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How can i get rid of chipmunks?

18 years ago

Chipmunks are eating all of my crocus blubs.

How can I rid my garden of chipmunks?

Comments (22)

  • lindac
    18 years ago

    You can't......
    Plant your crocus deeper....or feed the chippies something else.
    I feed shelled corn at about a dime a pound....they then don't eat my bulbs.
    Linda C

  • razorback33
    18 years ago

    We have a few homeless cats in our neighborhood that completely eliminated the chipmunk population in my garden and I was once overun with the little rodents. There were about 6 different burrows in various parts of the woodlands and under my rear steps and patio. They also have kept the Voles in check. Haven't had any damage from them in a couple of years. Several people provide shelter and food & water for the cats and they keep the area free of rats and mice as a bonus! Have never seen one of them go after birds, guess the game is too plentiful on the ground.

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    Reporting successful results with the Pool of Death. My love affair with the little Chippies ended this year when they have decided that our garden was their turf and created tunnels and tracks networking all of their feeding grounds (our bulbs). Worse, they have completely undermined the stone walls lining our driveway, creating a genuine safety hazard, never mind a ~$6K masonry bill. After reading this thread and it's predecessor, I set up a PoD and drowned two chippies last night. I used a ramp made of a 2x4 to which I stuck a trail of peanut butter blobs dotted with sunflower seeds. I left a solid layer of sunflower seeds on the surface of the water. I really do love the little bastards (I have a large framed photograph of one of them hanging on my wall), but the population needed to be controlled. This method is potentially more cruel but a lot safer and potentially more legal than my alternate method which is a pellet gun shot to the head. Sorry Chippies.
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  • johnva
    18 years ago

    how much to ship one of the cats :)

  • grumpygardenguy
    18 years ago

    The easiest remedy is a cyane pepper or hot sauce mixture sprayed or even just sprinkled on what they like to eat. Now for Texas varmints not sure if that works, they may be into Texas style barbecue plants.

  • jim_6b
    18 years ago

    I havent had any rabbit problems this year since we got a cat.

  • haweha
    18 years ago

    Yes I found the proposal of "using" cats to be the hit and agree with full heart. A normal cat is carefully inspecting its territory all the day. The rodents won't have any quiet moment from then on and I even consider they will smell the presence of the cat and go deliberately into exil naturalmenteonly these which have not been caught meanwhile.

    So ok - I find this imagination very amusing and furthermore - I LIKE cats. There are cats which prefer to eat can food but this will not diminuish their motivation of hunting. It is an existential pleasure for them. An indoors cat which feels the presence of a mouse in the appartment will have no quiet moment until she HAS caught this little piece of MOVING flesh or... PLAY toy. And the very best: Some cats seem to have knowledge of the significance of their activities and, yes, they document their success by presenting some the "animal yield" of the last night. Yes the behaviour of cats is interesting and amusing. I strongly recommend a cat, or some cats on a bigger area...


  • haweha
    17 years ago

    Yes, Carol

    that is at least in part correct: Some cats are enthousiastic and uncorrectable bird hunters regardless whether they recieve food from their owners or not.

    On the other hand I believe for my part that cats (being morely "local" effectors) are insignificant that is to say not responsible for the extinction danger of some bird species - which in my eyes is due to other and more "global" reasons.


  • breezyb
    17 years ago

    Using cats as pest control is irresponsible.

    Having used every vet in my area (I've done some work with the local humane societies), it is common knowledge that the Number One reason for early feline death is being allowed outdoors. And that is seriously documented every which way for anyone who really cares about their cats would like to research - though diehards will most definitely continue to discount. Automobiles, predators, internal & external parasites - all take their toll on the cats that supposedly well-meaning people let loose to "patrol" the garden/barn/whatever. I particularly love those folks who claim that cats "aren't happy unless they can go outside". Come visit here & tell my that my 6 indoor cats aren't happy - lol! They'd spit in your face - lol!

    So even if you're not thinking about the wildlife - at least have the decency to think about the cats. They're not just there for you to "use" as pest control. Good grief.

  • carol23_gw
    17 years ago

    Anyone in denial of the impact cats have on birds, read this:

    Here is a link that might be useful: NZ pests

  • haweha
    17 years ago

    Yes; I MUST agree: Keeping cats indoors for their SAKE...
    that is absolutely convincing. I can indeed confirm that many many cats in the town end in a sudden death by an accident on the street...

    I regret the effect these wild cats have for other animals, in New Zealand. In Germany there are not so many "rare and exotic" birds in the cities; mainly and far before all others these... pigeons (these terrible dirt producers - everywhere they are).


  • magoon
    15 years ago

    I use a .410 with 6shot!
    I relocated 25 with a live trap prior and in doing so gave 25 of my problems to someone else! If you are in a zone which restricts firearms, get an air rifle (fires pellets at high velocity accurately) If your new to shooting projectiles, practice first so as to be humane about it as possible!

