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8 Proven Methods to Keep Chipmunks Out of Your Garden Full Guide of 2023

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Chipmunks may be cute, but they can wreak havoc in gardens. If you’re struggling with an infestation of these tiny critters, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to get rid of them without breaking a sweat! From filling holes and using deterrents like cayenne pepper to encouraging predators and installing ultrasonic sound devices, we’ll show you how to keep chipmunks out for good.

Key Takeaways

keep chipmunks out of gardens
Limit access to food sources to discourage chipmunks from staying in gardens and yards. Natural deterrents like cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and apple cider vinegar can help keep chipmunks out. Encouraging predators like hawks, owls, eagles, raccoons, weasels, foxes, coyotes, snakes, and cats can help reduce chipmunk infestations.

Plant protection with mesh wire and gravel barriers can limit chipmunk access to vulnerable plants.

What Do Chipmunks Look Like

What Do Chipmunks Look Like
You may recognize chipmunks by their distinct markings of dark, vertical stripes on their backs and around their eyes, and shorter, flatter tails than that of other rodents. Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias Striatus) is a North American species which can be found in deciduous forests throughout the continent.

In the summer months, they forage above ground while during winter, they often stay underground burrowing into soft soil or snow banks to keep warm.

Chipmunks inhabit forested areas where there is plenty of cover such as piles of rocks or wood along with nearby food sources. However, it’s not uncommon to find them living near human settlements too if suitable conditions exist for population growth including shelter from rainstorms or weather extremes that occur in many parts of home gardens across the country.

As an invasive species, chipmunks can cause significant damage, so it is important to manage populations effectively using methods suggested by experts such as Sabine H Schoenberg, CEO of Smart Healthy Green Living, and Josh Matta, senior biologist at Liquid Fence Animal Repellent products.

These professionals recommend using natural deterrents like coffee grounds, peppermint oil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, vinegar, etc., plus commercial repellents, ultrasonic devices, bird netting, hardware cloth, mesh wire, filling holes, gravel barriers, reducing potential food sources, encouraging predators, eliminating possible cover, live trapping, and relocation.

Signs Your Garden is Overrun With Chipmunks

Signs Your Garden is Overrun With Chipmunks
If you notice deep holes, disappearing flower bulbs, scattered grain and seed, or acorn tops strewn about your garden, it could be a sign that chipmunks have invaded! Chipmunks are small animals that can cause significant property damage if not managed properly.

Luckily, there are various steps you can take to keep them out of your garden and prevent potential ankle-twisting holes from appearing in the lawn.

First off, start by limiting their access to food sources like bird feeders, as well as nuts and berries found naturally around the yard. Doing this will make them less likely to stick around for long periods of time or return again soon after being removed.

Secondly, use natural deterrents such as cayenne pepper, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, or coffee grounds, which act both as repellents but also fertilizer for acid-loving plants like hydrangea, azaleas, and rhododendrons.

Thirdly, consider using ultrasonic devices which emit sounds and vibrations outside human hearing range, making it difficult for chipmunks to stay put in one area long enough to establish a population base.

Finally, encouraging caring predators like hawks, owls, eagles, raccoons, weasels, foxes, coyotes, snakes, and cats into local areas should help reduce the number of existing infestations, while preventive measures taken early on may stop new ones from forming altogether.

In addition, live trapping and relocation is another option if all else fails. However, these methods must be used consistently over a period of time in order to work correctly, with professional help needed in cases where large amounts of property damage occur, crop loss, or severe infestations.

Ultimately, keeping populations manageable is the best choice unless it is absolutely necessary to eliminate them completely through more drastic means. Sabine H. Schoenberg and Josh Matta give detailed advice on the subject of how to get rid of a chipmunk problem once and for all.

What Attracts Chipmunks to Your Garden

What Attracts Chipmunks to Your Garden
Chipmunks are often attracted to gardens and yards with an abundance of food sources, such as bird feeders or naturally occurring nuts and berries. Vegetable gardens also draw chipmunks in search of seeds, roots, root crops, stems, and fruits.

To protect against these pesky pests without impacting the natural ecosystem balance or using toxic chemical repellents that may harm other animals or vegetation on your property, you can take some simple steps.

For starters, it’s a good idea to keep tree bark mulch from piling up around shrubs by regularly raking away any excess material. This will discourage nesting habits associated with chipmunk activity. You should also place mesh wire over vulnerable plants to limit access for digging into bulbs and flowerbeds, which they commonly do when searching for food underground.

Adding scent deterrents like hot cayenne pepper mixed with garlic cloves is another way to reduce their presence while aiding your vegetable garden at the same time.

Finally, spraying apple cider vinegar solution near entrances where chipmunks enter homes, garages, sheds, etc.

Humane trapping methods, such as live traps followed by relocation two miles away, are effective but require consistent monitoring if used correctly. However, professional help might be necessary if significant damage has already been done due to rock piles, wood piles, tall grasses being destroyed, etc.

Additionally, preventing infestation through preventive measures early takes precedence over all else because it stops new ones from forming instead of simply managing existing populations.

