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Chipmunks

 
pollinator
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Hi everybody,
My garden is overrun with chipmunks. What do people recommend in terms of a humane solution?
 
pollinator
Posts: 271
Location: Yukon Territory, Canada. Zone 1a
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All experience with live traps and relocation has shown me that if we humans create a vacuum, nature will fill it.

Do you have space in your life for a dog? A terrier would just love to harass some ground rodents. You can train them to not kill if you don't want second-hand chipmunk blood on your, er, hands.
Otherwise if you have space, lure them away with something that they like more than your garden. Fruit and nut trees in your zone 5?

Good luck! Cute little terrorists aren't they?
Keeping Chipmunks Away - website
 
N Thomas
pollinator
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Chris Sturgeon wrote:All experience with live traps and relocation has shown me that if we humans create a vacuum, nature will fill it.

Do you have space in your life for a dog? A terrier would just love to harass some ground rodents. You can train them to not kill if you don't want second-hand chipmunk blood on your, er, hands.
Otherwise if you have space, lure them away with something that they like more than your garden. Fruit and nut trees in your zone 5?

Good luck! Cute little terrorists aren't they?
Keeping Chipmunks Away - website


A dog is not an option. Can anyone recommend a trap?
 
gardener
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Simple box traps are easy to bait and work very effectively.  You can get a good quality one for about $35 to $50.  I've had several for over 10 years and they still work great.  Peanuts are an inexpensive bait.

I would respectfully disagree with the thesis that catching them would create a vacuum where other critters will come into.  An over-population of one species without any natural predator is the problem.  In nature, a gopher snake or red tail hawk would take care of that problem.  But in a none-native environment, you need to play the role of the coyote/badger/hawk, or put up with the destruction the chipmunks cause until a feral cat or some other predator comes into your ecosystem.  Frankly, feral cats create their own list of problems.  If you bait your trap and dispose of the critters each day, you should be able to clean up your pest problem within a month.

I'd strongly recommend against using poison.  The downstream effects of poison pellets will continue to kill anything that comes along and eats the chipmunks.  

Disposal:  Dig a trench about 18 inches deep, 6 inches wide, and about 3- 4 feet long.  Once you dispatch the critter (a pellet gun works quickly and most humanly) bury the chipmunk on one end of the trench with a shovelful of soil from the other end of the trench.  Bury it at least 12 inches below grade -- it will not stink and will not attract other stuff that will dig it up.  Keep the trench going by always removing dirt from the non-burial end so it's ready when you've got another critter to bury.  Next year, plant squash or corn over that trench --- the problem becomes a solution (fertility).
 
pollinator
Posts: 305
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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Worth looking at "WHY" you are over run. Lack of natural predators; abnormal food supply; folks dumping their live trapped ones? IF source is not identified for the unnatural numbers, nothing will fix the problem.

Do you keep fowl? Do you scatter feed? What is their food source, water source etc. Can these be eliminated?

IF your prey animals are secure, see if the raptor rehabilitation folks would find your property suitable for a release site.

Use metal roof panels or electrified mesh to fence off target areas, they can't climb it.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1064
Location: southern Illinois.
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Back in my backpacking days, awoke one morning and found 2 brazen Chipmunks devouring my rations using my underwear as a table cloth.  My pack was out of the reach of a bear, but my efforts posed no challenge for the sons of satan. Of course, I was 50 miles from the nearest town. I guess the point of this post is, does the solution have to be humane?
 
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