    I know you are gonna unload on me about killing innocent animals, so here, feel free to unleash their! These guys are not innocent, I tried everything listed on every website AND used an exterminator (kept them away for 2 weeks) So now I resort to the method that ACTUALLY WORKS! This is MY yard, and with the ammount of $$ I shell into it each year, im going to protect it at all costs!
    Trial and error takes too long and your initial falure is at the expense of your precious plants. Do it right the first time and reclaim your yard.

  • ofionnachta
    15 years ago

    My father in law can't stand the squirrels raiding his feeder so he shoots them from the kit. window with his son's old pellet gun. Drives my daughter nuts but at least he is a good shot & they never know what hit them.
    Of course, it is illegal to be shooting anything where he lives (dense houses) but try to stop the geezer. I pick fights I have a chance of winning.

    At our house, I plant bulbs with a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes over them. It seems to help--I also put daffodil bulbs in the same hole as the crocuses etc---daffs are toxic so I'm hoping they discourage critters from their companions. They bloom at different times so I get more flowers out of having dug the hole.

  • in2gardens
    14 years ago

    I have been able to live and garden in harmony with the chipmunks in the rural area we live in Connecticut. But it seems over the last 2 years or so the chipmunks have taken advantage of any prior agreement we had, getting more and more emboldened. This year when they started to tear up planters in a screened-in porch I became alarmed but when they undermined a sidewalk and a retaining wall that was it. The mason performing the repair work uncovered a munk burrow that ran about 10 feet and almost a foot high, cleanly excavated.

    They are no longer cute, they are vermin over running our property, and not only costing serious money for repairs but they're creating a hazard as well.

    Like many on this thread I too felt guilty about eliminating chipmunks ... but have become increasingly frustrated and desperate when the population exploded and over ran our property and garden areas. Destructive, brazen and invasive is ALL an understatement when I see what these cute little critters have become.

    While I feel I need to eliminate them I want to do it as humanely as possible, and since it is illegal to relocate them in the state of CT, the Hav-A-Heart trap presents the dilemma of having to "off them" yourself and watch them die.

    I think I have solved the problem ... the RAT ZAPPER. An animal control professional I spoke to (off the record) indicated that "electrocution" is the fastest, most humane and cleanest way to do what has to be done. I bought my first "zapper" and eliminated 21 munks in approximately 10 days. Since then I bought 2 more and now there are almost 50 critters that no longer make their home in the area around my foundation, sidewalks and retaining walls.

    Granted the "pool of death" (the bucket) does work, but this is cleaner, more convenient ... no bucket to maintain/seed to replenish. I place a little pile of sunflower seed at the back of the chamber and flip the switch. And location seems to be important. Under shrubs and near visible, active holes seems to be most effective.

    Interestingly, an Ohio State University critter/pest management site I visited indicated that 10 chipmunks or more per acre is considered an infestation population. I have caught almost five times that number, so I assume I am dealing with nature being way out of balance, at least as far as the chipmunk population.

    If you're getting more and desperate, try the Zapper, it works.

  • MissMyGardens
    14 years ago

    Last fall I sprayed Repels ALL on bulbs, including crocus, and then wrapped them in fine steel wool leaving the bottom root ends open a bit.

    Yes, it was pointed out to me that squirrels could get their little paws tangled up in steel wool but I haven't seen any of them suffering or the population diminished and I don't mind them as long as they don't go after the nesting boxes.

    With that bulb planting regimen nothing was disturbed or eaten by any culprit including moles/voles.

    I did put the tulip bulbs in cages because we'd waited to have tulips actually make it to bloom for almost 20 years.

    Since I ground feed birds that need it I know I'm contributing to the problem of the chipmunk infestation here. The birds don't get a chance to eat the seed before the little rodent vacuums gobble it up and every bird is afraid of the chipmunks.

    Not to feed birds or not to attract chipmunks. A conundrum I haven't solved yet for this year even though chipmunk population has grown significantly over last 2 years.

    Just found out from someone with firsthand experience that there's a NJ fine of $100. for trapping groundhogs...not even relocating or killing them...just for trapping them.

    Don't know state regulations here on chipmunks but trying to tolerate them since they haven't eaten bulbs yet although I found 2 burrow attempts around gladiolus bulbs planted 6 weeks ago. Threw down and watered in some camphor based Mole Max and sprayed with something from critter spray arsenal and hoping for best. The gladiolus are in bulb cages so maybe they just made attempt but didn't succeed in getting to them.

  • carol23_gw
    14 years ago

    I think my concerns for the Zapper would be animals other than rodents. Will shrews go in? How about birds? I also have a small dog, 3 1/2 lbs at the moment and not topping out more than 5 lbs. If you have planted for birds, i.e. fruit producing trees, you will have chipmunks. They love the serviceberry and mulberry.

