When you think of a typical backyard pest, chipmunks may not immediately come to mind.
But these small, furry critters can become a nuisance around your home if they’re not managed correctly.
From the damage they can cause to the diseases they may carry, it’s important to know all the facts about chipmunks and how to deal with them if they become a problem in or around your house.
In this article, we’ll explore why chipmunks are attracted to homes, the potential harm they can do, what types of chipmunks may be around, how to prevent them from taking up residence, what signs to look for if you suspect a chipmunk infestation, and how to trap and remove them safely.
We’ll also discuss chipmunk diseases and parasites that can affect your family’s health.
So, let’s dive in and learn all about chipmunks!
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Chipmunks can be both beneficial and detrimental depending on the situation.
They are often viewed as cute animals, and they can help to spread seeds and other materials that can help to enrich the soil.
However, they can also damage plants, eat stored food, and damage buildings by digging and burrowing.
Ultimately, it depends on your individual circumstances and preferences as to whether having chipmunks around your house is a good or bad thing.
Why Chipmunks Are Attracted to Homes
Chipmunks are naturally drawn to areas with abundant food sources and shelter, so its not surprising that they are often found around suburban and urban homes.
A homes yard can provide easy access to food, such as nuts, berries, seeds, and insects in gardens, and bird feeders.
Homes also provide chipmunks with shelter and protection from predators.
Chipmunks often build their burrows near foundations, porches, and decks, and in other sheltered areas like woodpiles and compost heaps.
They may even live in attics and basements if access is available.
In some cases, chipmunks may become so comfortable that they become a nuisance, digging up gardens and stealing food from bird feeders.
The Damage They Can Cause
Chipmunks may be small and cute, but they can cause a lot of damage to your property if left unchecked.
They can dig up gardens and flower beds, steal food from bird feeders, and damage outdoor structures like decks, porches, and foundations.
Chipmunks are also known to chew through wires and cables, which can be a fire hazard.
They can also carry parasites and diseases that can be harmful to humans and other animals.
Chipmunks have sharp claws and teeth that can wreak havoc on wood, plastic, and even metal surfaces.
They can also spread diseases and parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and mites.
They may also carry rabies, which is a serious and potentially fatal disease.
Chipmunks are also notorious for their burrowing habits.
Their burrows can weaken structural foundations and cause damage to lawns and gardens.
They can also create hollows in walls, floors, and ceilings, which can cause further damage and make your home unsafe.
In addition to the damage they can cause, chipmunks can also be noisy.
They can make loud chirping and squeaking noises that can be quite annoying.
They are also known to steal food from bird feeders and other outdoor food sources, which can be both a nuisance and a health hazard.
In short, chipmunks can be a nuisance to have around your home.
It is important to take precautions to prevent them from taking up residence near your home, such as keeping bird feeders away from your house and trimming back vegetation from the exterior of your home.
If you do find yourself with chipmunks living near your home, its best to contact a professional pest control company to help remove them.
Different Types of Chipmunks
There are several different types of chipmunks that can be found around the world.
The most common species is the Eastern Chipmunk, which is found in the eastern United States and Canada.
Other species can be found in the western United States, Mexico, and even as far away as Japan.
Some of these species, such as the Northern and Southern flying squirrels, are not actually chipmunks at all, but are similar in size and behavior.
Chipmunks are small rodents, usually measuring around 4-7 inches in length, with a bushy tail that can be up to twice the length of their body.
They have a short, stocky body with long, powerful legs and a pointed nose.
They are usually brown or gray in color, with a white stripe running down their back and stripes on their cheeks.
Chipmunks are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter.
Their diet consists of insects, nuts, berries, fruits, seeds, and sometimes even small birds, eggs, and frogs.
They use their sharp claws and teeth to dig small burrows in the ground, which they use to store food and hibernate in during the winter months.
Chipmunks are active during the day, and spend most of their time foraging for food, gathering seeds, and digging burrows.
They are also very social animals, often forming large family groups and communicating with each other through vocalizations.
When it comes to living around humans, chipmunks can be both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, they provide a great source of entertainment, as they are often seen chasing each other around or scurrying through the yard.
On the other hand, they can be a nuisance, as they can damage gardens, steal food, and even damage structures like decks and foundations.
Overall, chipmunks can be both fun to watch and a nuisance to have around your home.
It is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent them from taking up residence near your home.
If you do decide to have chipmunks around, make sure to provide them with plenty of food and water, and to keep their habitat clean and safe.
How to Deter Chipmunks
Chipmunks may seem like cute and cuddly little creatures, but they can become a nuisance when they start to take up residence around your home.
To prevent this from happening, there are a few steps you can take to deter them.
First, eliminate any potential food sources around your property.
This includes bird feeders, pet food, fallen fruit, and compost piles.
When these food sources are removed, chipmunks will be less likely to stay in the area.
Additionally, be sure to keep garbage cans closed and sealed tightly.
Next, make sure to keep your yard and gardens free of debris.
Chipmunks love to hide in piles of leaves and wood, so making sure these areas are regularly cleared and maintained will reduce the chances of chipmunks nesting in your yard.
