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How to Get Rid of Chipmunks


***image1***Summary: Some of the toughest rodents to get rid of in your yard are chipmunks. Although they may seem cute, chipmunks can terrorize your award-winning garden or perfectly landscaped lawn. This article has some tips on how to get rid of chipmunks from your yard.  You can learn more about chipmunk control products or purchase them here.

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Though it may be hard to believe, chipmunks can become little terrors to your garden or lawn. The people that know this best are those whose yards have been taken over by chipmunks. If you spend many hours each week perfecting your backyard and chipmunks eat all your handiwork, you may want to figure out ways to get rid of the critters. Here are some ideas that we have put together for the most effective way to get rid of these pesky little animals. (Note: If you ever have to handle dead chipmunks, make sure you do so safely. Wear proper gloves and make sure to wash your hands after disposing of them. Chipmunks may carry a myriad of diseases, so it is better to be safe than sorry.)

Sunflower Bucket Method

Take a large bucket, fill it halfway with water, and set it outside. Find a small piece of wood that you can use as a plank leading up to the bucket. Spread sunflower seeds in the grass, on the piece of wood, and in the water. The chipmunk will walk up to the grass, up the plank, and fall into the water, unable to get out.

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Walk the plank

You may want to set up a few buckets in your yard. Also, if you find that squirrels are eating all the seeds and scurrying away, try putting a screen on top of the bucket. Make sure there is enough room for chipmunks to get in, but not enough that bigger squirrels would be able to eat up all the bait.

Outdoor Pets

Keeping your pet outdoors is a great way to scare off chipmunks. If you already have a doghouse outside, you are set. However, you may consider getting a cat for the outdoors. Both of these larger animals will intimidate the chipmunks. This technique is not recommended, though, if there are hawks, foxes, or other predatory animals living in your neighborhood. Your cats and small dogs are on the food chart for these larger animals.

Live Trap

A live animal trap like the Havahart 745, is a very easy way to get rid of chipmunks and it does not require much effort. Set the trap out in your yard. Throw nuts, sunflower seeds, or other munchies around and inside. The chipmunks will eventually get fooled into walking into the trap and set it off. This is the hard part. State laws do not allow for the release of captured wild animals. So, don't count on taking them to a park or your mother-in-law's yard to set free. You will have to dispose of the captured animal which may not agree with the tree-hugger part of your personality.

Plant Spray

If none of the above options work, try spraying your plants with something that will not harm the chipmunks, but will be distasteful to them. Try hot sauce or pepper solution, as chipmunks tend to resist these flavors.

Bait

There used to be  a chipmunk bait product that could be placed in outdoor rodent stations or stuffed down chipmunk burrows. The manufacturer has stopped producing this product because of changes in the laws coming from the E.P.A.

Mousetrap

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Live Trap

If you want a way to get rid of the chipmunks without putting them through too much pain, try setting out some  mousetraps.  Because chipmunks are such small animals the trap should do the job quickly and cleanly. Put a dab of peanut butter/oatmeal mix on the trap trigger. The trap I recommend is a one-handed model that is easy to use and keeps your hands away from the dead animal.

Mothball Trick

Setting mothballs around your yard will deter chipmunks, but will not eliminate them. The advantage to this is that mothballs may also deter pests such as bugs and other rodents. Try placing mothballs around the foundation of your home (one every few feet will do the trick). Also, if you have holes in your yard from the chipmunks, place about a half dozen mothballs in each hole. This technique will keep the chipmunks away from your house and farther back in your yard. Then, try setting up the sunflower bucket trap or mousetraps to get rid of Chip and Dale completely.

Watch this short video on trapping animals.





