How to Get Rid of Chipmunks - 2023 Guide Without Harming Them

Written by Ivy

Jan 06 2023

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks - 2023 Guide Without Harming Them

Rats, mice, gophers, and moles are among the destructive rodents that can cause issues in your yard and around your home. Many homeowners despise these rodents. The chipmunk, however, is a rodent that most people ignore. Although this tiny rodent is adorable and entertaining to watch in action, it can damage your yard and garden. If chipmunks are a nuisance in your home, you'll want to learn how to get rid of them. Thankfully, there are some actions you can take to swiftly and humanely remove them.

  • Step 1: Repel chipmunks from your yard
  • Step 2: Remove factors around your home that attract chipmunks
  • Step 3: Take protective measures when planting your garden

What is a Chipmunk?

Chipmunks, which are frequently mistaken for tree squirrels, are mainly ground-dwelling rodents that inhabit wooded, forested habitats. Squirrels and chipmunks may look similar to the untrained eye, but they're not.

Chipmunks have tan to reddish-brown coats, unlike squirrels, and five dark stripes that run down their backs and heads. Besides being considerably smaller, they also carry their bushy tails upright. Squirrels typically measure 11 to 13 inches in length compared to a chipmunk's five to six inch average length.

How Do I Know If I Have Chipmunks?

For all the obvious reasons—food, water, and shelter—chipmunks travel from the woods to human homes. Growing produce in your fruit or vegetable garden might draw them in. Chipmunks can even damage plants and seeds that they don't eat in addition to eating fruit, young plants, and flowering bulbs. Additionally, it's common to see these rodents munching on bird food that has fallen to the ground underneath bird feeders.

Additionally, chipmunks are skilled tunnel builders. Some people claim that chipmunks' burrowing has caused damage to sidewalks, but the Humane Society maintains that this is untrue. An object like a pile of wood, a rock, or the foundation of your house is typically near a tunnel entrance.

Although it's rare for chipmunks to infest your home, they can fit in some surprisingly small spaces. They frequently enter a basement or crawlspace if they manage to get inside, though they may also enter the walls. Scratching or chirping noises will be heard if this occurs. To confirm a chipmunk issue, look for chew marks on wood, piles of food, or excrement in secluded areas of your home.

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks Outdoors

There are many humane ways to handle chipmunks that are a problem. Here are some useful suggestions for either warding off or killing chipmunks.

  • Combine cayenne pepper and water to make a spray.
  • Make use of an ultrasound zapper. Chipmunks are driven away by the vibrations.
  • Grow poisonous daffodils or marigolds, onions, or hyacinths instead. The scent repels chipmunks.
  • Use thiram, a fungicide that keeps all kinds of rodents away, to soak non-edible bulbs.
  • Place mothballs all around the shed, garage, and basement. If you have children or pets, don't use mothballs because they are poisonous if consumed.
  • To scare away chipmunks, hang pie tins, CDs, or beach balls from trees.
  • Use a humane trap to capture chipmunks.
  • Drop tablets of aluminum phosphide into a burrow, if it's legal in your state. They produce a poisonous phosphine gas to suffocate rodents as a result of their reaction to soil moisture. (See note below.)
  • Gas cartridges, which are widely available in hardware and gardening stores, release carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gas into tunnels, where they asphyxiate chipmunks and kill them. (See note below.)
  • Use a.22-caliber rifle or small-gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot to kill them if it's permitted in your area. If you're not familiar with firearms, don't try this. Shoot only after being certain of the precise target that your shot will hit, advises the Firearm Industry Trade Association (NSSF). Make sure your shot won't hit anything or anyone besides your target, though, as that is more important.

It should be noted that toxic fumes produced by fumigants can be dangerous to both people and animals. Avoid using gas cartridges close to structures or buildings as they run the risk of igniting and starting fires.

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks Indoors

The likelihood is that a chipmunk accidentally entered your house. Follow these steps to remove them:

  • Isolate dogs and cats in a room or crate;
  • Close all interior doors;
  • Open windows and doors leading to the outside;
  • Hold off until the chipmunk leaves.

If that doesn't work, try this:

  • Set a humane trap with sunflower seeds, pumpkin, raisins, cereal or nuts to lure it;
  • Send the chipmunk back into its natural habitat.

How to Get Rid of Chipmunk Tunnels

Chipmunks gather and store food underground in their burrows, as we have learned. There are two different kinds of tunnels: shorter summer tunnels and longer (up to 30 feet) winter tunnels.

