Facts about chipmunks and chipmunk removal.

Scroll towards the bottom for chipmunk removal. Small, striped rodents, chipmunks belong to the Sciuridae family, which includes squirrels as well. They stand out due to their distinctive stripes and their unique capability to store food in their cheek pouches. Residing within the Sciuridae family, chipmunks specifically classify under the Marmotini family. Researchers recognize 25 species of chipmunks; 24 of these species inhabit North America, while the Siberian chipmunk (Eutamias sibiricus) makes its home in Asia. These energetic creatures play a significant role in forest ecosystems, engaging in seed dispersal and occasionally serving as prey for various predators. Chipmunks typically measure 4 to 7 inches in length, with a tail length of 3 to 5 inches, and weigh between 1 to 5 ounces. They have reddish-brown to grey fur with contrasting dark and light stripes on the sides of their face and across their back and tail. Chipmunks have large cheek pouches that they use to transport and store food. They inhabit a variety of environments, including plains, mountains, forests, and deserts. Chipmunks prefer areas with ample ground cover such as logs, trees, stumps, shrubs, and rocks. They are excellent climbers and swimmers. Chipmunks are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon. Their diet primarily consists of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, grains, insects, bird eggs, and occasionally small mammals like young mice. They are known for their behavior of hoarding food in their burrows for winter. Chipmunks have been observed to gather up to 165 acorns in a single day. Chipmunks typically breed twice a year, once in the spring and again in the summer, producing litters of four to five young. The young, called pups, are born hairless, blind, and dependent on their mother for care. They emerge from the burrow after about six weeks.

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What Are the Signs of a Chipmunk Infestation

If you notice any of these signs, consider chipmunk removal.

Visible Sightings of Chipmunks: Regular sightings of chipmunks in your yard, especially during the day. Seeing chipmunks frequently around your property could indicate a nearby burrow or nest.

Burrows and Digging Activity: The presence of small holes or burrow entrances, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, in yards, gardens, or near the foundation of buildings. Chipmunks dig extensive burrow systems for shelter and food storage.
Piles of small, excavated dirt near the burrow entrances, which are a result of their digging activities.

Plant and Garden Damage: Damage to garden plants, flower bulbs, and seeds. Chipmunks are known to dig up and eat seeds and bulbs, which can lead to unexplained plant damage or disappearance.
Gnaw marks on fruits, vegetables, and flowers. While chipmunks primarily feed on seeds and nuts, they can also damage plants and crops by eating fruits and young shoots.

Property Damage

Burrowing: Chipmunks create extensive burrow systems that can damage the structural integrity of patios, decks, sidewalk’s, foundations, and retaining walls. Burrows can also cause open spaces under structures, affecting their stability.

Chewing: As rodents, chipmunks need to gnaw to keep their incisors from overgrowing. They may chew on wooden structures, insulation, wiring, and personal property, potentially causing electrical fires and other damage.

Garden and Landscape Damage: Chipmunks may dig up and eat flower bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, which can harm ornamental plants and gardens. They can also damage lawns and other landscaping elements through their digging activities.

Structural Damage: Signs of gnawing on structures, outdoor furniture, and wires. Like other rodents, chipmunks need to gnaw to keep their incisors from overgrowing. Damage to outdoor decorations or household items stored outside, such as cushions or fabrics, which chipmunks might use for nesting materials.

Chipmunks extensively burrow, causing structural damage to buildings, undermining foundations, and damaging agricultural areas. They are mostly known for damaging sidewalks.

How To Prevent Chipmunks

Remove Food Sources: Eliminate easy food sources by keeping bird feeders away from the house and using baffles to prevent chipmunks from accessing the feed. Clean up fallen fruits, nuts, and seeds regularly.

Tidy Up the Yard: Reduce hiding and nesting spots by clearing away piles of wood, rocks, and debris. Keep shrubbery and branches trimmed away from the ground and buildings.

Use Gravel or Stone: Surround the foundation of your home with a gravel or stone barrier, as chipmunks are less likely to dig through these materials.

Seal Entry Points: Inspect the exterior of your home for any holes or gaps and seal them with caulk, metal mesh, or concrete. Pay special attention to areas where utility pipes and wires enter the building.

Predator Urine: Using predator urine, such as from foxes or coyotes, around the perimeter of your property can create the illusion of a predator presence, discouraging chipmunks from entering the area.

I have caught chipmunks in the ground, basement, and strangely enough the attic!

Chipmunk Removal

Live Traps: Opt for small-sized live traps, specifically designed for small rodents. These traps capture chipmunks without harming them, allowing for humane relocation.

Bait: Use attractive bait such as peanut butter, sunflower seeds, nuts, or grains. Chipmunks are particularly attracted to these foods, making them effective lures.

Identify Active Areas: Place traps near known chipmunk paths, burrow entrances, or areas of frequent activity. Look for signs like digging, plant damage, or chipmunk droppings.

Strategic Positioning: Set the trap on a flat surface along the chipmunk’s route. Ensure the trap is stable and won’t tip over, which could scare the chipmunk away.

Regular Monitoring: Check the trap frequently, at least twice a day, to avoid leaving a trapped chipmunk for too long. Prolonged confinement can cause stress or harm to the animal.

Release Site: Choose a release site that is at least a mile away from your property to reduce the chance of the chipmunk returning. The site should have adequate cover, such as woods or brush, to provide shelter for the chipmunk.

if chipmunk removal becomes difficult contact a wildlife professional.

Always check local and state regulations before attempting to trap and relocate. Many areas require permits for these activities. If chipmunks become a nuisance, contact a licensed wildlife professional.
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