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Comments

Tricia
02 Jul 2011, 15:56
Chipmunks are under my foundation and they ate my favorate plant. My back patio is like a rodent freeway. An exterminator used poison seeds twice and then a powder. The mothballs didn't phase them. The bucket method sounds like a cheap and effective method but the dead bodies!! I have nightmares of chipmunks in my house. Thanks for the information.
Tim
04 Jul 2011, 22:47
I have declared war on chipmonks, I will smash them with a shovel if I can get close enough! I just found out what they are doing to my house. They will all DIE!
Liz
06 Jul 2011, 08:53
Well, tried the bucket method again. Only got local mice etc. Sorry, Long Island chipmunks outsmart the bucket method.
The Plaid Penguin
29 Jul 2011, 08:50
Caught five more chippers in the dipper last night! This is all great news, but I had to empty this foul smelling bucket this morning when the heat was not so oppressive! Gag - yuck! My husband passed away from cancer so no one to look to for killing spiders or emptying chipper dippers - ahhh well . . . Spiders I can handle now - chippers . . . not doing so well with those yet, but will keep at it! At least I know I'm eliminating the population a few at a time in my yard. If you can get over dumping them in a garbage bag, this is the best idea I've ever heard! Sending out more chipper invitations to the pool party as I type this! Food and all the water they can drink are provided - hehehehe!
Sue Miller
07 Apr 2012, 20:36
Hi! I, too, thought they were cute; but, they gotta go! Is it illegal to drown them? And do you just put them in the garbage? Thanks!
M W
22 May 2012, 11:07
My husband and I set up a bird sanctuary in our back yard two years ago. We enjoy all the lovely song birds with several bird feeders, baths, and boxes. However, just last month we noticed in the morning that all the bird feeders were empty and big piles of seed on the ground beneath them. We saw a few chipmunks during the day around them on the deck in the back yard. We went online to find solutions for eliminating chipmunks and only found the sassy politically correct methods. However, we found you and the method of the bucket of doom!!:) Let me say that we tried it with two buckets in the back yard, and so far, have caught 10 of them over the period of two weeks. There is one big one left that is on the back deck walking around eating the seeds I put out to lure him into one of the buckets. He walks all around it and on the plank, but wont go in. Been watching him for three days now. I will try to put a new mixture of seed and peanut butter in a new location to see if that works. We WILL get him yet!!!
MW
22 May 2012, 11:12
My husband and I set up a bird sanctuary in our back yard two years ago. We enjoy all the lovely song birds with several bird feeders, baths, and boxes. However, just last month we noticed in the morning that all the bird feeders were empty and big piles of seed on the ground beneath them. We saw a few chipmunks during the day around them on the deck in the back yard. We went online to find solutions for eliminating chipmunks and only found the sassy politically correct methods. However, we found you and the method of the bucket of doom!!:) Let me say that we tried it with two buckets in the back yard, and so far, have caught 10 of them over the period of two weeks. There is one big one left that is on the back deck walking around eating the seeds I put out to lure him into one of the buckets. He walks all around it and on the plank, but wont go in. Been watching him for three days now. I will try to put a new mixture of seed and peanut butter in a new location to see if that works. We WILL get him yet!!!
sheila krueger
31 May 2012, 13:37
Put the bucket out yesterday for the first time and this morning found one sad chipmunk. he had been in and out of my garage for the past weeks. Couldn't have the family move in permanently. So sorry, he was cute but persistent. Thanks for the advice.
JTish
07 Jun 2012, 19:25
If you live catch a wild animal it is illegal and immoral to relocate it. All you are doing is spreading diseases amongst them. Be nice and kill them outright and let the rest live
Lab Rat
10 Jun 2012, 19:04
If you live in a subdivision use .22 short CB's, they are as quiet as a pellet and you get your target practice in too.
Maryann
16 Jun 2012, 07:36
After spending lots of money on all kinds of "bait" and traps, the bucket of doom is the best. In ONE hour, 4 were on their way to chipmunk heaven - 2 at a time, it seems. It is a little tricky listening to their little paws scratching at the sides of the bucket but them I see all the damage they've done and it is justifiable punishment. Thanks for the posting.
Steve
02 Jul 2012, 12:24
Get the RatZapper (google it). 79 chippies in the last 2 years. Use a samll handful of sunflower seeds for bait. Works great, but do they ever end?
Rodentlady24
11 Jul 2012, 17:16
I just bought a Chip'munk'inator off of ebay. Best $50 I ever spent. I lay that thing on the ground where I always see them and put some corn or seeds in there and start catching chipmunks almost as soon as I walk away from the trap. Good thing about this trap is that it is a live trap. So for those of us who choose to relocate them instead of killing them can do so. I hear there is also an option of drowning them once trapped. I havent tried this method but assume it would work as well. I have tried the bucket method and it is very time consuming. The Chipmunkinator saves time and hassle.
Randy
27 Aug 2012, 22:23
The bucket really works, set 4 buckets, got 31 in a 24 hour period.
Sanda
12 Sep 2013, 18:12
1. I tried the haveahart trap and they ate the bait and then squeezed out by the side of the trap door. One size too large, although it said mice and chipmunks on the label...

2. I tried the bucket with no water, hoping to catch them alive and dispose of them. They ate the seeds and got out of the tall bucked with no problems. A few times...

3. I tried an electronic mouse trap, supposed to zap them dead instantly, no pain. I bough 3 and set them up. No catch, but the ants ate all the peanut butter. Seems too small for a chipmunk to get in that tight space.

4. Today I ran out of patience and did the bucket with water and seeds thing - my husband offered to get rid of the drown ones. Two chipmunks went in immediately, in the two buckets, but to my horror I discovered that they don't drown!! They both swam in the bucket for hours!! Every site I read (a lot of them...) talks about how they fall in and they drown, nobody mentioned that they actually can swim, and will swim until exhausted... This is a lot more cruel than I even imagined, I cannot do this again. Even now I hear splashing... they are still swimming, maybe 4-5 hours later. I can't go outside.

5. Totally horrified, I went on-line and impulse bought a rat-zapper. They are expensive but it seems that they work. I'll get it in a few days (local hardware stores or Home Depot don't have them) and I hope the chipmunks will fry the hell out of my yard - but not suffer for hours.

You beginners, like I was a few days ago, consider the swimming issue. If you can stomach that, go ahead. It works.

Amy
24 Mar 2014, 00:28
Sanda, thanks for the heads up. Oh my gosh, reading your post was like listening to myself or my sisters trying to get something done. We laughed & felt your pain. The swimming issue definitely would have freaked me out. I want them gone but I don't want it to be torture. Thanks again.
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