17 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Chipmunks

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home remedies for chipmunks

Chipmunks are small burrowing rodents that are closely related to squirrels. Often found tunneling in gardens, sheds or yards, the chipmunk tunnels can cause extensive damage to homes and gardens. If you want to know how to get rid of chipmunks or scare them away from your garden or yard, then don’t worry.  Our home remedies for chipmunks will deter these animals from your property for good.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of ChipmunksHow to fill chipmunk Hole

If you are wondering what do chip tunnels look like, you will probably be surprised to learn that Chipmunk tunnels are quite extensive.

Typically chipmunk tunnels will have two to three entry points when first constructed. One home will be a plunge hole, for taking cover fast, another hole for the main entrance and a third hole plugged up to be used as an emergency exit.how to fill a chipmunk hole

As the tunnels are deep, it is not possible to fill the chipmunk hole completely without digging down.

However, if the chipmunks are no longer present, the tunnels will collapse with time. So before filling the tunnels, spend several days using chipmunk repellents (listed below) on the burrow.

To seal the tunnels, fill the entrances with gravel and sand mix. Ram the gravel as far down the hole as possible using a stick.

Finally, plug the chipmunk tunnel entrance with earth. If you have it to hand, expanding foam injected into the hole, works well.

To get rid of chipmunk tunnels from above, slowly go over the area with a heavy roller, to try and collapse the tunnels.

Chipmunk damage to homes

Chipmunk burrows are often located near house foundations where the entrance is concealed by a wall or stones. This protects the burrow but makes your chipmunk problem worse as these animals can cause extensive damage to homes if left untreated.

The chipmunk burrow system will have several chambers for hoarding food, drainage tunnels and sleeping quarters. This tunnel system can cause the following problems for homeowners:

  • food hoards can attract mice and other vermin.
  • a chipmunk population will attract snakes to your garden
  • tunnels can cause subsidence leading to broken foundations, uneven patios, and cracked driveways
  • tunnels can destroy plant root systems with flooding or excess fungus growth
  • bulbs and edible roots are consumed and dug up
  • exposed foundations can let in damp
  • foundation termiticidal barriers can be breached

How to get rid of chipmunksHow to Get Rid of Chipmunks

  1. Use Cayenne Pepper

scents that repel chipmunks - cayenne pepper

If you want to know how do you keep chipmunks away, then making a cayenne pepper chipmunk repellent is a good start.

Take a spray bottle and fill it up with water. Put in some cayenne pepper and mix. Spray this mixture all around in the backyard, garden and other areas where chipmunks are active.

This remedy will not only keep the chipmunks away but may also help get rid of other pests.

Be sure to use it right after a rain shower as it is more effective then. If you do not want to make a spray, sprinkle some cayenne pepper in powder form.

Remember that capsaicin, the basic compound in cayenne, is toxic to bees and other pollinators.  [3]

  1. Humane Trap

Havahart Trap

An effective method to get rid of chipmunks is to trap. Chipmunks are very easy to catch as they are relentless foragers and will explore the insides of any trap for food.

There are a wide variety of live traps available on the market to try.

Place the trap near their burrow or by trees, plants or feeders where you know they are active. There are many foods you can use as chipmunk bait, but sunflower seeds and peanut butter work a treat.

Be aware that if you trap, you will need to release and you may need a license. It may be illegal to release trapped animals [4], and as chipmunks are territorial, they might not respond well to relocation.

  1. Homemade chipmunk trap bucket

chipmunk trap bucket

Making your own homemade chipmunk trap is one of the easiest ways to get rid of chipmunks.

This homemade trap is known as the ‘chipmunk bucket of death’ and is aptly named as it is a lethal chipmunk trap that will kill many individuals.

To make the trap, fill a five-gallon bucket two thirds with water.  Don’t overfill the bucket, as the chipmunks will be able to reach the bait without falling in.

Get a long plank of wood, (should be a least a few feet so as to make a ramp leading into the bucket) and no wider than a few inches.

