Kin to squirrels, woodchucks, and prairie dogs, chipmunks are usually 2-6″ long with a 3″ tail and weigh between 1 to 5 ounces. These tiny rodents might look cute with their big eyes, bushy tails, and chubby cheeks, but they can cause damage to your yard and ruin your gardens.
25 species of chipmunks can be found in North American forests, deserts, and suburban neighborhoods, usually living in vast underground burrows. These complex tunnel systems can stretch up to 10 to 30 feet and consist of multiple burrows (shallow burrows for refuge during daytime foraging and deeper burrows for nesting, food storage, and hibernation0.
Loud and Speedy Escape Artists
Chipmunks avoid their predators (cats, dogs, snakes, owls, hawks, weasels, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and almost other animal that is bigger than them) by being super speedy and sticking close to home (they rarely venture further than 1/3 mile from their burrows). They are also loud and talkative with high pitched calls when asserting their territorial claims or warning their young of danger.
Diet and Hibernation
Omnivorous chipmunks love all types of food, especially anything that can be found on the ground: nuts, berries, seeds and grains, corn, mushrooms, insects, plant roots, bulbs, frogs, lizards, baby birds and bird eggs. In late summer and fall, they will begin loading up their cheek pouches and carrying extra food back to their burrows. From late October through March or April they will fall into extended periods of deep sleep with a slowed heart rate and lower body temperature, but they will wake periodically to eat from their stockpile and possibly venture out of their burrow.
Damages and Prevention
Chipmunks are not considered a public health concern. However, they can still cause significant damage to homes, yards, and farms—especially when they burrow near a building’s foundation. You may have found holes in your lawn or garden, uprooted plant roots and bulbs, seed piles underneath bird feeders, and/or noticed chipmunk tracks. To motivate these chipmunks to relocate: remove their areas of cover and food sources, protect your flowers and bulbs with screens, and relocate your bird feeders.
If you have chipmunks that have made their way into your home or they have taken over your outdoor spaces despite your actions to protect your property—! Our state certified wildlife trappers from your property via safe and humane animal trapping and removal techniques.