Chipmunk problem

karyn1(7a)July 8, 2006

For the past 18 years we've had one or two chipmunks living in our yard. No problems and they were so cute. This year we've had a chipmunk explosion! I have no idea how many there are but I imagine it's quite a few. They enjoy digging up my container plants. They aren't eating them just making a mess. We don't have a wooded lot but they live under the deck which is 3700 sq ft and multi leveled. I can't get under most of it to see where they've made their home. I've tried a humane trap that I've used for possums and squirrels with no luck. I don't want to hurt them and my dog has no effect on them at all. Is there any way to get them to move on? I enjoyed them when there were only a couple but this is getting out of hand.


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Maybe you could try the peanut butter bait described in the thread linked below.

If that doesn't work, and you change your mind about not wanting to hurt them, scroll down a bit to the "5-gallon chipmunk swimming pool" section. Not for the faint of heart.

Oh, and someone at the bottom had success with carrots in a Havahart trap.

Here is a link that might be useful: Effective chipmunk/ground squirrel control

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 1:52AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they will never stop reproducing... so you will have to do something about it ....

i thought there were hundreds ruining my garden i destroyed about 8 ... and now no problems ...

you have to do what you have to do ... and i dont believe in trapping and making them someone elses problem ... releasing them on or near another persons land is not fair to them ....

to do such .. crush a bunch of the holes closed... and keep checking them until you find the active holes .... get a big black pot.. 10 gal or so ... place some rat traps with peanut butter near the active hole .... invert the pot over the traps .... and check them everyday ...

i know its heartless .... but rodents are rodents... and they have to go ...

good luck


    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 3:16PM
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Get a cat?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:53PM
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Interesting thread, all these different perspectives and approaches to the problem. I've been feeding birds in my backyard, year-round, for almost 25 years. I have seen over 45 species in my yard alone. With all that seed, there are bound to be rodents, as well. Up until this year, it's been a peaceful coexistence and still is, for the most part. I now have a project the chipmunks, squirrels, and/or rabbits are interfering with and we are at war, but only in that one area.

I've noticed that the chipmunk and squirrel populations fluctuate, with the only constant being my continuous feeding of the birds. My feeders are inaccessible to the rodents, but because I like them, too, I throw a handful of sunflower seed around for them whenever I fill the feeders. They have to scrounge for the rest.

I think when the populations start exploding, owls and snakes notice and come into the area to deal with it. It's interesting to me to read how many people have had problems with chipmunks inside their houses. In all these years, I've never had one, although they are all around my house outside. Plenty to eat out there, I guess.

What I have had inside are squirrels and flying-squirrels. The FS's, I love. We had to cover the attic vents with hardware cloth to keep the squirrels out, but before that, we had a number of different nests inside (noise in the ceiling/walls, etc.) and I caught more than one baby squirrel in my utility room.

I guess I'm a "live-and-let-liver", but that extends equally to the people. Some feel the need to exterminate, some feel the need to coexist... it balances out. I have no (none, zip, nada!) animosity toward either group.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 2:04PM
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I too seem to be overrun with chipmunks this year. I have not tried this but a co-worker of mine swears by this method.

Fill a large bucket about half full of water. Cover the water with a layer of floating sunflower seeds and place it in an area where the chipmunks have access to it. When the chipmunks jump into the bucket to get the seeds they are trapped and drown. Kind of harsh but at least you are not using any poison etc.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 10:41PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont see anything harsh in controlling rodent populations ... this isnt a disney cartoon ...


    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 8:58AM
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Order the RatZapper or a couple of them, and a bunch of alkaline D cell batteries. It really works. A buddy of mine has two of them and he baits it with just small dog 3 or 4 pieces. He has zapped about 20 of them so far..and counting. Previously he was doing the water bucket trick, but that stunk and was messy. The zapper is quick, efficient, and easy to use. He made some covers for them with an opening on one end...plywood I think. That is just to keep the rain out of the electronics on it. You can buy them too from the zapper manufacturer. That would be easier.

This may not be the best choice if you have small curious children though. Always read and heed the warnings on these devices.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 1:31PM
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I find, after watching my squirrel (tree and flying) and field mouse population increase and decrease over the years, that Mother Nature will normally adjust the populations of pretty much ANY animal. We have hawks during the day and owls at night that handle our 'adjustments'. The natural food suply also dwindles with too many of any species causing some to leave or perish. Males, and sometimes females with litters, will also drive off a great number of males yearly. That's been our experience in Florida over the years. We also feed the squirrels seperately from the birds which we found was a GREAT help. We have racoons, who can REALLY be a pest, oppossums, snakes, grey squirrels, flying squirrels, field mice and an assortment of predatory birds so ours DO get balanced yearly. And all are fun to watch. My wife rescues wildlife so any who are sick or injured and we are forced to trap (Hav-A-Hart) are always released in the wild away from any population ctrs. I would only take drastic measures if they started to destroy, or trying to enter, the house. So far that hasn't been a problem. (And THAT would have to be without my wife's knowledge) Your situation where you live may be much different than ours so I only wanted to give you our experience here in Central Florida, and food for thought, before taking the drastic route.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 11:50AM
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Thanks for all the ideas. I'm just going to hope that mother nature will help resolve the problem. I can't kill them but I've noticed a number of owls and hawks flying into my yard and hope that maybe they'll help. They can't get to them under the deck but they'll sit on the fence for quite some time just waiting for one of those little buggers to come out. I have two cats but the closest they'll get is chasing them on the other side of a sliding glass door. I don't allow them outside at all. The chipmunks have stopped trashing my container plants but there's no way I'm planting bulbs this fall just to provide a new tasty treat for them.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 12:12AM
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I catch all my chipmunks with live traps. They love sunflower seeds. I have caught about 50 of the little buggers over the summer. I drive them way across town to some other poor souls yard and release them. When I initially thought I had 1 or 2 chipmunks when I started to trap them I found out I had many many more. The live traps are about 15-25$ each but are easy to use and the kids like to see chippy before we release him. I usually drop him off on my way to work so its not that big of a problem.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 10:51PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Chipmunks and other rodents can build up very large populations in a short time. If they decide to nest under your foundations or under a tree, there can be serious and dangerous damage. They will also destroy insulation, plastic pipes, and eat though the insulation on wires, cable, etc.

You would be wise to monitor the population carefully, and not let it get out of hand. To think that Mother Nature will balance everything out is naive, at best. Especially when we are talking about a very unnatural environment. Some animals are designed to create artificially large populations when there is food and shelter.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 3:45PM
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billhoo(7 va)

I just put out a small non-kill cage trap. Used a small strip of t-shirt tied to the trap trigger and smeared with peanut butter.

Two hours later, I come home to find what looks like a dead chipmunk.

No marks on it. Did not apear to have gotten hurt.

Could he have died of a heart attack? It's 87 degrees F outside. didn't think that short period of exposure could have killed it. Was raining past two days.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:55PM
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