When your backyard is riddled with small holes and your potted plants are becoming overgrown with wayward seeds, the critters causing your headaches are far from cute, fuzzy, or cuddly. Collecting and storing food for the winter, chipmunks usually mind their own business and happily co-exist amongst humans. But, for some homeowners, they’re at their wit’s end and in dire need of home remedies for chipmunks.
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Why is the Chipmunk a Nuisance?
There are 25 recognized species of chipmunk with one species dwelling in both northeastern and eastern North America with the rest native to western North America. Western chipmunks only breed one time per year. However, Eastern chipmunks are quite abundant, mating in early spring and again in early summer, bringing litters of four or five offspring into the world each year. Because of their numbers, they can wreak havoc on occasion.
The burrowing of their holes drives homeowners crazy, especially when close to gardens and flowerbeds. They also have the power to loosen retaining walls and foundations. While the diet of a chipmunk usually consists of nuts, bird eggs, small frogs, fungi, worms, and insects – they do eat berries, flowers, and grain. They are also notorious for raiding birdfeeders. At the start of autumn, many species start collecting food in their burrows – sometimes interfering with the equilibrium of the human-animal power struggle.
Chipmunk Home Remedies
For a backyard or garden overrun by chipmunks, people have come up with ingenious traps for taking control of their outdoor spaces. However, one of the most popular home remedies for chipmunks requires an individual with a strong stomach to truly pull it off. Some people have filled buckets with water and camouflaged the watery ambush with a thick layer of floating sunflower seeds. A board is propped up against the bucket, tempting chipmunks to plunge in, where they cannot get out of the bucket and drown.
A more humane method of trapping chipmunks is to fill the bucket with a small amount of water – enough to keep their heads up without drowning. Tape a piece of paper about six inches from the top of the bucket. Cover with sunflower seeds. The weight of the chipmunk breaks the paper and it will fall. This time, the water will only contain the critter, not kill it. The more laborious part of this trap is draining the water and later releasing your unwanted friend into the wild.
Willing to compromise and only looking to curb a chipmunk’s behavior?
Other chipmunk home remedies include:
a) Used Cat Litter:
When nuts and other seeds are scarce, a chipmunk may disrupt the bulbs of spring flowering plants. Keep chipmunks away by sprinkling used cat litter around the base of flower plants or close to bulbs. The chipmunk may fear a lingering cat in the vicinity.
b) Cayenne Pepper:
Want to keep chipmunks from ruining your flowers? Add two tablespoons of cayenne pepper to one quart of boiling hot water. Allow the mixture to steep until cooled off. After draining the liquid through cheesecloth, transfer into a spray bottle and apply to buds when they start to flower.
c) Fire Water:
In a blender, add black pepper, whole chilies, and cayenne pepper. Add the ingredients to watering can filled with water. Around the base of your plants, saturate the soil with this fiery solution.
d) Hair Clippings:
A handful of gardening books have mentioned sprinkling human hair clippings into the holes of chipmunks. Make sure that they are short and not long.
e) Expanding Foam Insulation:
To deter chipmunk activity, fill burrow holes in your yard with expanding foam insulation.
f) Castor Oil and Dish Detergent:
Place one tablespoon each of liquid dish soap and natural Baar castor oil into a blender and mix until it reaches a consistency similar to shaving cream. Add six tablespoons of water to the blender. Mix again. In a watering can, add two tablespoons of the remedy with two gallons of water. Sprinkle over the holes in your yard and garden spaces. The ingredients work as a chipmunk repellent.
g) Thistle Seeds:
If you’re mad that chipmunks are taking all the food out of your bird feeder, use thistle seeds instead of sunflower seeds.
“Someone told me to place mothballs around garden plants and flowers in pots, but I don’t know how effective this method is. Does anyone know if it works?”