Virginia has years of experience with gardening and wild pests in Florida, New Hampshire, Kansas, Maryland, Australia, and South Texas.
Chipmunk Control Methods
I have a web page about getting rid of chipmunks humanely and it has been very popular. The focus there was on deterring the little critters. It became obvious to me over time, that some people wanted something more than Havahart traps and owl decoys.
They wanted swift, permanent eradication of this pest that was undermining their deck or steps, eating their tomatoes and strawberries and getting into their attics and walls. They wanted to kill them.
Since I had researched the topic so thoroughly when I created the first page, I learned quite a bit about how to kill chipmunks. For those of you who have made pets of these, please cover your eyes or go enjoy my other page of Fun Facts about Chipmunks.
This page where you are is for desperate people who feel a rodent, albeit a cute rodent, is destroying their property and making them miserable. Continue on to see the most effective ways to rid your property of this pest.
(photo: by Virginia Allain)
Damages Chipmunks Cause
In researching the problem, here are some of the stories I found:
- One man had problems with them undermining his 100-year-old stone walls. He estimates that it will cost almost $10,000 to have the wall replaced.
- One fellow had trouble with two chipmunks getting into his furnace pipes where they died, causing blockage and a smell.
- I'm not sure what a wiring harness in a truck is, but one person had troubles with chipmunks chewing through that.
- In New England, the chipmunk can ruin the tubing used in maple syrup operations.
- Many had flower bulbs dug up and nibbled on. These cute rodents with racing stripes are notorious for this.
- If there are lots of chipmunks around, check patios, stairs, retention walls and any foundations for damage caused by their pesky burrowing under these.
- They can chew through the rubber at the base of a garage door, then cause other damage once they are in the garage.
- Chipmunks can carry off a whole crop of strawberries or take bites out of the ones they don't carry away.
Chipmunk Hole - Usually There Are Several Entrances
The Rat Zapper Works for Chipmunks - Click on the picture to see all the reviews
I have not personally tried this battery operated rodent control device out, but people who have used it say it is quite effective.
I talked to someone today (July 9, 2011) who said this works great for them to kill chipmunks. The device is not cheap, but you'll get many years of use from it.
(update 2013) My friend Ralph reports his Rat Zapper is still going strong and decimating the chipmunk population in his yard.
The Rat Zapper also works for squirrels (and rats).
Here's One Stealing a Strawberry from the Garden
Have You Tried the Rat Zapper?
Havahart Chipmunk Trap
This quickly catches any chipmunks you have around. You can take them for a car ride past some natural barrier like a river and then release them. There is some question about how humane this is. Separating the chipmunk from his stash of food that he is accumulating for the winter may doom him to starvation when cold weather comes.
Alternately if you want to be absolutely sure the chipmunk won't return, submerge the whole trap in a container of water. Put the water in first, then the cage and the chipmunk quickly drowns.
Do not open the trap and try to dump the chipmunk into a bucket of water. Chipmunks are quite agile and it will grip the cage wire, climbing around to leap to freedom.
Using a Havahart chipmunk trap, we removed nine chipmunks from our yard and garden last summer. They readily enter the trap if you spread peanut butter on the center lever. When they nibble on the peanut butter, their weight triggers the door(s) to snap shut.
The Havahart Trap Works Well for Me
A New Trap That Can Catch Multiple Chipmunks
I've tested this out for four weeks at the request of the manufacturer. My review is posted on Amazon and I also have a page showing the comparison test.
I found the trap effective and after about 3 weeks it seems to have caught all the ones in my yard. Usually, a new batch will show up in the fall, so I'll keep this ready for that time.
The Trap for Lots of Chipmunks
Read My Comparison Test of the Two Traps
- Chipmunk Trap Comparison Test
I've become an expert in chipmunk behavior. If you are having troubles with these pesky little fellows, here's my comparison test of two kinds of traps.
Chipmunk Trap Using a Bucket - The Bucket of Death - YouTube Video
In the pest control forums where frustrated homeowners gather to swap tips on getting rid of chipmunks, I found this method mentioned quite often. It is called The Bucket of Death and it seemed that everyone who tried it found it pretty effective.
