Though their size and adorable nature create an image of harmlessness, don’t be fooled: chipmunks are among the most destructive pests to enter your yard. This is due to their mixed omnivorous diet which spans plants, flowers, and insects that benefit your garden such as ladybugs and praying mantises. Their elusive nature and quickness pose further troubles, making them incredibly difficult to simply catch or trap. For some ideas of how to deter these damaging pests from your domain, consider these easy-to-implement tips to reduce your pest population without unnecessary toxins or general animal harm.
Source the Infestation
Since chipmunks are agile and avoid human contact, it’s often difficult to notice their presence in your yard or garden. To spot a chipmunk presence, look for bites taken out of your plants, small footprints in the dirt, or holes strung across your yard. Additionally, if you have an exposed bird feeder, take note of any seed piles beneath the feeder.
Fencing is Key
Before employing repellents in your chipmunk prevention efforts, consider the gentler method of fencing to create physical barriers to entry. A common suggestion is to install an L-shaped mesh fence and place it around your home’s foundation, accessible porches, and any walls that provide open entry to your yard or garden. You can also take a trip to a home repair or garden supply shop and purchase some bulb cages, which are effective solutions to protect your precious flowers from pest damage.
Repel the Invaders
Next, attempt to render your home unwelcome to those unwanted pests by maintaining a clean garden. Any fallen fruit should be cleaned up, and if you have berry bushels in your yard, be sure to pick up any littered berries. In terms of directly repelling chipmunks, consider planting garlic or daffodils – these are natural repellents that could bolster your chipmunk prevention efforts. You’ll also want to nix any possible hiding spots, such as plant clippings, collections of vines, and small rocks. Bird feeders can be distanced from fences and porches to cut off common chipmunk paths and make sure to hang them high to make access even more difficult. Lastly, clear the general surrounding area of shrubbery and rock formations to further prevent any chipmunks from establishing additional hiding spots.
A combination of chipmunk repellents is the ideal route to follow, and there are four primary choices that have proven effective. Natural repellents, such as your own hair trimmings, can do the trick – chipmunks are scared of the scent of humans, and the nitrogen naturally found in your hair even provides a slight boost to fertilizer. Next, electronic repellents operate by emitting ultrasonic pulses or automatically spraying water towards elusive chipmunks when they trigger a motion sensor. These systems are non-toxic, and a high-quality product won’t dent your wallet with a reasonable price point between $20 and $30. Liquid repellents are another option and can be purchased online or made in your own home. For a DIY liquid repellent, try mixing a quart of boiled water with two tablespoons of cayenne. Let it sit for a while before finally adding a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Be sure to reapply especially after it rains, and you can even dip bulbs into the liquid before planting without the harm of typical pesticide toxins. Lastly, you’ll find that dry repellents have a longer duration than liquid solutions. Consider spreading dry repellent off of Amazon, such as Shake-Away, in the most affected areas – these won’t kill chipmunks, but they’ll safely deter access. These are optimal to keep chipmunks from burrowing holes into your garden and can be applied around your house foundation, on the borders of flowerbeds, and around the garden paths often used by pests to travel around your floral masterpiece.