"Because these tunnels have a network of several different connections, there can be a multitude of different, unsightly holes scattered throughout your yard," says of Pest Strategies, Ed Spicer. "Not only are these tunnels unsightly, but over time, the hollowness of the ground beneath your house, garage, or storage shed may harm the structure of those structures."

Here's how to plug up chipmunk burrows:

  • Step 1

Filling burrows is a fruitless endeavor if the chipmunk population is not eradicated (see above). They'll merely create new ones.

  • Step 2

Identify tunnel entrances. Around walls, foundations, woodpiles, and stumps, search for two- to three-inch-diameter holes.

  • Step 3

Grab a spade and fill the holes with dirt, a mixture of dirt and fine gravel or used cat litter, packing down as you go. A predator could be hiding if there are any signs of cat urine or feces.

Remarkably, quick-dry cement can be applied over sand to build walls and foundations. For the ground cover to regrow, fill the holes with two to three inches of topsoil.

A professional exterminator may need to be hired if these efforts are unsuccessful.

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks

How to Prevent Chipmunks from Coming Back

Naturally, the issue with chasing away or capturing chipmunks is that they can find a way to return to your yard or home. To prevent this from happening, try the following methods in conjunction with repellents:

  • Trim back unkempt bushes, remove clutter, piles of rocks, and wood from your yard to eliminate hiding places.
  • Sweep up any fallen berries, seeds, or nuts as soon as you can to eliminate food sources.
  • In airtight containers, store pet food and bird seed.
  • Surround your garden or even your home with a "moat" of a few inches of gravel, which will remove plants that can act as hiding places as well as deter digging and tunneling.
  • A wire mesh fence should be built around the garden and buried about 8 inches deep.
  • Similarly, bury special L-shaped barriers or footers close to house foundations, around decks, and anywhere else you want to prevent tunneling.
  • With caulk or expanding foam, seal all openings into your home. With metal hardware cloth, cover chimneys, seal vents, and cover gutters.

Fortunately, a lot of these strategies will also aid in deterring other pests like insects and spiders.

What Do Chipmunks Eat?

As omnivores, chipmunks will consume almost anything, including fruits, vegetables, berries, roots, bulbs, nuts, seeds, insects, snails, bird eggs, and even snakes. They load food into their cheeks and carry it to their burrows where they store it for the winter.

Why Are Chipmunks a Problem?

They are more of a nuisance than a concern. The main problem that North American chipmunks cause for property owners is their propensity to create a network of tunnels under patios, stairs, walkways, and foundations.

Another frequent issue is that when searching for food, chipmunks destroy vegetable patches and dig through flowerbeds. They have the same ability as squirrels to steal bird seed from feeders.

Are Chipmunks Dangerous?

The majority of chipmunks lack aggression. They move quickly, ducking into holes or climbing trees to escape predators.


A chipmunk will defend itself by clawing or biting its way free if it is cornered. In the unlikely event that you do get bit by a chipmunk, clean the wound well right away, then apply an antibiotic cream and bandage. Seek immediate medical attention if the area exhibits infection-related symptoms.


There isn't a high risk of infectious disease transmission among chipmunks. The Colorado Tick Fever and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are just two of the viruses and bacteria that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified as being carried by chipmunks. Fortunately, chipmunks have not been linked to human rabies transmission.

Avoid attempting to hand-feed a chipmunk. You will only invite trouble if you do.

The Bottom Line on Chipmunks

The truth about chipmunks is that they are among the cutest pests around. They can still harm your yard and possibly spread disease, it is still a fact. There are several humane methods you can use to deter and get rid of chipmunks. The best course of action is to hire professionals to remove chipmunks from your yard and find them new homes in an area that is better for everyone if you have tried the various products available without success.

Also Read How to Get Rid of the Following Species:


Pests: Plants:

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Get Chipmunks in a Yard?

Chipmunks enter your yard in search of food and a place to dig a burrow. Your yard is open for chipmunk invasion if it has vegetation, a bird feeder, or soil.

How Do You Spot Chipmunk Holes?

Search for small holes in your garden and around walkways. They will be large enough to accommodate a rodent that is slightly smaller than a squirrel.

How Do You Spot Chipmunks?

Because they are most active during the day, look for chipmunks during that time. The distinctive stripes running down a chipmunk's back and sides make them easy to recognize.

Can I Get Rid of Chipmunks Without Killing Them?

In your yard, chipmunks can be removed in a number of humane ways that don't harm the animals. For instance, you could use a live trap to capture them and then release them close to trees and other vegetation far from populated areas.

How Do Pest Professionals Deal With Chipmunks?

The chipmunks in your yard can be captured and relocated by a pest control expert. Make sure to request a thorough explanation of their approach to dealing with chipmunks before hiring a professional.