I tried it with a small amount of sunflower seeds, but my chipmunks were too smart and wouldn't dive into the bucket. Possibly my error was being too stingy with the seeds. I did not totally cover the surface of the water with the seeds.
Recently a friend told me that he tried this with just a sprinkling of sunflower seeds on the ramp and a few in the bucket of water. His chipmunk worked its way up the board, stuffing the seeds into its cheeks, then fell into the water and drowned. I'm not sure why it worked for him, but not for me.
You'll need a bucket, some water, a board, and sunflower seeds. This video explains the technique.
Video Tutorial - Bucket of Death for Chipmunks
Rodent Bait May Not Kill Chipmunks
Here's why it isn't recommended for chipmunks
You can purchase a variety of poisons intended for rats, but there is a problem using these with chipmunks. Since chipmunks gather food and store it for the winter, it is unlikely that they will eat enough of the bait at any one time to effectively kill one. Some of the poisons have a blood thinning effect, but need to be taken in concentrated form to kill the rodent.
What Chipmunk Solution Do You Need?
Fox Urine Can Keep New Chipmunks from Moving in
Since a fox is a natural predator of chipmunks, commercial products containing fix urine serve as a deterrent to chipmunks. It needs to be re-applied after rain.
I don't feel this works as well on chipmunks who are already entrenched in an area. They are unlikely to leave their network of burrows, stored supply of food and nest of young, even though the possible presence of a fox frightens them.
The situation where this will work is after clearing out existing chipmunks. Spread the repellent around and wandering chipmunks are deterred from moving into your territory. They will seek other areas without the threat of foxes.
The Fox Urine Granules Are Easy To Shake Around Your Yard
Chipmunks Fear Foxes
Make Your Own Critter Repellent
Here's an organic concoction of capsaicin and pepper that the homeowner calls Squirrel mace! He's provided a recipe and instructions. It is effective to keep squirrels, cats, dogs, people, and any other annoyances at bay.
Anything that deters squirrels will also be a deterrent for chipmunks. I haven't given it a try yet, as my Havahart traps are doing an effective job for me.
Cats for Ridding a Yard of Chipmunks
A number of people suggested getting a cat to catch the chipmunks. Not all cats are good mousers, but if you have one that's a hunter it will probably solve your pest problems. I observed a sedentary, overweight cat wandering through my yard every day. It didn't look very athletic, so I was surprised one day to see it with a chipmunk in its jaws.
Here's how to tell if a cat is a mouser.
Visitors Come from All Over - counter added June 20, 2012
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Virginia Allain
What Kinds of Problems Are You Having with Chipmunks?
Dr David Salzhauer on August 08, 2020:
I also used to think disney cute chipmunks. NOT! I used the bucket method with board ramp and a can with drilled holes on each end. Place a piece of coat hanger through the can, spread peanut butter and seeds all around the middle part of the can. When I tell you these critters are smart.
Lee Foo on June 20, 2016:
The Chipper Dipper didn't work for me either and I covered the bucket with a layer of seeds. I even put peanut butter and seeds down inside the bucket.
RTalloni on November 29, 2015:
They are destructive and potentially deadly critters. They constantly damage property, sometimes severely, and they carry ticks and fleas that transmit nasty-bad diseases. In an area without natural predators they just keep multiplying. Thanks for ideas other than poisons.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on May 28, 2015:
I didn't have success the first time I tried the bucket method. Your adjustment sounds just right.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on May 28, 2015:
You could try covering the end of the down spouts some mesh wire from the hardware store but nothing with holes bigger than a nickle. They can squeeze through quarter size holes.
Julie on May 28, 2015:
The chippers are climbing the down spouts and scratching during the night. What van I use to put on the end of spout to keep them out? Very annoying at night.
chipmonk funk on May 27, 2015:
I also used to think disney cute chipmunks. NOT! I used the bucket method with board ramp and a can with drilled holes on each end. Place a piece of coat hanger through the can, spread peanut butter and seeds all around the middle part of the can. When I tell you these critters are smart. They looked ate, laughed. I began to feel like Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. They even stood on the rim of the 5 gallon bucket and pulled the can to the side and laughed some more between bites. After adjusting the ramp board to a bit higher level, I made a plank from a shim and placed it from the board to the can. Precariously balanced waiting for one critter step. I had the last laugh. Felt bad but not enough to pay repair bills.
