For some people this may not seem like a serious problem. Many people look at chipmunks or twelve-line ground squirrels as cute and not annoying at all. But gardeners and lawn-care people know that the chipmunk can cause significant damage to a garden or lawn. These small, energetic animals love fresh green plants and may find several garden plants or new grasses very appealing.

If the method you use involves handling the chipmunk after capturing or killing it, be sure to wear protective gloves. It is also important to wash your hands after handling the chipmunk. Animal experts have found that these interesting critters can host a number of diseases that could be a problem for humans.

From the beginning it is important that you understand the chipmunk is a burrowing animal that can damage a nice lawn by creating tunnels. The chipmunk will eat luscious garden plants and other leafy bushes and special grasses. But since this is a burrowing mammal, the chipmunk can be trapped live and taken to another site away from residential areas.

ChipmunkAccording to some of the experts who work in the animal-disposal area, using a few natural items such as certain pepper sprinkled or sprayed at a particular site can help turn chipmunks away from gardens and lawns that must be protected. Most of the guidelines for getting rid of chipmunks states that this animal does not like the odor or effect of breathing this items and they will turn away quickly from protected areas.

There are a few more methods for getting rid of chipmunks that users swear by. One is the bucket-and-water method. In this scenario, the property owner fills a bucket half-full with water and uses a piece of wood as a walkway at the top of the bucket. The idea is to attract the chipmunk to the plank and the bucket with sunflower seeds or another natural item that the animal will follow to the “trap.” Supposedly, the chipmunk will be attracted by a trail of seeds, walk on the board/plank and fall into the water. Since the water level is low, the chipmunk is not able to climb out.

Some suppliers offer ready-made live traps with trip-wire doors and spring-loaded doors that close after the chipmunk is attracted to the cage-like trap. Some have found the seed trail mentioned above can work with different live traps. Be sure to understand state and local laws about disposing of live animals, rodents etc. It isn’t always possible to just trap a chipmunk then take it to the park and release it.

One rural resident found that the same family cat that disposed of a pet rabbit was also quite handy for keeping chipmunks away from the property. Dogs and cats are natural enemies of smaller mammals such as the chipmunk. Some homeowners have repelled chipmunks with mothballs spread around the home. Of course, this doesn’t get rid of them completely, but it may keep them away from certain areas if the mothballs are distributed correctly.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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