Category Archives: Chipmunks

Anything to do with chipmunks

Urban Outsiders

On more than one occasion, I’m sure you’ve heard the term urban, so what does it mean? The definition of urban says “relating to, or characteristic of a city or town” So now I want to present an idea to you, the readers. One that you may be unfamiliar with. Urban Wildlife. Maybe you’ve heard this term before, maybe you haven’t. But I’m here to talk a little about what urban wildlife is, and how it affects you. Urban wildlife can be found anywhere that supports human life. Just in case you aren’t sure what some good examples are, raccoons, rats, pigeons, mice, and squirrels could all be considered urban wildlife. Think about how often you’ve seen raccoons digging through the dumpster in a back alley, or a squirrel snitching some food off of the ground in front of a trendy food truck. Many people wouldn’t consider this wildlife, in fact, to many people they are simply vermin. You even see animals like deer attempting to cross a busy road, so now I’ve got you thinking, what has this got to do with me? Well, pal, I’ve got news for you, you play a major part in this whole urban wildlife mess.
An increase in the number of wildlife encounters you have could come from a number of factors. A few of those reasons could be habitat loss, noise or light pollution, pollution, or invasive species. This could mean you run into more less than friendly faces while you’re out and about during the day. Fortunately, there are ways you can help minimize the damage this might cause. You can start by locking all of your outdoor garbage cans. This might not seem like a large thing, but having a source for food could draw more unwanted pests. You should also regularly dispose of fallen fruit, use spill-proof birdfeeders, and keep your pets indoors at night. This will do a lot to protect your property. Remember, most of these animals have adapted to be able to handle human encounters, so don’t be afraid to call for extra back up from trained professionals if things get out of hand.

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Get Rid of Chipmunks

chipmunk removal

Chipmunks are cute and all, but when they destroy $1500 worth of tulips and prize azaleas, it’s time to get rid of chipmunks.

Chipmunk reaching for berries
A chipmunk causing damage to a garden.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

At first I didn’t think it was a very big problem.  They’re cute, and skittishly friendly.  When my grandkids came over, I used to hand them a small baggie full of seed to toss out to the chipmunks, and we’d watch the little animals jump and chatter and play and stuff their cheeks with seeds.  Sometimes I’d look out the window in the evening and see one digging in a flower pot, burying the seed it scored from us earlier that day.  Occasionally, chipmunks would dig a shallow burrow underneath one of our out buildings and have her babies.  We’d approach as closely as we dared, so as not to disturb them, and ooh and coo over the tiny little creatures.  It was sweet, it was cute, it was a bonding moment with nature.

Then, they started to cause damage.  So, now it’s time to figure out how to get rid of chipmunks.

My husband had been so certain that the little holes all over the yard and planting areas were the results of some other creature, like a rabbit or a vole.  He did all kinds of research to figure out how to solve that problem.  But, one day, as I was washing dishes, I smiled as I watched a chipmunk cavorting through our back yard.  It headed towards the area where I’d just planted some special tulip bulbs I’d recently had shipped to me.  Tulips are my favorite flower, and after a recent visit to Holland, I couldn’t resist purchasing bulbs of the more exotic-looking varieties.  I spent an entire Saturday planting those bulbs throughout the yard, and especially in an area right next to my favorite outdoor bench.  I watched as the chipmunk scampered over the lawn, towards the freshly turned dirt, and then disappear.

Curious, I went out to investigate.  To my shock, there were tiny little holes all over the tulip garden area.  As I made my rounds throughout the planting areas and yard, I saw more and more of these holes.  To my shock, as I was watching, a chipmunk popped out of one about four feet in front of me, chattered loudly at me, and ran up a nearby tree.  Bold as you please.

We let it go, and didn’t get rid of the chipmunks that winter.  We figured they needed a warm place to burrow, so we didn’t do anything about it.  The following spring, only a handful of my precious tulips came up, and my prized azaleas died.  Cute or not, it was time to get rid of chipmunks.