At one end of the plank, hammer a nail in, so that the nail is poking out the other side.

Place the wood on the bucket as a walkway or ramp, using the nail to keep the ramp in place, hooked over the rim of the bucket.

Sunflower seeds float. Add enough unsalted sunflower seeds to the water so that the water’s surface is entirely covered. Place the trap on a flat surface near the burrow entrance.

The chipmunks will climb the ramp, see the sunflower seeds and literally jump into the water and drown. This trap is effective against mice, squirrels, and rats.

After a few days, the sunflower seeds will sink to the bottom. Replace the seeds when this happens and remove dead chipmunks as needed.

In addition to the seeds, you can use peanut butter as chipmunk trap bait. Smear some peanut butter on the inside of the bucket, just above the water line, to entice them in.

  1. Plant Daffodils

plants that repel chipmunksThere are plenty of plants that repel chipmunks. Daffodils are one such plant.  The flowers are toxic to chipmunks and its scent will repel the animals.

The bulbs remain hidden for most of the year, providing an underground barrier.

If you want to keep chipmunks out of potted plants, adding a few daffodils alongside the main plant makes an attractive feature, but also protects the plant.

Another scent that repels chipmunks is garlic. Garlic bulbs will never be dug up and meadowland with wild garlic sees little activity from these animals.

  1. Buy a Cat

catChipmunks are a favorite food for a cat. Cats will hunt them for fun.

It is very unlikely that your cat will make a severe dent in the population but there are smells that deter chipmunks and but the scent of a nearby predator will keep chipmunks from your yard.

They will be discouraged from forming a burrow in the first place with a predator so close.

  1. Peppermint oil

 peppermint oil to get rid of chipmunksRodents have a keen sense of smell which they use to locate food in the wild and chipmunks are no exception.

There are many scents that repel chipmunks that are actually quite pleasant to the human nose.

Peppermint oil can be used as chipmunk repellent.  The mint family of flowers uses its scent to ward off animals and it works to scare chipmunks away.

Other scents that repel chipmunks include lemon, clove, eucalyptus, and cinnamon oil.

All of these essential oils can be used to spray around and into the chipmunk tunnel entrance. Also, use as a spray to protect garden plants as the essential oil will make the plant taste and smell horrible.

  1. Baffles

metal baffleBaffles are cones, usually made from metal or plastic that are used to keep chipmunks away from bird feeders. [7]

By wrapping a baffle around the tree trunk, you can stop chipmunks from climbing trees.

To make the baffles more effective, smear Vaseline on the metal surface.

The whole idea of this trap is to prevent the chipmunks from gripping the trees and getting to bird feeders.

  1. Hot Pepper Wax

scents that repel chipmunks - hot pepper wax sprayNot sure how to get rid of chipmunks? Use hot pepper wax as a chipmunk repellent. It is designed as a natural bug repellent but we think it is actually more effective as a rodent repellent.

Hot pepper wax is a great way of getting rid of chipmunks from your garden or backyard. It can also be used to deter rabbits and squirrels.

The wax spray gives a foul taste to the plants in your garden, protecting them from chipmunk damage.

Just go to your nearest store and buy a bottle of hot pepper wax. Spray it on the trees, grass, and areas where chipmunks live.

  1. Thistle Seeds

thistle seedsThistle seeds are a substitute to sunflower seeds for the bird feeder.

Birds have no issue with these seeds, but the chipmunk, as well as squirrels, don’t like them.

Easily available, thistle seeds can keep chipmunks away from your bird feeder.

  1. Fox or Coyote Urine

fox urineThis is another great remedy to get rid of chipmunks. Chipmunks have many natural predators and use their burrows to avoid being caught.

The smell of fox or coyote urine in the burrow spells immediate danger. Chimpmunks simply won’t enter their burrow if they think a predator is lurking inside.

To get rid of chipmunks from their tunnels, spray the urine near and in the entrance. Keep the scent topped up daily.

You can buy fox or coyote urine online or from a zoo.