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on April 22, 2015:
oh dear, I hadn't stopped to consider chipmunks as pests before, I suppose I'm used to Chip n' Dale
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on June 20, 2013:
@anonymous: This is good to know about. I might have to put it to the test.
anonymous on June 20, 2013:
@Pat Goltz: There is a new product on the market called the Rodent Terminator and it works great on rats, chipmunks, mice, mongoose...you name it, any small animal that is causing problems and needs to go. The Rodent Terminator has a unique two piece housing which allows it to be used outdoors without fear of frying the electronics in the event of unexpected rain, or a malfunctioning sprinkler.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on June 10, 2013:
@anonymous: I don't think the fox urine will deter your dog. You may have to keep him inside or on a chain away from the siding while you use a rat zapper to take care of the chipmunks.
anonymous on June 10, 2013:
My dog kills chipmunks. Problem is that he is tearing up the new vinyl siding trying to get to them as they drive him nuts! Do you think fox urine will help our situation w/ the critters and will it also repel the dog too?
Gregory Moore from Louisville, KY on October 16, 2012:
I have been using a Havahart to catch chipmunks all summer and fall. They have been making dens under my driveway and walkway. I live right next to a wooded area, so I don't think there is any getting rid of them, but will relocate them as I can.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on October 13, 2012:
@Pat Goltz: I hope some of these Chipmunk solutions work for your packrats. I had no idea they caused that many problems.
Pat Goltz on October 13, 2012:
We're not high enough in altitude to get chipmunks. Our problem is pack rats. They're just as cute. They cause a number of problems. They chew wiring. We have had a couple thousand dollars' repair bills to our car wiring because of them. The mechanic finally installed an LED under my hood because they won't come where there is light. They also get into the ceiling and chew wiring there. We have had to abandon several light fixtures (can't turn them on to light the room) until we have time to fix the damage. And they are the perfect place to breed kissing bugs. Kissing bugs are NASTY! They have bitten me several hundred times, and I now have an infection which I am trying to get rid of, as a result. It has been several years. I have made progress, but it's not gone. To keep kissing bugs away from the house, you also have to keep pack rats away from the house. I like your ideas. They might work in my situation.
anonymous on October 06, 2012:
They started coming around when I was feeding the birds during the drought. They would jump in the bird feeder and vacuum up the sunflower seeds, then dance on the dog's head as she tried to locate them. I've caught one using a havahart trap and took him 2 miles away to the park. But the next day, one of the little suckers jammed a walnut under the metal ledge so it wouldn't move and then ate all the seed in the trap!
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on August 27, 2012:
@anonymous: I recommend luring them out with a havahart trap and some peanut butter. They need to come out to find food, so you'll be ready.
anonymous on August 27, 2012:
chipmunks are in the walls of my house
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on July 16, 2012:
@anonymous: I have another page about 10 Humane Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks. Some people are having such problems, that they needed more severe measures, so I made this page.
anonymous on July 16, 2012:
Chipmunks have never been a problem for me, have always lived in harmony with the. You do bring up a great point, after using a permanent solution, another group will move into the fresh territory.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on June 29, 2012:
@VeseliDan: I have a friend who leaves the windows open and the door ajar in her lake home so chipmunks scamper around inside her house. A little too much nature for me. I keep my screen door shut.
VeseliDan on June 28, 2012:
I don't have a lot of problems with chipmunks, but I still want to keep them out of my house.
anonymous on April 04, 2012:
We have a chipmunk in the furnace vents. We haven't been able to get it out!
julieannbrady on March 17, 2012:
I don't think it's chipmunks, but moles! They are tunneling all through my backyard and I don't know what to do about them. Drat.
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on August 02, 2011:
We have the not so cute rat. The rat Zapper may be what we will need.