Cute until it eats through the wiring in your home
Alvin the Chipmunk by any other name is a rodent
When you think of chipmunks do you think of the singing sensation "Alvin and the Chipmunks" or do you think about all of the holes in your yard and rodents chewing through your house? If you said "Alvin" please stop here and go to watch a Disney movie. If you are looking for pest control, keep reading.
I used to think chipmunks were kind of cute. That is until I found out they were burrowing from under my front porch, up the side of the house and into the attic where they had stored a huge pile of acorns. I'd hear them moving about in the ceiling and when I banged on the walls I could hear them scattering over a pile of nut shells. Enough is enough. I didn't pay all of this money in an overheated housing market to watch my equity get chewed up by a bunch of stripped rats.
What is a Chipmunk?
Chipmunks are actually ground squirrels. They are considered one of the "cleaners" of the forest floor because they have anomnivorousdiet consisting of grain, nuts, fruit, berries, birds' eggs, small frogs, fungi, worms, insects and on occasions small mammals like young mice! In other words they will eat just about anything including your prized flowers and home.Chipmunks play an important role as prey for various predatory mammals and birds, but at the same time they are opportunistic predators themselves, particularly with regard to bird eggs and nestlings.
First Attempts at Chipmunk Pest Control
I tried poison baits like the ones for rats and mice but there are several drawbacks in using baits on chipmunks.
- Chipmunks don't eat them
- If they do the poison persists in their bodies and any animal that eats the dead or ding chipmunk can be killed - like owls, cats etc.
- Dogs or other pets might eat the bait by accident
Next I tried a Havaheart type "let them live by relocating them" live animal trap. It worked but then I had a horrible discovery. I went to check the trap and the little rodent had managed to squeeze half of his body through the cage wire and had gotten stuck! It was horrendous to look at as his head was through the trap and his innards were all pushed down to his hip bones. I went away and came back later to find that somehow the rat had managed to free himself. No wonder they can get into the house!
The Most Effective Chipmunk Trap
I've found that the "Chipper Dipper" as its know in the trade is the most effective trap for killing Chipmunks. Basically (see the video below for a good idea of how it works) you fill a five gallon bucket about 3/4s of the way full with water. Then float a layer of sunflower seeds on the top of the water. Make a ramp up the side with a board or tree branch. It's a very effective trap because of two things - one the chipmunks have tiny brains and two they can't swim very long. So what happens is the stupid chipmunk comes along and looks down at the treasure trove of seed and jumps down on to what he thinks is solid ground, and drowns.
Last year I put a similar trap near my chipmunk problem area and killed four chipmunks in the first hour. They just couldn't wait to die it seems. If you see one chipmunk around you probably have 30. I knocked off 18 last summer and they are still seen around the house. Like any rodent they multiply well, like rabbits. You have to keep at it if you want to put a dent in the local population so plan on staying in the battle for the long haul.
If you liked this article you might like "Mullets"
The effective home made "Chipper Dipper"
peanutroaster (author) from New England on June 20, 2016:
Don't forget to add the water! Deep enough so they can't touch the bottom. I had a red squirrel commit suicide in a bucket of water without any seeds in it.
If there are small children around don't do this. Also be sure to empty the water and replace so you won't be breeding mosquitoes.
Lee Foo on June 20, 2016:
I'm with disappointed....this failed miserably.
I even put some penaut butter on the sides inside the bucket.
All seeds and PB gone....no chipmunks. Probably the squirrels?
DogfordStudios on March 30, 2016:
Hot pepper flakes mixed in with the seeds might work.
slightly amused on March 29, 2016:
The chipper dipper worked for a while last year, but now the squirrels are up on the game. as soon as i put the bucket out, they are stealing the sunflower seeds. any advice?
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on June 27, 2015:
I know what you mean about the problems with the cute but pesky critters. I have 4 hubs about them. I didn't find the bucket method very effective for me, but maybe I was too stingy with the sunflower seeds.
Jim on June 16, 2015:
Pretty good success with a rat trap and a peanut in the shell tied to the trap trigger.
peanutroaster (author) from New England on August 05, 2014:
Go ahead, invite them to sleep in your bed.
Bhvcfg on June 14, 2014:
Murdering innocent animal just trying to live humans invaded there homes so how is it we are calling them pests
Bryan on June 02, 2013:
I find shooting them in the head with a .22 to be very effective as well.
Dan on December 19, 2012:
Yep, I thought it was fun watching chipmunks with my grandkids scurrying about the front porch. But when a big fat rattler showed up on my front porch one day to get in on the action and grab a quick bite to eat, I knew it was time to thin out chipmunk population!
peanutroaster (author) from New England on October 30, 2012:
Glad to hear it. Its a tough call to spread your joy with the neighbors. If you run into a PETA type freak they are libel to get upset with you. I find its better to just keep it to yourself.
Rogers on October 19, 2012:
Cannot believe my success. My "Chipper dipper" enticed 35 chipmunks to their final resting place. My neighbor calls me the chipmunk assassin.
Disappointed on June 19, 2012:
If you also have squirrels and raccoons around, don't bother with this chipper-dipper trap. The squirrels just hang from the lip of the bucket, and the raccoons sit on top of the ramp, and they scoop seeds up by the handful! After the first sqwuirrel, I added a second bucket to raise the trap height, putting the seeds out of reach from the top. I guess a squirrel fell in, because next morning, the top bucket was all chewed up and tossed aside. The war was on! I changed to 2 metal buckets! That's when the raccoon showed up - too big for the trap. Final adjustment was to attach a piece of wire fencing over the top, so that only the chipmunks could fit through. Next morning the whole trap was tipped over, presumably by the raccoon, and all the sees were dumped on the lawn. Not a total bust, because the 'bait pile' allowed me to pick off several rodents with my pellet gun.
ChipDip on June 25, 2011:
Here's another video showing the Chipper Dipper