8 Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks

8 Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks
You can effectively keep chipmunks out of your garden by taking a few simple steps. Using gravel to fill in holes and create barriers, limiting food sources, and using hardware cloth and bird netting are all great options for deterring them from setting up camp in your backyard.

Adding scent and taste deterrents like cayenne pepper or garlic cloves mixed with an apple cider vinegar solution around entrances where they enter homes or garages can also be effective. Additionally, applying commercial products such as ultrasonic sound devices that emit light, sound, and vibration can help keep them away.

Encouraging predators like hawks or owls can also help reduce the population significantly over time.

Use Gravel to Fill Holes and Create Barriers

Filling the holes that chipmunks have dug with gravel or sand can slow them down and discourage digging and tunneling, making it difficult for them to access your plants. Using large stones as a companion planting tactic, along with natural repellents like hot cayenne pepper mixed with garlic cloves, can provide long-term protection.

Live trapping is a humane removal option for individual animals; however, preventive measures should be taken first, such as using scare devices or a sprinkler system around flower bulbs.

Limit Food Sources

By placing bird feeders at least 30 feet away from buildings and mixing up seed types, you can significantly reduce the amount of food sources available to chipmunks. Trapping techniques such as live trapping or using repellent options will help keep them out for good.

Wildlife relocation and predator control are also viable solutions as part of a chipmunk damage prevention plan. Plant protection with coffee grounds, water features, mesh wire nets, and scent deterrents should round out your comprehensive strategy to limit food sources.

Use Hardware Cloth and Bird Netting

Covering your bulbs and flowerbeds with hardware cloth and bird netting can create a barrier to prevent chipmunk access. It is also essential to use deterrents such as ultrasonic devices, predator encouragement, or cover elimination.

Placing bird feeders at least 30 feet away from buildings with black oil sunflower seed mixed in cat litter will help limit food sources. Wrapping hardware cloth around your plants and placing bird netting on top provides an additional layer of protection against foraging chipmunks trying to get into your garden.

Add Scent and Taste Deterrents

Using natural deterrents like hot cayenne, garlic, apple cider vinegar, peppermint oil, or coffee grounds can help keep chipmunks away for longer. In fact, studies have shown that the scent and taste of these ingredients reduce chipmunk presence by up to 70%! These waterproofing repellents are humane alternatives to trapping.

In addition to landscape barriers and yard maintenance practices, such as using acid-loving plants as environmental changes, mothballs should not be used. Instead, a spray of cider vinegar or the smell of coffee is much more effective.

Apply Commercial Products

Take control of your garden today with commercial products specifically designed to deter chipmunks and protect your beautiful blooms! Repellent options such as sprays, granules, or liquid fence are available from a local hardware store.

Ultrasonic devices emit sound waves that can scare away burrowing rodents, while trapping methods and live release also offer specific protection. Professional help may be necessary if damage has already occurred or for feral cats, which have proven to be effective at reducing chipmunk populations in some areas.

Install Ultrasonic Sound Devices

Installing an ultrasonic device is a great way to humanely repel chipmunks from your garden and protect the beauty of your blooms. Benefits include deterring the smallest members of the squirrel family, as well as eliminating unintended consequences of a pet such as digging or chewing on young trees.

Ultrasonic devices emit sound waves that disrupt rodents’ heart rate and can be used in combination with other deterrents for maximum effectiveness over long-term periods.

Encourage Predators

Encouraging predators like hawks, owls, eagles, raccoons, and weasels can help reduce chipmunk populations in your garden. Owls have a keen sense of smell, which makes them adept hunters for these small animals.

Accessible outdoor structures, such as large trees or sheds, provide ideal nesting locations for wild counterparts who will keep the pesky pests away.

Use Natural Deterrents From Your Pantry

Use Natural Deterrents From Your Pantry
You can deter chipmunks from your garden using natural deterrents from your pantry, such as cayenne pepper, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and peppermint oil. These items can be used to make a spray solution that repels chipmunks without causing harm.

Garlic cloves mixed with an apple cider vinegar solution are particularly effective for keeping them away for longer periods of time.

Coffee grounds are also a fertilizer for acid-loving plants and emit an unpleasant odor when wet, which may help keep the little critters at bay during dry months.

In addition to these home remedies, there are other short-term solutions available like running sprinklers or installing ultrasonic devices in gardens, which emit sound waves that humans cannot hear but will send chipmunks packing quickly! Mesh wire around vulnerable plants such as hydrangeas or azaleas is another way of protecting them.

It allows air circulation while discouraging pests like rodents from accessing the area’s bounty.

Predators can also play a role in reducing their numbers over time if encouraged through suitable habitats and food sources.

Finally, prevention remains the best option when it comes to keeping pesky chipmunks out. Limit access to small fruit crops by positioning bird feeders at least 30 feet away from buildings. Ensure all potential cover sites (rock piles, etc.) have been eliminated. Use hardware cloth on flowerbeds along with scent repellents consistently throughout spring/summer seasons so they don’t get too comfortable.

Consider hiring professional help if significant property damage occurs due to digging tunnels beneath retaining walls, etc. Above all else, practice humane trapping methods (if necessary), making sure trapped animals are moved two miles away minimum before release.

