Most of us think chipmunks are adorable, but they become much less cute when they infiltrate your home or start digging up your lawn or flower beds. If you’re wondering how to get rid of chipmunks, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn:
- How to identify a chipmunk problem
- Ways to get rid of chipmunks
- How to prevent chipmunks from coming back
- And more
Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that getting rid of chipmunks can be challenging, especially if you’re looking to do it in a humane manner. Your best option is often to call a professional exterminator that handles chipmunks. You can contact companies like Terminix for chipmunk removal to ensure your issue is solved permanently.
What Are Chipmunks?
Chipmunks are small animals that are related to squirrels, but they live in the ground rather than in nests in trees. They burrow into the ground and make underground nests, which can pose an issue for your lawn and garden.
Chipmunks live between two and three years in the wild, and they’re omnivores that feed on nuts, seeds, berries, insects, and plant roots. They’re normally between 3 and 6 inches long with around a 3-inch tail, which is bushy.
Chipmunks — including the most prevalent Eastern chipmunk — are native to North America and are found throughout the continent, and there’s also a sub-species called the Siberian chipmunk that is found in the northern parts of Russia.
6 Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks
Once chipmunks have taken up residence on your property, they can destroy your lawn and garden and can even do structural damage to your home. Below, we’ll describe how to get rid of chipmunks in six different ways, using both natural and man-made products.
1. Use Human Hair
Many times, a natural DIY pest control method like an animal repellent can convince the chipmunks that your property isn’t the best place to be, and human hair can sometimes do the trick. Chipmunks are naturally deterred by the presence of humans, which they see as predators. The scent of human hair around your garden or the perimeter of your property could be enough to solve your issue. Simply sprinkle the hair over the ground in areas where you believe the chipmunks are living or frequenting.
Things you’ll need: a small bag of human hair from a local barber
2. Use Animal Urine
Much like chipmunks are afraid of humans, they will also naturally be repelled by other animal scents. You can spray some fox urine around your property or specifically where you know chipmunks are living. The strong smell of urine will deter the chipmunks from hanging around your property. Humans usually find the smell of fox urine unpleasant as well, but it can also deter raccoons on your property, as well as squirrels, skunks, and other small rodents.
Things you’ll need: Sprayable fox urine from your local hardware store or Amazon
3. Cayenne Pepper Spray
Another natural remedy is using hot pepper spray on the plants chipmunks typically eat. The strong smell and flavor of cayenne pepper will stop chipmunks from feeding on their favorite plants to eat, which can cause them to search elsewhere for food sources and shelter. Simply mix 2-3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper with 2 cups of water and spray onto the plants you know chipmunks feed on your property.
Things you’ll need: Cayenne pepper and a spray bottle
4. Mad-made Repellents
If you find that the natural repellents above aren’t working, you can turn to squirrel or rodent repellents from your local hardware store. These are either spray formulas or granular formulas that include unpleasant-tasting chemicals like thiram that deter chipmunks. Most of these are safe for other animals, but you should check to make sure they won’t be harmful to pets or the environment.
Things you’ll need: A squirrel or chipmunk repellent from your local hardware store or Amazon, as well as a garden spreader if you choose a granular product.
5. Ultrasonic Repellers
Finally, you can try an electronic repellent, which you can get from your local hardware store or online. When you plug this device into an exterior outlet, it will emit ultrasonic frequencies that naturally repel chipmunks. These devices aren’t known to be particularly effective for chipmunks underground, but they can be used in addition to other strategies above to keep chipmunks at bay.
Things you’ll need: An ultrasonic rodent repeller from your local hardware store or Amazon, and an exterior outlet
6. Use Chipmunk Traps
Finally, you can use non-lethal or live traps to trap the chipmunks on your property, but you’ll then have to bring them somewhere else to release them where it’s legal to do so. If you need to resort to this method, it’s best to contact a professional exterminator. If you’re set on a DIY solution, you can use sunflower seeds, peanut butter, or even pet food as bait.
Things you’ll need: Humane traps or help from an exterminator, like Terminix
How to Know You Have A Chipmunk Infestation
In most cases, seeing a chipmunk on your property doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infestation. Chipmunks will travel about a third of a mile in search of food, so they might be taking up residence elsewhere and just coming to your property to feed. Luckily, there are some signs that confirm you have a chipmunk issue.
First, you might notice holes in the ground near trees or stumps or near your home that are around 2 to 4 inches in diameter. These could be chipmunk burrows, indicating chipmunks are living on your property. You might find smaller holes in your lawn or in your garden beds that indicate chipmunks are feeding on plant roots.
