rats.

If All Else Fails with Getting Rid of Chipmunks

Following these steps should result in eliminating chipmunks from your garden. But if all else fails, you can always fall back on plan B, which is to provide food for the chipmunks away from where they are causing damage. The idea is that if they have an easy food source, they won't go after the more difficult ones. While you will not be rid of chipmunks, you will at least be able to enjoy their antics while reducing the damage to your yard.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.