Chipmunks might seem cute while running around your backyard and garden but can be havoc for your plants if given the right environment. These rodents feed on fruits, seeds, flower bulbs, and insects. If you don’t want these little critters to chew away your vegetation, learn how to prevent them from entering your garden and what to do if they’re already there.
What Will You Need
You can use many different things to remove chipmunks from your garden and prevent them from revisiting.
- Wire mesh
- Hardware cloth
- Construction foam
- Chipmunk Repellents
- Traps for Chipmunk
- Nuts, seeds, or fruit for bait
Steps to Keep Chipmunks Out of Your Garden
Now that you have your gear, it is time for some action! Discover how to keep chipmunks away from your garden.
Step 1: Eliminate Possible Denning Sites
Chipmunks leave their homes in early spring in search of food and mates and stay within one-third of a mile from their burrows as the heat increases. They love flowers, shrubs, food-producing trees, and bushy areas. So, the first step you can take to prevent them from not making home around your house is to eliminate their possible denning sites. To do so:
- Remove any wood piles or yard debris from your backyard or garden.
- To avoid providing a corridor to chipmunks, do not plant continuous trees or ground cover.
- Pick your fruits and vegetables as they are ripe.
- Never leave any vegetables or fruits on the ground for chipmunks to seek out.
Step 2: Fence Your Garden
A simple privacy fence around your yard will not prevent the chipmunks from entering; these critters can dig into the ground and build tunnels as long as 30 feet! Instead, build fences around your plants or create perimeters around your garden using hardware cloth or ¼ inch-wire mesh. Ensure your fencing is at least 8 inches deep in the ground so the chipmunks cannot burrow underneath.
Step 3: Seal All Holes
If you have plants, especially flower bulbs, indoors, the next step to follow is to prevent chipmunks from entering your home. Start by sealing all the holes around your house, including cracks between the windows and spaces between the doors, dryer, and exhaust vent lines.
Do not forget the holes from where your gas lines, television cables, and air conditioning lines enter your house. Use a wire mesh to cover all kinds of openings. You may also use expandable construction foam or concrete to cover any cracks or holes.
Note: While it is rare for chipmunks to enter homes, they can cause a lot of damage if they do.
Step 4: Use Repellents
Start by applying taste-aversion repellents, such as Bitrex® spray or Thiram, to your landscape plants to prevent the chipmunks from chewing them away. However, taste-aversion repellents alone cannot help remove chipmunks from around your house or garden, as they often get used to the taste. So pair this step with other measures for keeping chipmunks out of your garden.
Pro Tip: Your pets can scare off the chipmunks! If the above steps do not work, try scaring off the chipmunks by letting your pet cat or dog wander around your yard.
Step 5: Set Traps for Chipmunks
Traps are not considered the most ethical way to remove chipmunks from your yard. Before proceeding with this step, check your local or state regulations about setting animal traps. Sometimes snap traps and even live traps and unauthorized relocation of chipmunks are illegal.
Partner this step with others to prevent chipmunks from ruining your garden. This method cannot guarantee that chipmunks will stay away from your premises, yet it can eliminate them for some time.
- Get a trap especially made for chipmunks and set it up according to the instructions provided.
- Ensure the trap is big enough for chipmunks but small enough that your pets or children won’t get hurt.
- Use fruit, nuts, or seeds as bait to attract the chipmunks. Note that while peanut butter is alluring for chipmunks, removing it from the trap can turn into a chore.
- Keep the trap around chipmunk burrows and check it daily for chipmunks.
Note: Never keep the live chipmunk inside the trap for long.
Keep Chipmunks Away
With some trial and error, you can see what works for you in keeping the chipmunks away from your garden. One of the best practices is to close all the holes in and around your house and garden to prevent them from entering your premises. Also, always protect your plants using some fencing.
What do you do to keep chipmunks away from your garden? Share your tips in the comments below.