  1. Electronic chipmunk repellent

chipmunk ultrasonic repellentUsing electronics is a popular way to keep chipmunks out of garden. Chipmunks eat garden plants of many varieties, sending gardeners to despair.

However, there are a few devices available to control chipmunks in garden that you can try. They have mixed success:

Motion activitated sprinklers –  These repellents use water and motion detection for scaring off the chipmunks. The work well for bigger animals but often fail to ‘see’ chipmunks.

Chipmunk ultrasonic repellent – Chipmunks hear in much higher frequencies than humans and while the device is inaudible to man, chipmunks can’t bear it. For these devices to work, it will depend on the chipmunk. Some animals completely ignore these devices.

Vibrating stake – Vibrating stakes are available that are battery or solar powered. The stake is pushed into the ground above the burrow and provides constant vibration and sound wave that disturbs the chipmunk’s lair. These stakes are probably the most effective electronic chipmunk repellent.

  1. Decoy predator

owlCommercially available decoys can be used to scare chipmunks away. They range in sophistication, often with flapping wings, moving heads, and predator ‘noises’.

If your chipmunk infestation is new or yet unestablished, these decoys may provide some relief but in our experience, the chipmunks quickly realize that they are not real and lose interest.

Only use decoys if combined with other chipmunk repellents.

  1. Keep your yard clear

chipmunks in yardA well-groomed backyard is a backyard free of pests. It is a simple but effective home remedy to get rid of chipmunks.

Steer clear of debris and get rid of brush piles, rock piles, and stacks of firewood. This is potential shelter for chipmunks. [10]

Keep the grasses well-trimmed to avoid giving chipmunks a place to hide. Reduce spillage from the bird feeders.  [11]

  1. Safflower Seeds

safflower seeds

Fill your feeder with foods that chipmunks won’t like. Safflower seeds are bitter in taste, and chipmunks won’t eat them.

However, you will attract a fine range of birds such as cardinals, chickadees, and titmice with this seed.

To deter chipmunks away from the bird feeder, put safflower seeds in it.

  1. Mothballs

chipmunk repellent mothballsMothballs can be used as a chipmunk repellent. Put mothballs around the foundations of your house, near your plants, and around chipmunk holes.

If you want to fill a chipmunk hole, push several mothballs down the holes before you seal the tunnel.

Be careful as you use this remedy since mothballs can be toxic.

  1. Peanut Butter and Aspirin Poison

homemade chipmunk poisonCommon rodent poisons work as anticoagulants (blood thinners). The effects are gradual and death occurs due to anemia after a few days of sustained consumption of the poison.

Aspirin is also an anticoagulant and is highly toxic to rodents. It can be used as a homemade chipmunk poison.

To get rid of chipmunks with this remedy, grind two 500mg aspirin tablets and add the powder to 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and one teaspoon of sugar.

Roll the mixture into a small ball and put the ball down the chipmunk holes.

The chipmunks will carry the poison to their burrow and ingest over several days, slowly killing the chipmunks.

  1. Carbon monoxide poison

chipmunk poisonCarbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is produced by any internal combustion engine as an exhaust gas.

You can use these fumes to kill chipmunks by flooding the chipmunk tunnels with noxious gases.

Connect a pipe to the engine’s exhaust and place it in the tunnel. Seal off any chipmunk tunnel exits that remain and pack soil around the pipe to ensure no leakages.

Leave the engine running for an hour or so to flood the tunnel network with gas.

This method even has its own name it is so good: Pressurized Exhaust Rodent Control (PERC) (27).

Burrow fumigants like aluminum phosphide and ignitable gas cartridges can also be used to get rid of chipmunks.

Do’s

  • Call your local animal control department if the problem gets out of control
  • If you are using a pet to scare away chipmunks, go for a terrier type dog
  • Fill all the burrow holes in your garden using expanding foam insulation
  • Be careful how you use poison. Chipmunk poison baits are eaten by many animals.

Don’ts

  • Avoid poisoning the chipmunks unless it is absolutely essential
  • Do not set traps without taking legal permission from the relevant authorities

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