Chipmunk Removal

get rid of chipmunks

I try to act as if nothing unusual is going on, especially chipmunk removal.  I’m fully aware of everything going on, of course.  I’m a wild animal, for heavens sakes.  I’m gifted with heightened smell, hearing that’s good enough for my needs, and an innate fear of absolutely everything.  This serves me well.  Keeps me safe from predators like snakes, raccoons, skunks, dogs, cats, and keeps me safe from chipmunk removal.  It hasn’t worked so well for some of my chipmunk fellows.  Some have been caught, especially when they get a little too bold for their own good, or when they actually dig holes into people’s houses, getting them into all sorts of trouble.  But, so far, I’ve been just fine.

I barely stick the tip of my nose out of my comfy little chipmunk hole and sniff the air.  Whiskers are straight out, testing the air for any movement, but there’s nothing immediately around the entrance to the tunnel.  Regardless, I quickly back down the hole, just to see if anything comes popping out at me, and wait.  Nothing.  Face twitching, I dare to expose my entire head out of the hole, fully alert and ready to dive back down to safety.  Still, nothing happens.  My eyes are wide, taking in everything going on around me.  There’s no immediate threat, no imminent danger, but there’s a chipmunk removal man just beyond the perimeter of safety.  He thinks he can wait me out.  But, I excel at patience.

The chipmunk removal man hasn’t moved, but I notice the small cage at his feet.  He isn’t directly looking at me, and I pretend I’m completely unaware of him, but we both know that we see each other.  Nonchalantly, I scoop some seeds up into my cheeks, then stop, and hunker down, ready to flee at the first sign of pursuit.  Nothing.

I venture out of the tunnel completely and even put my back to the chipmunk removal man and his cage as if to tell him I’m not worried the least little bit.  I flick my tail, and freeze as I notice a large bird eyeing me from the tree.  Faster than light, I’m back down into my tunnel of safety, before I realize the bird won’t attack me as long as that human is so close.

I wait, and wait.  I hear a “whoosh” of wings, and assume the bird is gone.  Once again, I dare to allow the very tip of my nose test the air beyond my tunnel.  So far, still safe.  Cautiously, with jerky movements that ready me for a flight back to freedom, I slowly venture out of the hole once more.  I immediately notice the man is gone, but his chipmunk removal cage is not.  It’s right there, next to my tunnel.  I can’t believe he thinks I am that stupid.  But, oooh, what is that divine smell coming from within the metal bars?  It can’t be peanuts.  I adore peanuts.  A movement to my left sends me all the way down the tunnel into my underground burrow, and I consider what’s just happened.  My thoughts become consumed with peanuts, and I begin to wonder if I’m fast enough, could I get those peanuts out before being trapped?  Chipmunk removal or not, the peanuts are just there for the taking, right?

Chipmunk Problems

Chipmunk eating seed.
Chipmunk eating seed given to him by a “helpful” son.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

“Chipmunk problems.”

“You are trying to tell me that the reason we have a small flood in our basement is that we have chipmunk problems?”  Mom has this amazing ability to lift up one eyebrow when she’s really upset.  She doesn’t even have to raise her voice.  She just stands in front of me, arms folded, that one eyebrow up, and waits for an answer.

“Well, yeah.”  I shuffled onto the other foot, and decided to act like I knew exactly what I was doing.

“Go on.”  She wasn’t buying my act, I could tell.

“Okay, well you know how we have those holes in the flower bed?”

“I just figured you’d been digging around back there.”

“No, Mom!  I swear it wasn’t me.  I would never dig in your flower bed!”

“Of course you wouldn’t.  You’d just flood our basement.”  She could be so melodramatic sometimes.

“Mom, I’m trying to explain.  Okay, so I wanted to find out what was making those holes in your flower bed.”

“How thoughtful.”

“So, I got the hose out and ran water down into the hole until it popped up.”

“Until the chipmunk popped up?”

“That’s right!  It was pretty cool, too.  I mean, I had to let the water run a loooong time.  The hole went really deep and I must have had to flood a super long tunnel, because it took forever.  And then, all of a sudden, this wet little thing swims up to the top of the hole, and it looked really mad, too!”

“I think I know how it feels.”

“What?  Oh, yeah, right.  Well, um, so there it was, all wet and shaking and, well, mad.  So, I felt bad about flooding its little home.  I stuck it in a box for a while and looked all over the yard for another hole I could put it in.  Before I found another one of its holes, I thought maybe it was hungry, so I threw some birdseed in the box.  You know, just so he’d have something to eat to maybe take the edge off.”

Mom looked genuinely concerned all of a sudden.  “What?!  You picked it up?  Did it bite you?”

“No, I didn’t pick it up, I swear.  I just put the box down on top of it and then slid something under the box so it would be okay.”

Mom was obviously relieved, but that eyebrow of hers went back up.  “And then?”

“Well, all of its holes in the flower bed were kind of wet and flooded, so I figured I needed to let it out in another part of the yard.”

“Where’d you set it free?”

“In the garden.”  By the look on her face, I could tell this was NOT the answer she had hoped for.

“In the garden?  Great.  And, what happened to the hose during all this time?”

“Um, that’s where I made my one mistake.  I forgot to turn it off.”

“You forgot to turn the water off all that time.  So, the reason we have a flooded basement is because . . . “

“We have chipmunk problems!  See, now you understand!”

Get Rid of Chipmunks

get rid of chipmunks
Gather around, my children, and I will explain to you the mysteries of why so many people fail to get rid of chipmunks.  In a nutshell, we’re too cute.  Humans seem to love tiny furry animals with little paws.  They cannot resist watching us, laughing when we jump and chatter, run and play.  They even seem to love watching us go about our normal, everyday business.  I am here to teach you how to use your cuteness to your full advantage.

            Step One:  Go to a home with older women.  They are more likely to have birdseed available in their yards.  For some reason, they enjoy watching those nasty flying animals eat, I haven’t figured out why.  But, it’s great for us, because the birdseed is absolutely delicious and stores extremely well.

            Step Two:  Only one or two chipmunks should make First Contact with a home.  If too many of us appear the first time, people will sense an invasion, and then they will want to get rid of chipmunks.  Maximize your cuteness factor by sending in one or two of your youngest, most adorable chipmunks, preferably those who have the tiniest paws and can do backflips. 

            Step Three: Don’t allow your First Contact chipmunks to stay too long.  Leave them wanting more.  The humans will actually put out food to try to get us to come back.  They’ve even been known to leave huge buckets full of peanuts out on their porch.

            Step Four:  Now, you can send in up to four chipmunks.  Make sure you play and hype up your antics.  Every now and then, stand still, cheeks stuffed with their offerings, and the humans will ooh and aaaah over you. They may even bring out more food while you are there.

            Step Five:  Do NOT, under any circumstances, let the humans become aware of the holes you are making in their gardens or under their homes.  For some reason, they do not appreciate water damage to their concrete or dead flowers and vegetables in their gardens.  The best way to do this is to assign a few chipmunks to put on a show for the humans, while the rest of you are burrowing. 

            Step Six:  Now that you have moved in and have a ready and constant supply of food and water, provided for you by your human hosts, be vigilant.  Our predators will try to follow us, and if they make themselves aware to the humans, not only will the humans go after our predators, but they will also get rid of chipmunks.  Try not to attract the attentions of snakes, especially, because those things will use our burrows to actually get into the humans’ homes.  Then, it’s bye bye burrow, and you have to start all over again somewhere else.

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks

how to get rid of chipmunks
“Hey, Rookie, how do you get rid of chipmunks?” 

            “What?  Is that a new thing? I don’t remember that being in our reading material.” 

            Allan was still in high school, but was taking some EMT classes and had signed up to do some ride-along shifts with his town’s fire department.  He’d thought he’d get to wear the fire gear, ride the trucks with the other guys, and see a lot of big-time emergencies.  So far, his shifts involved studying a lot, reading through manuals, helping lead school tour groups through the fire station, and being the butt of a lot of jokes.  He liked the guys at the station, but they had waaaay too much time on their hands sometimes. 

            The captain laughed.  “No, chipmunks aren’t covered in the manual, but what would you do about THIS?!”  He opened up a door to one of the sleeping quarters and a little furry body blurred out of the room.  Allan let out a surprised yell and jumped back.  Everyone laughed as Allan realized a chipmunk had somehow gotten into the firehouse and was running around.  The captain threw an empty box at him and told him to catch it.  Allan looked around and realized he wasn’t the only one with an empty box. 

            Some of the guys took a stalking approach, trying to sneak up on the chipmunk anytime it stopped someplace.  A couple of them gave up their pride and leaped and ran after it, laughing and bumping into each other and everything else in their way.  Allan decided on a different approach.  He grabbed a handful of nuts from the kitchen, lay them on the ground in a quiet corner, and waited for the chipmunk to come to him.  Once the other guys realized what he was doing, they stopped running around, quieted down, and waited to see if it would work.  Soon enough, the chipmunk smelled out the food and stopped to investigate just long enough for Allan to drop his empty box over the top of it. 

            He couldn’t hide his grin as he paraded the box outside and let the chipmunk go, to the applause of all the guys on duty at the station.  It was a great moment, even if it wasn’t saving someone from a burning building.  The captain let him have his moment and then ordered, “Okay, everyone, we gotta figure out how it got in the building.  Chipmunks can leave lots of little entry holes so they can get in and out, and other animals like to use those same holes.  I don’t want to step on a snake or mouse in the middle of the night!”

             Allan realized that emergency response teams had to know how to deal with all kinds of emergencies, even if it’s just how to get rid of chipmunks in the firehouse.

Chipmunk Removal

chipmunk removal         
          Why would you ever want chipmunk removal?  They’re such lovely creaturessss for us pretty snakes.  Aaaaah, they scamper ahead into your yard and take up residence, and all I have to do is wait for them to make the perfect little holes and trails.  I let them make my perfect home, in your home.

            This has been a beautiful year.  The leaves rustled ever so pleasantly under my belly, and it’s been warm enough but not too warm as I sat and waited for the plentiful food to just run across my path. Then, I caught wind of a group of chipmunks and all I had to do was follow the trail into your yard. 

            You didn’t call for chipmunk removal, so I just waited for the chipmunks to matt down your gorgeous grass and make pleasant little trails and burrows.  The chipmunks’ activities attracted mice and rats, sweet little treats for me to eat.  In time, I took over one of their little holes under your stairs, and I’d watch your ankles as you’d walk right in front of me. 

            Course, the only thing I hate about those little chipmunks is they take all the tastiest little birds eggs.  They just get to ‘em first.  Every now and then, though, I’d get lucky and snag one for myself.

            But, what I really love is when they finally make little holes right into your house.  Aaaah, a warm place, a perfect place for me to slither right in and make myself at home.  Once I have that, well, then, I’ll help you out and do the chipmunk removal for you.  They’re just as tasty as those mice and rats they let into your house.  Course, they’re pretty fast, but so am I. 

            I just slither back outside and lie in wait, quietly, behind a branch, fairly well camouflaged.  I watch as the chipmunk helps itself to your bird feeder, snacking and carrying away a mouthful of the seed you put out for the birds.  It scampers back down the tree, thinking only about a return trip to the bird feeder, and trots right in front of me.  SNATCH!  Air?  I only got a mouthful of air?  Those little chipmunks are faster than I expected, doing a backflip right out of my jaws.  That’s all right, I’ll just stay right here in your yard, waiting for the next little morsel to cross my path.