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How to discourage chipmunks without harming butterflies?

Posted by lafu115 7 (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 26, 11 at 19:35

I have chipmunks digging all over the yard. They are especially interested in the butterfly host and nectar plants -- all recent plantings. Almost all my plants are native and planted to attract builds or butterflies. How can I discourage the chipmunks without harming the birds and butterflies? My neighbor suggested hot pepper spray but I am concerned the butterflies will be repelled in addition to the chipmunks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to discourage chipmunks without harming butterflies?

For small areas, I've had luck repelling chipmunks with cayenne pepper powder, sprinkled on the soil. If I had a bigger problem, I'd try blood meal or milorganite, both of which have pretty powerful odors that are effective in repelling chipmunks, squirrels, and even deer.

Again, all of these products should be sprinkled on the ground, not on the plants. The blood meal should be used in small amounts since it has a pretty high N content.

RE: How to discourage chipmunks without harming butterflies?

Snakes that eat small rodents and other snakes are excellent varmint controls. You can encourage a snake such as a coachwhip, which are voracious predators consuming a large variety of varmints, by building a stone "pyramid" with a hollow chamber large enough for them to curl up in and hide from hawks, raccoons,and other predators that would in turn prey on them. Coachwhips even prey on rattlesnakes! Even if rat snakes are all that are present in your area they can effectively deal with chipmunks.

RE: How to discourage chipmunks without harming butterflies?

If you don't mind killing the chipmunks, you can fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of water and cover the top with sunflower seed (it floats) and place a two-by-four or other "bridge" leading to the rim. Sprinkle some seeds along the wood leading to the bucket. Chipmunks will see the seed and jump in and then drown. Sounds very cruel, but chipmunks can be very destructive to car engines, foundations of buildings, gardens, etc. I hate to kill anything, but can't afford more engine repair or finding myself unable to get to work some morning.


RE: How to discourage chipmunks without harming butterflies?

I use Milorganite on my lawn and even spread it throughout my beds, and I have chipmunks galore. They have a big den under my deck, but I see them disappearing into other areas, too. I don't know if the tunnels all lead to the deck or not. So if Milorganite repels chippies in theory, where would they go? Would they actually leave their home? Or do you just mean they will leave the plants alone? I rarely see plant damage, but they've done a number on my front cement stoop. It's sinking and I see the little devils going in and out of the hole that's formed. So I've been using rat traps, but not having much luck this year with them. They must be getting smarter.

I tried the bucket of death method last year...messy and it works...but I stopped when one poster witnessed it taking almost two hours of torture before it finally drowned. I can't stomach that, so scratch that idea. My next try is going to be the Rat Zapper. I think that's the name of it, it's the battery operated one that is reusable. So with the trap method, no butterflies are harmed.

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