How to Get Rid of Chipmunks

Sally Painter
Chipmunks on tree stumps

Learning how to get rid of pesky chipmunks requires looking at your garden and yard differently. From a chipmunk's point-of-view, your garden and yard may be a playground and exciting place to explore.

Keep Your Yard and Garden Clean

Chipmunks love piles and stacks. It may sound simplistic but keeping your yard and/or garden tidy is the first step to getting rid of chipmunks. Don't stack up boards, bricks and other materials. Brush piles and areas allowed to grow wild with overgrown vegetation are prime chipmunk real estate. If you have a compost heap, reorganize or replace with one that is enclosed and impenetrable. These burrowing pests love finding nooks and crannies and your stacked woodpile right beside the garden is like chocolate candy is to most people.

Make Your Garden Less Attractive to Chipmunks

Your plant choices, gardening habits, and even your choice of garden accessories can help alleviate chipmunk problems.

Flower Beds

Chipmunks are burrowers, so your flower bed or raised garden bed are like ringing a dinner bell to them. Chipmunks will dig up your flower bulbs almost as soon as you plant them. You can plant flowers that chipmunks don't like, such as irises, petunias, snapdragons, lantanas, and daffodils.

Vegetable Gardens

Harvest the vegetables in your garden on a regular basis. Try to avoid allowing vegetables to lie on the ground. This is like an open invitation for the chipmunks to come feast.

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

When the fruit trees and berry bushes ripen, be sure you harvest them. Again, if any fruits or berries fall to the ground, the chipmunks will be nearby to reap them.

Bird Feeders Entice Chipmunks

An active bird feeder presents this little guy with a feast on the ground. Either install a bird feeder that prevents the seed from being scattered onto the ground below or regularly clean up after the birds.

Chipmunk Natural Repellents

Some people have excellent luck using harmless repellents, while others see no change in their chipmunk infestation. You can try one or two to see if they have an effect in repelling the chipmunks. Any odorous repellent you use will have a shelf life. That cycle can be shortened by rainstorms.

Herbs That Repel Chipmunks

Some herbs are natural repellents to a chipmunk's olfactory senses. You can sprinkle some spices, like cinnamon and cayenne, around your yard and garden to repel chipmunks. You may decide to plant herbs around your garden and/or yard for some landscaping changes known to repel chipmunks, such as peppermint, chives, beebalm, and echinacea.

Garlic and Hot Pepper Spray

Garlic is highly offensive to chipmunks, so you can plant bulbs of garlic in areas of your garden being attacked. You can also create an offensive liquid repellent. Supplies for a spray include:

  • 1 gallon plastic jug
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 3 to 4 chili peppers
  • Cheesecloth
  • Garden sprayer
Gardeners spraying plants

Instructions:

  1. Cut up two garlic bulbs.
  2. Chop up three to four hot chili peppers.
  3. Place garlic and peppers in food processor and pulse until not quite a paste.
  4. Fill a gallon jug ¾ full with water.
  5. Add garlic and chili pepper mixture by the spoonful.
  6. Cap the plastic jug and shake contents vigorously.
  7. You can use the solution immediately or allow it to percolate 24 hours.
  8. Using a cheesecloth, pour the contents of the jug into a garden spraying allowing the cheesecloth to filter out any chunks and pieces.
  9. Attach the sprayer and use the filtered solution to spray your garden.
  10. Target favorite chipmunk areas.
  11. The garlic/pepper solution is also a great method for controlling insect pests.
  12. Repeat every two weeks or more often if you have frequent rain showers.

Human Hair

As with many animals, the human scent frightens chipmunks away. You can harvest hair from hairbrushes and scatter about your garden and/or yard. Some gardeners use their local hair salon by working out a weekly schedule to pick up hair clippings.

Mothball Standby Repellents

One of the oldest and most popular chipmunk repellents is mothballs. You can place these around your garden, especially where you notice chipmunk activity, such as burrows and plant munching.

Humane Traps

If you have no alternative, you may decide to use a humane trap and simply drive your little pest to another location. Make sure your area doesn't have any restricition about capturing and relocating animals.

Finding the Best Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks

There are many ways you can counter the invasion of chipmunks in your garden or yard. It's always kindest to be humane in whatever method you choose to use.

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks