I’m going to pull out all the stops with this post and share with you just about everything I know about getting rid of chipmunks. I’ve dubbed this post My Ultimate Guide because it contains just about every technique available (both humane and lethal) for removing the little pests from your yard and property.
Why Chipmunks Are Pests
Chipmunks may look cute but they’re a long way from their fictional representation in kids TV shows such as Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers and Alvin and the Chipmunks. If you have a family of chipmunks living close to your home, you’ll already be aware of the problems they cause, but for those that haven’t experienced the issues of humans and chipmunks living in close proximity, here’s the lowdown on the trouble they cause:
- They destroy your plants and crops
- They also eat other animal’s food (dog food, cat food, birdseed)
- They create vast burrows under the foundations of your home and other structures
- They scare desirable creatures such as small birds away from your yard
- They make an annoying chirping sound
If you want to know more about chipmunks, check out my chipmunk facts page.
How To Get Rid of Chipmunks
Before discussing how to get rid of chipmunks, I should mention that keeping a tidy yard can reduce the desirability of your property for chipmunks looking for a home. By making sure your yard is well swept and there is little in terms of food for the chipmunk (nuts, berries, fruit, bulbs etc.) you can drastically reduce the risk of infestation.
I’ve split the chipmunk removal methods into two categories, so you can Get Rid of Chipmunks using both:
- Humane Chipmunk Removal Techniques
- Lethal Chipmunk Removal Techniques
The type of method you choose will depend on your personal views and beliefs, the time you have available and the money you have at your disposal. The table at the foot of this article shows the advantages and disadvantages of each method as well as how effective it is.
Get Rid of Chipmunks: Humane Chipmunk Removal Techniques
Trapping the chipmunks
You can trap chipmunks by manually catching the little critters yourself or purchasing a dedicated chipmunk trap that will do the job for you.
Dedicated chipmunk traps also help to get rid of chipmunks. They come in a number of different varieties although many of them look very similar. The one I have found to be most effective is the single-door cage trap (pictured below):
Also available is a two-door version, which gives the chipmunk two methods of entry (however it does not give you the ability to catch 2 chipmunks at once).
Simply bait the trap, leave overnight close to where you think the chipmunk’s home is and check it in the morning. Chances are one of the little rascals will be caught.
Catching a chipmunk yourself as a method to Get Rid of Chipmunks is very time intensive so should only be attempted if the chipmunk infestation is small. There is also a risk that the chipmunk could bite you – although chipmunks aren’t known to carry any infectious diseases, there is still an element of risk. This method is probably best used for getting rid of a single chipmunk that has accidentally got into your home. To be honest, this is one of the least effective methods of getting rid of chipmunks and has only been included here to make the article fully-comprehensive.
To catch a chipmunk, you first need to see it. Having observed it, approach it slowly with a large, heavy towel held out in front of you covering your body. This will hide the shape of your body from the chipmunk so that it doesn’t run away. When you are close enough, throw the towel over the chipmunk and hold it down at the sides, then wrap the chipmunk in the towel and transfer to a box or sack ready for disposal.
After trapping a chipmunk using one of the two methods above, it is time to remove it from your property. Chipmunk removal involves taking it at least 2miles away (so it can’t find it’s way home) and releasing it into the wild.
Get rid of chipmunks: Scaring the chipmunks away
There are a number of ways you can scare chipmunks out of your yard.
The first involves using a decoy. These are models of large birds of prey such as owls or hawks that are natural predators of the chipmunk. You can see an example of a simple owl decoy here. More elaborate varieties of decoys are available such as ones that flap their wings, make a noise or their eyes light up, however I haven’t had much luck with this method.
Next, we have fox urine pellets. Again, foxes are natural predators of the chipmunk and they will associate the smell of fox urine with danger and be scared into leaving your property. Although there have been some reported successes using this method, there have been many more reports of it being unsuccessful.
Finally, we have mothballs. Wrap mothballs in old socks and place them strategically throughout your yard. This is a natural repellent for chipmunks as well as a host of other rodents and may lead to them moving out of your yard. Out of all the methods for scaring chipmunks away, this (in my opinion) is the most effective.
Get Rid of Chipmunks: Lethal Chipmunk Removal Techniques
Trapping the chipmunks
Again, chipmunk trapping is an effecting way of getting rid of chipmunks, however the traps below will kill the chipmunks rather than catching them alive.
One of the best lethal chipmunk traps on the market is the Agri Zap Rat Zapper Ultra.
Simply bait the trap and leave overnight. When the chipmunk enters it gets a jolt of electricity through its body that kills it instantly. It is ‘cleaner’ than traditional spring-loaded methods as there is no blood and gore to contend with.
A cheaper (but bloodier) chipmunk trap is the Big Snap-E Rat Trap. It works by snapping the neck/spinal cord and crushing the head of any chipmunk that tries to take the bait.
An inexpensive chipmunk trap that you can build yourself involves filling a gallon bucket of water and leaning a wooden plank against to allow the chipmunk to walk up to the bucket’s rim. Bait the plank and water with seeds (pumpkin seeds are ideal as they will float on the water’s surface) and leave near to the chipmunk’s home. The chipmunk will be attracted by the seeds and fall in the water whilst trying to grab them from the top of the water, subsequently drowning.
Get Rid of Chipmunks: Natural predators
The final technique is to get a cat or two as a family pet. Cats enjoy stalking, chasing and killing all manner of rodents including chipmunks. Owning a cat will not only reduce the chipmunk population but also put the fear of god into any that are left scaring them away from your yard forever.
What are the Pros & Cons of Each Method?
The table below shows how effective each of the techniques for getting rid of chipmunks are as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
I have listed them in order of effectiveness with the most effectiveness (and recommended) technique of how to Get Rid of Chipmunks at the top and the least effective at the bottom.
|HUMANE: Havahart chipmunk trap||Humane Effective Easy||Cost||***** (5 stars) (further info)|
|LETHAL: RAT-Zapper chipmunk trap||Effective No mess Easy||Cost||***** (5 stars) (further info)|
|LETHAL: Water Bucket chipmunk trap||Cheap Easy||Messy||**** (4 stars) (further info)|
|LETHAL: Get a cat||Effective||Cost||**** (4 stars)|
|LETHAL: Big Snap-E Rat Trap||Cheap Easy||Messy Cost||*** (3 stars)|
|HUMANE: Mothballs||Cheap Easy||None||*** (3 stars)|
|HUMANE: Fox urine||Easy||Not very effective||** (2 stars)|
|HUMANE: Decoy||Easy||Cost Not very effective||** (2 stars) (further info)|
|HUMANE: Catch them manually||Cheap||Difficult Not very effective||* (1 star)|
In this Ultimate Guide on How To Get Rid of Chipmunks, I’ve shared with you a plethora of techniques for making your yard and home a chipmunk-free zone.
As you can see by the table, my recommended methods of chipmunk removal are either the Havahart Trap (humane solution) or the Rat Zapper trap (lethal solution). Although they are the most effective, they are also the most expensive but there are solutions available for any budget.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and if you’ve found it useful, I’d love to hear your comments in the comments area below. So get rid of chipmunks and live happily!