Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Chipmunks

chipmunk home remedy

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.

Chipmunk Home Remedies

Why is the Chipmunk a Nuisance?

There are 25 recognized species of chipmunk[1] 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. Ok, so now that we know how they bother us, lets review some simple chipmunk home remedies below.

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?

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[2] 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.


[1] http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/chipmunk/

[2] http://www.baar.com/moles.htm


  • Henry

    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?

  • Helen

    Re placing moth balls in pots to keep squirrels and chipmunks away. Yes, it works. I have been putting moth balls in flower pots every spring for 10+ years. After about a month, when the young plants have taken root and grown, I remove and throw away the moth balls. However, the warning on the box specifically states that moth balls should NOT be used to control (nuisance) animals.

  • Liz

    A few years ago I read to put garlic down in the chipmunk and/or mole holes. I tried this with the mole and it apparently worked. I just tried the garlic for the chipmunk tunnels and am awaiting the results. The only drawback to this is that they will just move to another spot in the yard. There are humane critter traps available. Now I just have to fill the chipmunk holes!

  • Sandii

    How can I get a baby chipmunk out of my vehicle? Went camping And saw a baby chipmunk run and hide i’n my truck I can’t get it out!?

  • lori cook

    nothing is working. They have burrowed into my four foot high rock retaining wall along the driveway. I was straight and tight until two years ago! They have such attiude! I heard urine scares them so I am now encouraging my husband and all his buds to pee on the rock wall!!! If that wall falls there goes my car! Can I sue a chipmunk? I will being trying live trap method however… God made them cute like babies…which mean you don’t want to kill them when they behave badly!

  • Glen

    A 12 gauge shotgun works – except in the city and the cops frown – and you have to be careful not to shoot the neighbors windows out. This is the most difficult critter to get rid of – I poured concrete in the hole and they dug around it – I have put pepper in the hole – have not tried moth balls but I have used poison peanut butter (bought at Home Depot – for moles) – this is almost like Caddy Shack with Bill Murray – I even tried gasoline and lit it – put the water hose in and flooded it – they just run out the other side – it is hard to find all the entraces – and Orkin is expensive

  • ks

    my husband did catch 1 or 2 chipmunks in the bucket of water method but then they got smart, BB gun works if you can hit them (which I can’t). this year I had a young one come from under the porch and jump on my back when I was sitting on the steps. we have become over run with them. I have holes in my flower boxes like crazy and in the ground around them. if anyone has something that really works let me know. I have small dogs so I can’t put out traps. someone said try ex-lax

  • Barbara Wheeler

    Yesterday I read a tip on using Peppermint Oil which I have none of so I went to our peppermint bed and clipped quite a few 5 inch to 1 foot pieces and crammed all I could into the hole near our front port porch and some other chipmonk holes….they have been digging out the porch every day for a week…..this morning….no digging….maybe the peppermint is working as they must not like the frangrance. UY Yippee!!! I even had an old black iron skillet ready to whop whop them with…my husband is laughing at me getting rid of them.