You can also install barriers around your property, such as fencing or netting, to keep chipmunks from entering your yard.
Make sure the netting is firmly attached to the ground, as chipmunks are excellent climbers and can easily find their way around obstacles.
Finally, you may want to consider using repellents or traps to keep chipmunks away.
Repellents are available in liquid, granular, and ultrasonic forms, and they can be used to discourage chipmunks from entering your property.
Traps, on the other hand, are more effective if you already have chipmunks living in your yard, and they can be used to capture and remove chipmunks from the area.
By following these tips, you can help keep chipmunks from taking up residence around your home and prevent them from becoming a nuisance.
Remember, though, that even if you take all the necessary steps to deter chipmunks, they may still find a way to enter your property.
If this happens, it is important to contact a wildlife professional for help in safely removing the chipmunks from your yard.
Signs of a Chipmunk Infestation
Chipmunks are small, cute mammals that can quickly become a nuisance when they take up residence near your home.
They can be identified by their reddish-brown fur with white and black stripes running down their backs, their bushy tails, and their unique chirping calls.
While these animals may be adorable to watch, they can be destructive and carry disease, so its important to know the signs of a chipmunk infestation and take steps to prevent them from taking up residence near your home.
The most common sign of a chipmunk infestation is the presence of holes and tunnels in your lawn or garden.
Chipmunks are burrowing animals and will dig tunnels and excavate soil to make their homes.
They will also dig up gardens and steal food from bird feeders.
In addition, chipmunks can damage structures like decks, porches, and foundations.
Chipmunks can also be identified by their droppings, which are small and black.
These droppings contain parasites and diseases, which can be dangerous to humans and other animals.
If you see chipmunk droppings around your home, its important to take precautions to keep them away.
If you notice any of these signs of a chipmunk infestation, its important to take action right away.
Chipmunks can quickly become a nuisance and cause serious damage to your property.
Taking steps to prevent them from taking up residence near your home is the best way to protect your family and property from the destructive behavior of chipmunks.
How to Trap and Remove Chipmunks
If you have determined that chipmunks are indeed a nuisance around your home, you may want to take steps to trap and remove them.
There are a few methods you can use to safely and humanely trap and remove chipmunks from your property.
One of the most popular chipmunk trapping methods is to use a live trap.
Live traps are easy to set up and can be used to trap chipmunks without causing them any harm.
They consist of a wire box with one or two entrances, which is baited with food such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, or other grain-based foods.
Once the chipmunk enters the trap, a door will close, trapping the chipmunk inside.
You can then move the trap away from your property and release the chipmunk elsewhere.
Another method of trapping chipmunks is by using a traditional snap trap.
These traps are baited with food and when the chipmunk takes the bait, a spring-loaded trap door will close, trapping the chipmunk inside.
These traps can be dangerous, so be sure to use them with caution.
In addition to trapping, you can also take preventative measures to discourage chipmunks from taking up residence near your home.
To do this, make sure to remove any food sources, such as pet food, bird seed, or spilled garbage, that could be attracting them to your property.
You should also make sure to seal any cracks or openings in your home’s foundation or walls to prevent chipmunks from entering.
Finally, you can also use repellents, such as predator urine or mothballs, to keep chipmunks away from your property.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that chipmunks will not become a nuisance around your home.
While chipmunks can be cute to watch, it is important to take the necessary steps to keep them away from your property.
Chipmunk Diseases and Parasites
Chipmunks may appear cute and cuddly, but they can also carry a variety of diseases and parasites that can adversely affect humans and other animals.
Toxoplasmosis, for example, is a disease caused by a parasite found in the feces of some animals, including chipmunks, and can cause serious health problems if contracted.
Chipmunks can also carry fleas and ticks, which can spread Lyme disease and other illnesses.
In addition, chipmunks can carry rabies, a virus that is fatal if contracted.
For these reasons, it is important to take steps to prevent chipmunks from making their home around your house.
In addition to the diseases and parasites chipmunks can carry, they may also be the source of other problems.
For instance, chipmunks can be carriers of fleas, which can transmit other diseases and parasites to humans and other animals.
They can also carry mites, which can cause skin irritations and allergies.
Finally, chipmunks can carry ticks, which can spread a variety of illnesses, including Lyme disease.
Taking the necessary precautions to prevent chipmunks from taking up residence near your home is essential to protecting yourself and your family from the potential health hazards these animals can carry.
It is important to keep bird feeders free of spilled seed and to securely store pet food.
Additionally, eliminating sources of standing water and keeping garbage cans tightly sealed can help deter chipmunks from coming around your home.
Finally, installing a fence around your property can help keep chipmunks at bay.
Chipmunks may look cute, but they can be a real nuisance to have around your home.
They can cause damage to gardens, bird feeders, and even your home’s foundation.
They can also carry parasites and diseases that can be dangerous to humans and other animals.
To prevent chipmunks from taking up residence near your home, it is important to take the necessary precautions.
Knowing the different types of chipmunks, recognizing the signs of an infestation, and understanding how to trap and remove chipmunks are all useful steps to take.
Now that you know the risks of having chipmunks around, you can be better equipped to protect your home and family.