Help! Chipmunks!

a2zmom(6a - nj)June 1, 2007

I was finishing up my spring clean-up today (I'm very, very late due to a freezing cold April and a pulled back muscle) and was clearing up some leaves. There was some dead grass under the leaves which I thought odd but didn't make that much note of it. I then realized there was something under the grass so I reached in to pull it out - and got the shock of my life when I realized I was "petting" a chipmunk! It scampered out, quickly followed by another one. I suspect there are babies in the hole.

I don't have anything against critters as a rule, but nesting in amongst my monarda and sunflowers just won't do.

How do I get them to leave?

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Why get them out? They will grow up in a week or 2 and move on.
Secondly Chipmunks don't nest among the flowers, they have their babies deep under ground in burrows.
Most likely what you were petting were rabbits!! whnich will also grow up and move away...but more likely be eaten by a cat, owl or a hawk.
I'll bet you are a new gardener? not yet used to what's out in your garden besides your plants? Don't sweat the small stuff, they'll be gone soon...
Now....spiders!! That's a different matter!!! LOL!
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 10:59PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I have chipmunks all over the place. They never cause any garden damage besides once in a while snapping off some young seedlings. Whether or not they cause any structural damage (porches, decking, etc.) I have no clue, but darn it they are so cute to watch and I get a good laugh out their antics LOL! Hey, they don't both me/my stuff, I don't bother them....

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 1:21AM
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robynpa(5/6 Pgh)

I have them all over too and they do not do any damage to my garden. I find holes all of the time right in the garden but never any damage. We call them Grinnies.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 9:06AM
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I managed to move a chipmunk by flooding its hole with water from a hose. This was a lone chipmunk though, I wouldn't do it if I suspected babies. I had to flood him twice before he got the picture and moved next door. He never did any damage but he annoyed the dogs which is why I had to move him. He'd stand right next to his hole and stare at the dogs while they barked from the window. Luckily he moved just far enough away that the dogs couldn't see him anymore.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 12:43PM
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I and many others in New England have had tremendous damage from chipmunks. They dig holes and tunnels and eat the roots of perennials such as Siberian iris, baptisia and peonies. We have many stone walls in our area, which are like chipmunk condominiums. I have not yet found a way to get rid of them--poison, traps, whatever--tho I have had some limited success with a product called Mole-Tox. (No, I don't have moles.) Chipmunks are cute but can cause a lot of damage, especially in high numbers.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Okay lets make a distinction here. Voles will eat your bulbs and perhaps the roots of plants...and voles will often try to move into chipmunk homes.

The chipmunk other the other hand ruin gardens by tunnelling, and they often have tunnels up to 30-40 feet long with little pockets (or rooms) for nesting, food storage and, ahem, bodily functions. The tunnelling allows frost and drying air to hit the roots of plants and that is the kiss of death. Chipmunk moreover, most frequently habitate in those nice warm border beds next to your home.

I dunked piece after piece of ammonia-soaked rag into the little holes this fall and this really annoys them. So you might give it a try.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 1:48PM
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My 3 young and active felines take care of "volies" and "chippies". They don't kill them all, but they keep the population in check rather nicely!

Here's an alternate use for a "volie":


    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 2:15PM
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Okay Chelone, I've seen that joke before.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 3:41PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Chipmunk tunnels don't ruin your will scarcely notice them....they are way deep in the ground, not surface tunnels like moles or mice.
Every spring when I plant my pots, the next morning I find 10 or 12 or the more then 30 pots I plant dug into and the plants lying on the ground....and I remember...Chippies are curious.! So I sprinkle the pots with blood meal and the chippies leave them alone and soon lose the urge to see what is in that new dirt in the pots!
If you are seeing damage it's not from chipmonks.
Chelone, that looks a little like a shrew to me.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: DNR site

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 9:27PM
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I can agree with the New England comments-I built a dry stone wall three years ago and it has become a chipmunk condominium-I have all kinds of critters tunneling in my garden, but I have witnessed chippers digging at the roots of newly planted hellebores-they also have been picking the buds off peonies and then leaving them lying on the ground!
Very frustrating!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 11:59AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

If you don't want to harm the chippies, wait til the babies are born and then cover the holes. If you do it enough times it will discourage them. I use chicken wire weighted by rocks and they move elsewhere. Only one time did their tunneling sink a small part of my garden. Not the worst thing in the world. I don't find any plant damage. I kinda like watching them race across my porch. I might feel differently if it was a real problem, but chipmunks are the least of it. The squirrels are 10 times worse.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 3:39PM
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The roots of my perennials were definitely eaten. They were completely gone in the spring several years ago. Large clumps of iris and other plants over 15 years old were just gone. Whether they were eaten by the excessively numerous chipmunks or by voles using the same tunnels, I can't be sure.

Yesterday, the Boston Globe had an article about a RI scientist who specializes in Lyme disease. To my surprise, he said chipmunks carry the infested ticks that transmit Lyme. As do, of course, the white-footed mouse and deer, both of which I also have in quantity.

I have used every home remedy to get rid of these critters and failed. The Lyme disease news cinched it. Tomorrow, I have a wildlife trapper coming to try to deal with it. He said it would take awhile but I'll let you know if I have any success.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 3:49PM
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I have had Chipmuncks in my garden for years and never had a problem until this year. This year they cut off several orential lilies and brought them into their hole. We flooded the hole and they have stopped cutting things down to bring down. I am thinking that they needed material for a nest. I still see them around and as long as they don't return to cutting things down I will just let them be.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 9:40AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

What are you going to do about the mice, voles and squirrels?
You do know that chipmonks don't carry lyme disease don't you? Ticks do.
Your time and money might be better spent eliminating ticks in your yard and garden by spraying and keeping weeds cut and grass mowed. Eliminating chipmonks from your garden won't eliminate lyme disease, but eliminating tick bites will.
Will he also trap mice and voles?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:34AM
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