Chipmunks and squirrels are quite similar in the fact that they can both cause a great deal of damage to your home and garden. Learning a little information about these two common pests can help you be an expert at getting rid of chipmunks.
Chipmunks are rodents, and they are actually a type of squirrel. Most chipmunks are found in North America. Chipmunks will eat just about anything. For example, they will eat plants, seeds, nuts, vegetables, insects, and more. They have even been known to eat frogs. These animals often stockpile food for the winter, and they are known for their ability to stuff their cheeks full of food in order to transport it to their burrows.
Most chipmunks feature stripes on their backs, and they are often fairly small in size. They range anywhere from about 7 inches to about 11 inches in length, and they can weigh between 1 to 4 ounces depending on the species. Chipmunks will breed once or twice a year, having several young at a time. The babies are typically independent by eight weeks of age.
Squirrels are also rodents, and people most commonly think of tree squirrels when they think of squirrels. This is not the only type of squirrel, however, and this family of rodents also includes flying squirrels, tree squirrels, prairie dogs, ground squirrels and marmots. Squirrels will also eat nuts, fruits, seeds, insects, and more. Some species have been known to eat other rodents and birds.
Squirrels typically breed once or twice each year, and they also have several young at one time. These babies are typically ready to be on their own between six and ten weeks of age. Squirrels vary widely in size due to the number of rodents in this family, and they can be smaller than an ounce or as large as 18 pounds. All squirrels, chipmunks included, are fairly low on the food chain. This means that they have a variety of predators including coyotes, foxes, cats, and more.
The Damage They Cause
If you don’t get rid of them, each chipmunks and tree squirrels can cause damage to your home and your yard. Because they both eat seeds and plant material, they can damage the plants in your garden or yard. They will also steal seed from birdfeeders.
Tree squirrels in particular can get into your home and build nests, typically in the attic. This can pose a major danger to your family because they will often chew on insulation and electrical wiring, which may cause a fire hazard. They will also urinate and defecate inside of your home. They may also accidently become trapped in your walls and die there, causing a foul odor, and possibly leading to the spread of disease as the body decays.
Chipmunks will eat bulbs, flowers, and even pet food. They like to burrow, and in rare instances they can cause damage to your foundation if there are a large number of chipmunks present. Chipmunks rarely enter people’s homes, and if they do, they usually go into the basement. In terms of damage, they are more likely to damage your yard or garden than your home.
How to Get Rid of Chipmunks
When it comes to getting rid of chipmunks and squirrels, there are several things that you can do. You can trap them, discourage them, or repel them. In fact, you can do all three of these things to ensure that these rodents stay away from your property.
Trap the Chipmunks
If you have squirrels or chipmunks on your property, you can trap them. When you bait the trap, you can use peanut butter, nuts, seeds, or popcorn. Once you have a squirrel or chipmunk in your trap, take the trap several miles from your home and release the animal. Do not handle the rodent, as they can bite!
Get rid of Chipmunks by Discouraging Them
You can discourage these rodents in several ways. First, make sure that they cannot get into your home. Thoroughly inspect your home and seal any cracks or holes. Second, allowing your pets to roam in your yard will also help discourage these rodents. Third, keeping your yard and garden clean will also help. Don’t leave pet food outside, and make sure to harvest your garden on a routine basis. You should also clean up the seeds under your bird feeder.
Repell the Chipmunks
You can also purchase squirrel or chipmunk repellent. These repellents keep the animals away from your property. For example, you can use Shake-Away’s Chipmunk Repellent to keep chipmunks off of your property. It features a non-toxic blend of natural oils that rodents find repulsive. It’s completely safe to use around your pets and your family.
Both chipmunks and squirrels can cause property damage, but if you take these steps, it will help to protect your property.