4 ideas for keeping chipmunks out of your garden

June 23, 2015

Most gardeners enjoy seeing occasional glimpses of wildlife — as long as the little critter is not ruining your plants. Here are four ideas for getting rid of chipmunks if they've decided your garden is a nice place to live or grab a snack.

4 ideas for keeping chipmunks out of your garden

Chipmunks in the garden

Chipmunks may seem like cute, furry critters, until they start chomping at your landscaping.

  • While mostly harmless to the home gardener, chipmunks are known to feed on newly seeded garden beds.
  • They can be a nuisance in rock gardens as well, where they burrow and disturb both rocks and your plants.
  • The primary tactic for getting rid of Chips and Dales is to eliminate the places where they might take up residence, such as hollow logs and rock piles.

1. Insult their sense of smell

Animals that have plenty of other sources of food often can be deterred by insulting their senses of smell, using creative scare devices or lacing their food with offensive flavours.

  • For example, the noses of most mammals are offended by vinegar and ammonia.

2. Draw on blood

Keep chipmunks from burrowing in the garden by sprinkling dried bloodmeal on the soil surface; its odour is repellent to them. The blood also supplies the soil with nitrogen.

3. Protect bulbs

Chipmunks have an appetite for newly planted bulbs — especially crocuses, hyacinths and tulips.

  • For protection, plant bulbs in wire baskets or sprinkle moth crystals on top.
  • You can even plant bulbs deeper than usual and cover them with coarse gravel, because the animals usually give up on digging when they get to the stones.

4. Use a harmless trap

If chipmunks become problematic and it's not feasible to remove all of their potential homes, try trapping them and moving them to another site.

  • Place a humane trap or small box trap baited with oats, corn or peanut butter by the burrow entrance.
  • Check with a wildlife official to ensure that moving wild animals is legal in your province.
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