Chipmunks are adorable but when they wreak havoc in your garden, you may find yourself in need of chipmunk repellent. They can be fun to watch but you'll soon find the roots of your plants being eaten and seeds dug out of any vegetables you are trying to grow.
They eat seeds, nuts, berries, small insects, and if they can get to it, even dog or cat food. They tend to burrow in your garden or sometimes along your home, and like to hide in bushes and piles of wood or rocks.
These little rodents look like a smaller version of a squirrel but they have stripes that run across their cheeks, over their heads, and down their backs. You won't see much of them during winter, but they are very active during the warmer months.
Signs that You Have a Chipmunk Problem
In addition to your plants being chewed and any burrows you may see along the walls or your lawn, there are some other signs you can look for:
- Bird feeders being knocked over.
- Gnaw marks in your attic though this is rare as chipmunks prefer to live outside.
- Any seeds or bulbs that you've plant may be dug up.
Chipmunks can have 4-5 babies at a time and do so twice a year, so getting rid of them as soon as you are aware that you have them is important.
Chipmunk Control Home Remedies
Dangerous chemicals in some chipmunk repellants/ repellents can harm more than just the chipmunks. Try these safe methods.
1. Plants that Repel Chipmunks
Narcissus flowers contain toxins that are harmful to chipmunks so they will avoid them. Daffodils are a great choice for springtime and can be planted among your other flowers to repel the chipmunks. Paperwhites and jonquil flowers are also narcissus flowers. Chipmunks also don't like marigolds.
Allium plants are also a good option. These plants include garlic, onions, shallots, and chives. Chipmunks are also repelled by these scents and will be more inclined to leave your flowerbeds alone if you have some allium plants, especially garlic, among the other plants.
2. Scents that Repel Chipmunks
Garlic is one of the scents they hate the most, so in addition to planting garlic bulbs, you can make a spray out of garlic to repel the chipmunks. Just add some crushed garlic (about a teaspoon per cup) to hot water. Let the mixture cool and then put it in a spray bottle.
Add a teaspoon of oil or Castile soap. Spray the mixture over all your plants and the places they hide.
You can also use essential oils. Chipmunks hate these scents:
Add 10-30 drops of essential oil to water in a spray bottle and spray that on your plants and the areas chipmunks like to hide. Pregnant women should be careful of using eucalyptus essential oil, so if you are pregnant, pick one of the other essential oils.
3. Ground Chilli or Cayenne Pepper for Chipmunks
If you don't like the smell of garlic, you can make a spray using the chili or hot peppers and soapy or oily water. You can use either finely chopped chilies or hot peppers, or the dried flakes and ground version of these spices. About a tablespoon or so should be enough. Brew and use it the same as you would the garlic.
You can even make a spray that uses a combination of chillis (or hot peppers) and garlic. Another option is to just sprinkle the powder or flakes around your gardens and their hiding places.
4. Attract Predators that Eat Chipmunks
Owls eat chipmunks and other rodents. You can build or install an owl house in your garden to attract an owl. Check out the video to see how.
If you don't want a live owl, you can also now buy fake owls that are operated by batteries, wind, or solar power. Some of them look very lifelike and even move in the wind.
Some dogs and cats also kill or chase chipmunks. It's best to have your pets see the vet if they have killed a chipmunk because some chipmunks may have worms or other parasites.
5. Chipmunk Traps
Depending on your preference and the laws that govern your state, you can choose a trap that kills the chipmunks or a trap that simply traps them until you can release them somewhere else. Using seeds or even peanut butter inside the trap so that they have to enter the trap to get to it will work as bait.
If you are able to, you can release them yourself at least 5 miles away from your home. You can also call pest control or wildlife protection agencies to remove the chipmunk/s.
6. Chipmunk-Proof Your Yard
If you aren't allowed to trap the chipmunks or kill them, another option is to make your garden unattractive to the chipmunks. You don't necessarily need to get rid of all the plants and bushes that attract them, there are other less drastic steps that you can take:
- Use strong, sturdy nets or cages with fine mesh to cover and enclose your plants, seeds, and bulbs.
- Keep your garden free from any berries that have fallen and/or enclose those bushes.
- Consider a greenhouse.
- If you have bird feeders, make sure that the chipmunks can't climb the poles by applying cooking oil to the pole where your other pets can't reach or spray the pole with homemade repellant. Keep the surrounding area clear of any seeds that fall.
- Keep your garden clear of any weeds and trim the bushes.
- Make a gravel perimeter around your property.
- Keep piles of firewood or rocks away from your home to prevent any digging around the foundation of your home.
- L-shaped footers placed around the foundation of your home can be helpful in preventing digging too.
- Keep all food firmly closed in containers or wrapped up if you store it outside.
- Spray your DIY chipmunk repellent regularly.
If you do see chipmunks, make sure that your children don't touch them. If you, your kids, or your pets get scratched or bitten by a chipmunk, it's best to go get it checked out to be safe. If you have any questions please let us know.
Jane Scott grew up on a farm in California and is a crossover between a country girl and an evangelist for healthier living. She’s a nutritionist who preaches that healthy living need not be complicated.
She believes that by exercising regularly, eating mostly non-processed foods (with plenty of vegetables), and using home remedies for the small things and doctor’s advice for the big things, almost anybody can feel great and live a happier and healthier life. She’s excited to share her knowledge of natural remedies and healthier living on HRFL.
In her spare time, Jane enjoys cooking and watching bad rom-coms. She also loves nuts, and is a bit of a nut herself when it comes to Yoga, which she’s a little too obsessed with in the opinion of her friends and family.