When to Call a Professional

When to Call a Professional
To keep chipmunks out of your garden, you can use natural deterrents and short-term solutions. However, if these methods fail to manage their population or they cause significant damage to your property, it may be time to call in professional assistance.

Homeowner solutions range from preventive measures like limiting access to small fruit crops and eliminating potential cover sites for the pests. Repellents vs. deterrents play an important role in keeping chipmunks at bay without harming them.

Humane trapping is another option that some homeowners prefer but should only be done with caution since moving trapped animals less than two miles away may not solve anything long term due to adequate food sources nearby.

The beauty of your garden depends on managing the presence of chipmunks who gain entrance by digging tunnels under retaining walls or cracking patios and pavement through excessive numbers over time potentially putting young children at risk while playing outside near these areas.

Prevention techniques are essential in ensuring a manageable population unless significant property damage occurs where professional help becomes necessary for effective removal strategies tailored specifically towards each situation’s unique needs such as live traps designed explicitly for capturing rodents humanely rather than using toxic poisons which could pose health risks both indoors/outdoors taken into account during any pest control process geared towards maintaining healthy ecosystems within our environment overall!

Prevention Techniques Repellents Vs Deterrents Professional Assistance
Limiting access to small fruit crops Natural remedies Trapping
Eliminating potential cover sites Ultrasonic devices Removal
Hardware cloth Scent repellants Inspection
Bird netting Bloodmeal Consultation
Commercial products Extermination

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks Permanently

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks Permanently
By taking proactive steps to manage chipmunk populations, you can help prevent them from permanently invading your garden and causing more damage. There are several methods that can be used for a permanent solution depending on the severity of the problem.

Trap relocation is an effective way to rid your garden of chipmunks, but it should only be done with caution. Moving trapped animals less than two miles away may not solve anything long-term due to adequate food sources nearby, which could sustain their population levels if they were relocated closer.

To ensure success when trapping chipmunks, make sure there is no alternative shelter or abundant food source at their new location, as this will just encourage re-infestation back into yours.

Here are eight ways to get rid of chipmunks:

  1. Fill holes with gravel/sand
  2. Limit food sources
  3. Use hardware cloth and bird netting
  4. Use scent and taste deterrents
  5. Use commercial products
  6. Use ultrasonic devices
  7. Encourage predators
  8. Eliminate potential cover

Natural repellents such as hot cayenne pepper, garlic cloves mixed with apple cider vinegar, or coffee grounds can have a significant impact on keeping these rodents out of our yards while also providing fertilizer benefits for acid-loving plants like hydrangeas, azaleas, and rhododendrons, without harming any wildlife species in the process.

Additionally, introducing predators near base trees where underground tunnel systems may exist, along with eliminating potential cover sites (i.

Ultrasonic devices emit sounds that humans cannot hear but ward off pests effectively. However, frequent maintenance needs to occur if using this method so chips don’t become accustomed over time, thus losing its efficacy altogether.

Additionally, commercial products designed specifically towards rodent control offer guaranteed results when applied correctly.

Finally, encouraging predator species through bird feeders placed about thirty feet away from buildings helps reduce the number of diseases spread amongst human households even further while still maintaining healthy ecosystems within the environment itself, which keeps everyone safer, healthier, and happier in the long term.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are chipmunks harmful to humans?

Chipmunks are not typically harmful to humans, although they may become a nuisance due to their digging and tunneling. By using preventive measures such as natural deterrents and ultrasonic devices, you can keep them away before it’s too late.

What are the long-term effects of using ultrasonic devices?

Ultrasonic devices emit sound that is inaudible to humans, making them a safe and effective way to keep chipmunks away. They can provide long-term protection when used consistently, without impacting the beauty of your garden or causing stress or injury to the animals.

Are chipmunks protected by law?

Chipmunks are protected by various wildlife laws across the U.S., making it illegal to harm or relocate them without a permit. Laws vary depending on states and localities, so be sure to check your area’s regulations before taking any action against chipmunks.

How can I prevent chipmunks from entering my property?

To prevent chipmunks from entering your property, use deterrents such as cayenne pepper, garlic, and coffee grounds. Install mesh wire around vulnerable plants and ultrasonic devices to emit vibrations inaudible to humans.

Keep bird feeders away from buildings and limit food sources with different seed types. Eliminate potential cover, such as rock piles or tall grasses, for long-term protection.

Can I relocate chipmunks instead of trapping them?

Yes, you can relocate chipmunks instead of trapping them. Live traps allow for humane capture and release in a new location at least two miles away from their current location. This is a safe alternative to trapping and may be preferable if significant property damage or crop loss has not already occurred.


Chipmunks can be a nuisance in the garden, but luckily there are some steps you can take to keep them away. Start by filling holes and creating barriers with gravel. Limit food sources and use hardware cloth and netting to protect plants.

You can also add scent and taste deterrents like cayenne pepper and garlic, as well as commercial products to repel chipmunks. Installing an ultrasonic device or encouraging predators can also help get rid of the pesky critters.

If all else fails, call a professional for assistance. With these methods, you can keep your garden safe from chipmunks and enjoy the bounty that grows there.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.