    I looked on line for pictures of the Zapper but couldn't see any depicting the entrance. Anyone have a camera handy to show the access the chipmunk has?

    I would never use poison. I know of a chihuahua that ingested some rat poison, was bleeding from all orifices and came close to death. The owner's grandfather has scattered some poison in his barn. It was a harrowing ordeal.

    Here is a link that might be useful: rat poison -beyond the rodents

  • MissMyGardens
    14 years ago

    Since I stopped ground feeding birds because chipmunks were scarfing down every bit of food I spread they've started tunneling into perennial plants (all new this year)and Bearded Iris beds.

    They've also dug into any potted plants I have...directly at root zone.

    I've had it with them.

    Hopefully my repellant spray & steel wool wrap method of planting bulbs will work again when I plant the 140 bulbs I ordered for this fall...and tulips are still going into bulb cages.

  • juliebw
    14 years ago

    Chipmunks have had a huge hole in my shade garden for two years. I save our coffee grounds, and happened to put a bagful on this hole. This seems to have deterred them, though I doubt it has reduced the population. I also took down my large bird feeder because of the deer it was attracting, as well as squirrels and chipmunks. Now I only feed thistle seed, which doesn't seem to attract them.

  • kimcoco
    14 years ago

    Well I don't know about the songbirds (LOL), but I have to chuckle reading all the posts about the cats and the birds.

    I have cats, I consider myself a "cat person" and I'm an animal lover in general. But, my cats do not go outside and I can't stand the neighborhood roaming cat - and I have yet to find out who owns it - that comes into my yard and "sprays" on my garage. Whenever I see that cat, I let my dogs out into the yard and I chase him away. If I had time to get the hose running before he exits, I'd soak him, but he always gets away. Ok, so my dogs are chihuahuas which weigh 4 lbs and 8 lbs - by far smaller than the cat, and my cattledog is 15 years old, has arthritis, can't see well, can't hear well, and can barely move. Not really a cat deterrent, I suspect.

    Cats should not be left to roam the neighborhood in urban areas, and I think it's irresponsible for owners to let their animals roam. They spread disease, and I have to worry about diseases and fleas being spread into MY yard and to MY animals that are well taken care of. Is that owner going to pay MY vet bills? I doubt they'd want to.

    My neighbor had a small patch of sand in his yard due to the removal of a playset from a previous owner. He left this over the winter only to find come spring that all winter the roaming cat was using it as his litter box.

    I suspect that my FIL shoots chipmunks because I've seen a pellet gun in his sun porch, but he'd never admit it to me because I don't agree with it. I'd like to shoot the neighborhood cat, but I won't, though if I could I WOULD catch it and relocate it up north a few hours to a no kill animal shelter. And yes, I absolutely would do that because I think the owners are negligent in letting him roam.

    We got rid of our bird feeder after having it for only a week. I had to power spray my fence after a week to get rid of the numerous bird droppings. Never again.

    My neighbor has bird feeders and I've noticed an increase in chipmunks in my yard this year. Hmmmmm...I may have to speak with them about this.

  • lziegler_uvm_edu
    14 years ago

    OK, I used to like chipmunks, but we reached a huge level of infestation -- our stone patio has been undermined, the garden is swiss cheese, and they've eaten ALOT of expensive lily and tulip bulbs. I had to do something, but I did not want to do anything that might affect other (innocent) populations. Poison would be non-specific (killing squirrels, rabbits, etc -of which we have only a few) and might affect hawks and snakes. Humane traps are impractical for large numbers (chipmunks wouldn't be a problem if there are only one or two). Cats kill everything -- all the time, and on top of that its bad for the cats! The most selective and humane metod for me was a pellet rifle with a scope. The Chips ae too close to the house for any firearm to be safely used, but with care anyone who grew up hunting can safely and accurately shoot them. I killed 19 in the first afternoon (I said there were alot!) and after a few more days we have stopped seeing them anywhere near the house/garden. Hated to do it, but they are not endangered, and the destruction was too much to tolerate!

  • chipkiller
    10 years ago

    I have to say they were cute the first year or so. Then the destruction came. They burrowed into the yard, the house foundation, dug up flowers, vegetable plants, and scampered around and reproduced. Now it is all out war!
    My method of choice is the "swimming pool of death". So far it is Chipkiller 4 vs. Chipmunks 0. I am on a roll and they cant stop me. They are stupid and this is culling the herd. Google "swimming pool of death" and you will get full instructions on how to make your own.

    Now that the Chippys are getting under control, my neighbor and i are going to make a much larger "swimming pool of death" for a local racoon who ravages the neighborhood each night. This should be fun and very, very, effective.

    Chipmunks, are a rodent and a destructive pest. To control their population is a good thing to do.

  • Khristov12
    9 years ago

    Chipmunk removal:

    Here is a link that might be useful: chipmunk / rodent bucket trap