Chipmunks are striped, furry, small, and cute. You use a chipmunk voice effect for fun in your Tik Tok videos. Your toddler watches tons of cute chipmunk videos on YouTube.
But all is not well when these fluffy little rodents make your beloved precious garden an all-you-can-eat-buffet. They dig up your tulip bulbs from their containers.
They eat your tomatoes from the tomato plants, they spoil your plants by making them their public toilet and the list goes on and on. So here’s a detailed guideline on how to keep chipmunks out of your gardens and put an end to your worry about these little pests.
11 Amazing & Easiest Ways to Keep Chipmunks Out of Gardens
Every tip provided in this article is easy to follow and the tools you will need are easily available in your nearest store.
1. Use DIY and Store-Bought Chipmunk Repellents
Pretty much everyone knows about this classic cayenne pepper and water mixture repellant. Just spray this mixture around the perimeter of your garden or the problem areas you want to protect and behold the magic.
You can also make your DIY chipmunk repellent recipe by experimenting with other found-in-your-kitchen ingredients such as garlic paste and hot peppers. Some other most used natural repellents are castor oil, ammonia (urine-like smell for many animals), coffee grounds, etc.
If you are looking for something aromatic, try essential oils with strong scents like eucalyptus oil which also acts as natural insect-repellents, clove oil, lemon, or peppermint oil to have that fresh, minty smell around. Or you can mix organic camphor balls used in diffusers or for meditation in the soil of your plants.
You can also use store-bought, safe squirrels and chipmunk repellents. Some people also swear by Irish Spring soap shavings as chipmunk repellents.
The only problem with repellents is that you have to reapply them after watering your plants or after a rainstorm. Also, you have to be extra careful and do research on the ingredients in the store-bought repellents before application to check if they are safe for your soil, plants, and the chubby chipmunks.
2. Chipmunk Repellent Plants
French and Mexican marigolds are already known to be great insect repellents for their strong, pungent smell which also drives away the chipmunks. In fact, these cheery bright yellow-orange flowers have slightly poisonous contents resembling phototoxic thiophene which can adversely affect animals if they eat marigold leaves or stems.
Beautiful daffodils also have poisonous contents like lycorine to keep away chipmunks. Other plants that are great chipmunk repellents are onions which are also toxic for your pet cats and dogs, grape hyacinths, glory-of-the-snow, spring snowflake, etc.
Some other commonly known plants that chipmunks tend to refrain from eating are some perennials such as black-eyed-susan, chives, lavender, evening primrose, and irises as well as some annuals such as zinnias, dahlias, petunia, heliotrope, sage, etc. On the other hand, some of the common chipmunk’s favorite plants for them to eat and ruin are daisies, pansies, lilies, sunflowers, and any type of seedlings.
3. Bulb Cages
Plants will have no problem growing through the wire or mesh, so it is a smart way to save your newly planted bulbs underground with bulb cages. After planting the bulb, lay over a homemade or store-bought chicken wire or wire mesh and cover the place with mulch so that the chipmunks are blocked from digging and eating the bulb.
Another good option is burying an L-shape wire mesh underground to protect the plants from the sides and to prevent the chipmunks from digging through. You could also use plastic prickle strips as an alternative. But these scary-looking devices may not be your first choice if you are someone all about aesthetics.
Also, make sure to burrow your bulbs deep into the ground and out of the chipmunk’s digging reach. You could also opt for planting only in pots or window boxes and avoid garden beds in the first place to secure better protection from chipmunks.
4. Gravelly Soil
You could also try making the soil gravelly by mixing gravel and crushed rock or crushed seashell into your plant beds to tackle under-ground attacks of chipmunks and other rodents. The gravel mixture will be an obstacle for these rodents to burrow into the ground. You can also surround the perimeter of your garden with gravel to block their entrance.
Related Read: How to Get Rid of Ground Squirrels? Including Home Remedies
5. Ultrasonic Repellents
You can buy electronic ultrasonic repellents designed as undetectable for human ears to chase away the chipmunks as they don’t like the underground vibration and sonic waves. You can also opt for the solar-powered ones for a more energy-saving option.
The drawback to using these repellents is that they may or may not work on chipmunks every time and you will have to do proper research before using these and may have to go through a trial and error phase to find out if these are really effective.
6. Enclosed Gardening
Protect your large plants from chipmunks with mesh bird or garden netting or some other enclosed gardening method and anchor the fence deep in the ground to prevent chipmunks from getting inside through tunnel digging. Also, a raised garden bed will help a lot with the chipmunk problem.
7. Predator Excretion As Repellants
Chipmunks stay away from areas where predators roam. That’s why laying store-bought urine granules and liquids might trick them away from entering your garden territory although this repellent would need reapplication after being washed away in the rain or hose water just like other repellents.
8. Keep Your Garden Clean
Chipmunks like to hide inside rocks or woodpiles, piles of leaves, etc. So remove these things from your lawn. Clear up every bit of seeds, bird feeds, harvests from your plants on the ground, and mow the grass around your garden to not attract chipmunks.
9. Keeping Chipmunks Away From Bird-Feeders
Place the bird feeder in your garden at least 15 feet away from any structure from where the chipmunks could jump and reach it. A smooth metal pole 6 feet from the ground could be non-climbable for chipmunks if you grease it. Using squirrel and Chipmunk-resistant bird feeders or using bird feeders with domed baffles could also do the job.
10. Pets & Owls
Your pet cats and dogs would love and also thank you if they could talk to scare away the chipmunks from your garden. Owls are also one of the primary predators of chipmunks. You can either put up owl nesting boxes on the large trees in your garden or buy a decoy one to bluff the chipmunks away from your garden territory.
11. Last Resort: Catch & Release
If all else fails and you can’t keep away the little miscreants, then trap them. But do it in a humane way. Check with the animal control laws in your area first. Buy a quality rust-free and safe rodent trap or use a homemade one and place it in a place where chipmunks are often seen roaming around. Hide the trap with tree branches and leaves and lure the chipmunk into it spreading peanut butter near the trigger mechanism.
Make sure to check the trap often as you do not want the chipmunks to stay in captivity for very long. Then when you’ve caught one, put on gloves and release it in a forest or a field far from your home. But this option is going to cost you a lot of trips and a lot of time which you probably do not have.
The plus side is that animals are not as ignorant as they are thought to be. After the first few times of trapping them (if you are able to successfully pull that off), the entire chipmunk society around your garden will know about your infamous trap and they may not risk being deported for a free garden meal and stay away from your garden.