If you have plants that grow from bulbs, you might see the bulbs pulled out of the ground. This is usually a clear indication that you have a chipmunk problem.
Finally, you might notice chipmunk tracks or seed piles under or near bird feeders, which can be signs of chipmunks on your property. However, these can also be left behind by squirrels, so other signs of chipmunks should be used to confirm their presence.
How to Prevent Chipmunks
In most cases, it’s easier to prevent chipmunks from coming to your property in the first place than it is to remove them. Below are just a few things you can do to help deter chipmunks from living and feeding near your home:
- If you have bird feeders, keep the birdseed inside until you’re ready to fill them
- Clean nuts and other tree debris off of your lawn at least once a week
- Get rid of yard debris, like woodpiles, piled grass clippings, sticks, and other ground cover, which can serve as a home for chipmunks
- Use underground rodent barriers like hardware cloth or wire mesh around your home’s foundation and garden to prevent burrowing and feeding
- Ensure that all entry points to your home — including cracks in your foundation or soffits — are sealed with caulk or foam
- Clear your property of anything that could attract chipmunks and other pests
These strategies can also help with issues with other pests too, especially squirrels and other rodents.
Hiring a Pest Control Company
Chipmunks can be a challenging critter to get rid of, especially if they’ve established long-term burrows on your property. If the above methods don’t work, we recommend calling in a professional pest control company. Contacting a company like Terminix means you’ll get the best solutions for your chipmunk problem, which can include lethal methods in extreme cases to kill chipmunks where the infestation is severe or other methods don’t work. This is the best option if you’re unsure of how to get rid of chipmunks or if other natural methods haven’t worked for you.
Best Pest Control Companies
Choosing the right pest control company for your chipmunk issue can mean the difference between a safe, professional approach and wasting money on services that don’t work. Below, we’ll take a look at two of the best pest control companies you can contact for help.
Terminix is our top-rated pest control company because it excels in providing permanent and affordable solutions for a massive number of pests, including chipmunks.
Terminix serves an incredible 45 states and provides natural solutions for pests, as well as lethal and synthetic treatments for insects and rodents, including chipmunks. Its technicians are highly trained and professional, and they can offer a quick resolution for just about any pest via one-off services or annual plans.
You can contact Terminix for chipmunk control by filling out this form, or you can check out our Terminix review for more information.
Orkin is another great pest control company that provides a huge array of services for all of your pest control needs.
Orkin handles chipmunk problems, other rodents, birds, and most insects via one-off treatment or trapping services and annual pest prevention plans. Its techs are known to be knowledgeable and highly trained, and its services come at affordable prices. Orkin is also often the best choice for emergency pest control services.
You can contact Orkin by filling out this contact form, or you can read more about the company in our Orkin review.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes chipmunk problems?
Most of the time, creating an appealing environment with places to live and food to eat will attract chipmunks. These include logs and other piled landscaping debris, birdseed, flower bulbs, and trees that drop nuts, seeds, or berries.
Do chipmunks carry diseases?
Yes, chipmunks can carry several diseases, which include rabies, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, and more. Most of the time, chipmunks won’t bite humans or pets and pass them on, but they can if scared or provoked.
Do chipmunks cause property damage?
Chipmunks can cause property damage if they burrow around your foundation, porch, or patio, which they often do. The chipmunk holes can create loose soil that can eventually lead to cracks in your foundation, leaks, instability, or other chipmunk damage.
How do you identify a chipmunk problem?
Most of the time, you can identify a chipmunk issue by spotting burrow holes. These are 2 to 4 inches in diameter and will appear most often near your home, near trees, or near untouched yard debris. You can also look for seed piles near bird feeders, chipmunk tracks, and plant bulbs pulled out of the ground.
Today's Homeowner Rating & Methodology
Our research process involves a multi-step process to get real insights into the customer experience for each company. We contacted each pest control company directly and spoke to representatives via phone and online chat (if available). This allowed us better understand the company’s treatment offerings and customer service. We also consider BBB accreditation and what customer reviews say about each company. Additionally, we fact-check and update company data regularly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.
We developed a 100-point rating system to compare the companies numerically.
- Plan options (35 points): Companies with more plans and flexibility on services to address specific issues were given a higher score.
- State Availability (5 points): Those that offer coverage in fewer than 45 states were deducted points for availability.
- Trustworthiness (10 points): This is based on whether companies have money-back guarantees, service guarantees, and additional satisfaction assurance measures.
- Customer Service (30 points): We considered accessibility (including on weekends and holidays) of technicians and customer support.
- Additional Benefits (20 points): Companies that offer further conveniences such as an app, comprehensive resources, and other benefits were rated higher.