Chipmunks are cute and fun to watch until they constantly chew your plants and start digging holes around your yard. Besides this, you may start to ask, are chipmunks dangerous? Chipmunks can spread disease through chipmunk feces, so chipmunk removal can be vital if you have children.
You may think there are just one or two chipmunk burrows, yet once they get established, and you have a family of them, it’s challenging to get rid of chipmunks without a bit of effort.
Chipmunks are prime examples of animals that can dig into your home’s foundations when they hibernate if you don’t deal with them. As chipmunks burrow pretty deep, you need to be sure you use the right methods of getting rid of them, and you know how to fill chipmunk holes correctly.
Should I Fill Chipmunk Holes?
At first, you could mistake chipmunks for squirrels, yet they are very different, although both members of the squirrel family.
Most chipmunks don’t grow very big, yet they can do serious damage to your home and garden. A chipmunk leads a solitary life away from other chipmunks until the breeding season.
Most other mammals go through one breeding season each year, yet the chipmunks have two, so you can see an explosion in the chipmunk population.
The first season will happen on mild winter days close to the early spring when they leave the chipmunk burrow. The second season is in the summer between July and August, where the females give birth during early fall.
A chipmunk female can produce two to eight young for each litter, so it is easy to see what a hole needs filling as they can quickly overrun your garden. Luckily, they are prey for other pests and larger animals in the food chain, which can help prevent chipmunks from overrunning your garden. Chipmunks love certain foods such as nuts and seeds, yet chipmunks feed on anything around your flowers or veggies. (Find the Best Pet Friendly Weed And Feed)
What Do You Use to Put Down a Chipmunk Hole?
The issue comes when you have a few chipmunks, you tend to end up with a lot more chipmunks around the two breeding times.
With this in mind, you can find a few ways to fill a chipmunk hole. More earth appears to be the first choice as that is want came out, yet this won’t stop chipmunks digging holes later. Here are the three best recommendations of how to fill unsightly holes.
Cat litter is the first and best choice to repel chipmunks. It does need to be used cat litter, so it has the waste and smell of cats. Filling chipmunk tunnels with used litter makes it far harder for them to dig through if you use the non-clay type, which is also more environmentally friendly.
The litter is crumbly, and as they dig, it fills itself in again. Besides this, the taste and smell will help in keeping chipmunks away as it travels into the burrow.
You can find a couple of drawbacks to this as you need a cat, and if the holes are too close to flower beds, your plants won’t like the ammonia that can leach into the soil.
If you have lots of plants in the vicinity of the chipmunk burrows, you’ll find fine gravel is the second-best form of pest control to avoid chipmunk damage. You can also swap this for very coarse sand.
In the same way, as powdered cat litter falls in on itself, fine gravel does the same, so as they dig, the sand falls back on itself. The upsides of this are plant-friendly, and water can drain from this area much easier.
Finally, since there is little risk of the chipmunk burrowing in your vegetable garden in the same spot, you can cover the hole with topsoil so it blends in with your garden.
Sand or Cement
The last method is more extreme than the first two, yet you may need to go for this option if the holes are closer to your home. You will fill all the hole apart from the final 4 to 5 inches with dry sand as this offers the same action as gravel and doesn’t let the chipmunks burrow out.
In the last section, you fill most of the hole with cement to form a cap on the hole. As the will be narrow, the sand underneath allows for good drainage. You can leave a couple of inches on top so you can add topsoil and blend it into your surroundings.
What Smells Do Chipmunks Hate?
Unlike humans, chipmunks don’t like the smells of strong oils like peppermint, citrus, cinnamon, and eucalyptus. Besides this, chipmunks don’t like the smell of garlic.
Besides this, there are other ways you can humanely carry out pest control and scare chipmunks away from your garden. (Find Plants That Repel Chipmunks and Squirrels)
Remove groundcover, shrubs, fallen logs, or other plants, which can be the link between a wooded habitat and your garden. Bird feeders, potted plants, shrubs, and other suitable ground cover are common places to find chipmunk holes and other animals that live in these environments.
Move your bird feeder to a section of your hard where the chipmunks won’t be such a nuisance. Even better is to remove their food source completely.
Once there isn’t a source of food, they can potentially move out of your garden into another area. Bird feeders do need to be high and can have chipmunk deterrents built into the pole.
Get cats or let dogs roam the garden. Larger animals can be a threat to chipmunks, and it doesn’t take long to scare them away.
When you want to protect flower bulbs or your vegetables, you can use natural repellents such as using hot sauce. Spray plants where chipmunks have chewed with water and hot sauce solution, and they will have a shock the next time they come back to feed.
Bait humane traps with shelled sunflower seeds, peanut butter and add them to areas you can spot chipmunk activity. You may need to check with local laws or seek the advice of a local exterminator if you can live trap chipmunks and start releasing chipmunks in another area.
Like you would do with any rodent family, when you bait these traps with sunflower seeds or a dab of peanut butter, wear gloves. Chipmunks have a keen sense of smell and can smell humans. A trap works as a chipmunk steps on the spring, yet they won’t go inside if they smell you.
To get rid of chipmunks, you can make a chipmunk trap bucket. Fill a bucket half full with water. Attach a plank from a wall or landscape feature to the top of your bucket, so it forms a plank. You can sprinkle this with sunflower seeds around the bucket and on the bucket.
Doing this will lead the chipmunks into the water trap. The downside here is, you need to deal with any dead chipmunk’s body. Trapping chipmunks this way isn’t the best as it takes effort to monitor these types of chipmunk traps and scoop the chipmunk bodies from the water.
Poison pellets or baits effectively eliminate chipmunks or small rodents above live traps, yet many poisons can harm other wildlife or even children or family pets. Chipmunk poison needs to be out of sight and out of reach.
Electronic repellents can be used; however, these are not as effective as a trap as the chipmunk becomes accustomed to the noises.
Do Mothballs Deter Chipmunks?
If you want to start getting rid of chipmunks, mothballs are one method that travels around the internet. (Learn How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths)
To use, you would wear gloves and place mothballs all around the foundations of your home and in areas where you see chipmunk holes or those from other rodents and small creatures.
There are a couple of issues when using mothballs a few inches apart or if you drop them down a chipmunk hole. Mothballs don’t kill chipmunks, and all that will happen is you have chipmunks burrowing holes in other areas.
Besides this, to humans or pets, they can be toxic, and to children, they appear like candy and can easily pick them up and try to eat them. Moth balls are toxic, and if you use them, you need to do so with caution.