chipmunks in the garden

jmzms(z7 Alpharetta, GA)May 19, 2006

For a few weeks, I've been finding little holes here and there in my beds like something was digging, nothing big, just more puzzling than anything. This morning, my DH saw two little chippers sitting on the corner of a raised bed. Culprits found. My question much damage will chipmunks do in a garden (veggies and flowers)? Are they just gonna dig a little here and there, or are they going to destroy my tomatoes and corn and such? If destruction is the answer, I'd love some suggestions on getting rid of them. I could let the 85 lb German Shepherd and 50 lb "chipmunk-hunting" Samoyed loose, but I think they'd do more overall damage than the chippers would!


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I don't know what damage they do; I feed mine.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 2:55PM
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lzygrdner(7 sndy sprngs)

I believe the holes are it, I have lots of them, and they seem harmless enough. I feed and water mine. The squirrels and chippies have claimed one of the birdbaths as their own.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 6:10AM
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Twinkle(7 GA)

I have a resident chipmunk too. No damage at all found, nothing chewed up or missing. He sits on the top step outside my front door every morning. Very cute!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 11:36AM
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Their diet usually consists of berries, nuts and seed and they store large amounts of those in their burrows for winter consumption, when they are mostly inactive above ground. During the spring and summer, when their preferred food sources aren't available, they will become carnivorous and eat snails, slugs, spiders, small reptiles(including snakes), bird eggs(yes, and birds!). The lazy one's will also eat flowers, including the stems. They usually destroy more than they can or will eat. My problem with them is not consumption, but constant digging around freshly planted perennials, annuals and bulbs. At one time, I had 8 known burrows in the garden and under the patio and it required diligent vigilance to keep the plants and bulbs in the ground. Finally resorted to covering new plantings with wire mesh for a year or two, until the soil became compacted. The neighborhood cats love my place, where they cane hone their stalking and hunting skills.
One or two chips may be acceptable, but when a male and female pair up, they can spawn 2 or 3 litters a year and the gestation period is only 31 days, ergo, another burrow, then another and so on and on, ad infinitum!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 2:22PM
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mice...with fancy coats....these cute guys freak me out everytime I open my back porch door...but thankfully they leave my tomatoes alone

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 2:51AM
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Nell Jean

Tell you what-- you box up the chipmuckers and as soon as I catch this armadillo that is plowing up my entire garden, we'll trade. I think he may be the one that BROKE my hav-a-heart trap. It's been reinforced now with much stronger material, and we've already dispatched one.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 3:21PM
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GAAlan(z7b(on map) 8(imby) Atlanta)

I have at least four here. I was unloading my truck earlier today and two went running by me. One was chasing the other. I couldn't tell if it was play or not, but they were certainly in a hurry. I hate to hurt them, but they are bad about digging in containers. I have to smile everytime I see one running...with its tail straight in the air!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 7:54PM
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joyce75(6b ONT canada)

I feed them also and they have not eaten anything in the garden...including the tomatoes. But I must say there seem to be more of them this year...or else they have put the word out about the buffet in our backyard! I have only seen one hole and I planted around it. I get a real kick out of seeing them hoover down sunflower seeds...Joyce

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 1:29AM
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ellix(augusta ga)

What do they eat? I have at least one cutie and I feed everything else. Thanks, molly

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 10:56PM
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I always thought they were cute, too. Until a couple of weeks ago when they started digging in the pots of annuals sitting on my back deck. Grrrr! They're ruining those beautiful flowers.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 8:54AM
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One very potentially bad problem with chipmucks is holes they might dig near your house foundation. I had a home they did this too and it caused flooding in the basement! Once we plugged the holes and caught the scamps in Have A Heart traps we didn't have any more trouble. I think they are cute, and they are fun, but they're not worth a flooded basement. Also do they, like moles, bother lily bulbs?

I use Have A Heart traps on a somewhat regular basis now to catch them (they love peanuts and peanut butter) and I release them at a nearby forest.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 6:33PM
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If you have chipmunks and can trap them humanely, I will come get them and release into a wooden back yard. I am 2 miles north of Atlanta so could travel an hour or so any direction from the city. thanks.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 11:04AM
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While I agree they are cute, our cats catch them and bring them in the house. You haven't lived till you try to get a chipmunk out of the house. One got in an upstairs bedroom once and died in our recliner- we had no idea it was there. Don't ask why we couldn't smell the odor- neither of us smell any scents well anymore. We had to throw away the recliner. Felt like throwing away the cats. Before you ask, we keep a door cracked so the cats can come and go without us having to let them in and out dozens of times a day. So far, this year, we haven't seen any chipmunks.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:26AM
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I used to believe I had a chipmunk or two in my backyard, but my dad discovered I had a whole lot more than that. There are masses of them out there. They store seeds in my planters and make such a mess. I found a forum last year about the 5 gallon bucket, sunflower seeds and water to get rid of them, but just didn't have the heart. They are a pain, but they are also so darn cute!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 11:13AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

gmom, been there. We've had one in the house a few times. We've been lucky enough to get them out while they were still alive. I'll never forget sitting here watching tv late at night and hearing a crunching by the at food. I looked over to see which cat it was, and it was a chipmunk. Poor thing was scared to death, but on AM I locked up the cats and left the back door open and he scampered out.

We have a hav-a-heart trap just to trap the ones in our house if it happens again.

My cats sit by the fence and watch the chipmunks on the other side. My neighbor wants to borrow my cats to catch them, but their fence is not cat-get-out-proof.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 8:21PM
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They definitely do damage. I stopped growing strawberries because the little %@*# ate them. The worst thing is they will take a bite or two out of one berry and leave it only to take a bite or two out of another, and another and ..... I am trying to figure out now whether they are responsible for the disappearance of my parsley!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 8:27AM
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