If chipmunks are eating your flowers or tomatoes and digging up your plant bulbs, you are probably at your wits end. A number of options are available on how to keep chipmunks out of your gardens and away from your cherished plants.
Before you can begin to take into consideration the best option to help you keep chipmunks off your garden, you need to keep some issues in mind.
First, chipmunks are nimble and small. They can tunnel, they can climb, and they can squeeze into tight spaces.These traits in the furry animals have a tendency to complicate the options at your disposal for their deterrence.
Second, they are fuzzy and diverse media have implanted this pleasant impression of how cute they are. Trapping them or using fatal repellants against them therefore feels so appallingly cruel.
Third, you must remain aware that they are protected animals in some states. As such, you need to look up your local laws prior to choosing which method to apply in keeping them away from your cherished plants.
With these issues in mind, below are eight ways in which you can go about protecting your garden and beloved crops from chipmunk attacks.
Spread around your tomato crop items whose smell chipmunks despise.
Sprinkling some blood meal around the root stems of your tomatoes, or placing un-chewed fragrant gum sticks within your tomato garden, go a long way in keeping these animal pests away from your tomato crop.
Give your pets freedom to roam outdoors particularly around your tomato crop. Letting your cat or dogs out in the garden yard often frightens chipmunks away.
You can also prepare a hot sauce or pepper concoction solution and spray it on to the surfaces of your tomato plants.
As an alternative, you can sprinkle cayenne pepper on your plants. This way, you will keep the furry animals away from your tomato crop.
Remember, however, that capsaicin, an active chemical ingredient in cayenne has toxic traits against beneficial pollinators, such as bees. As such, if your tomato crop relies on such pollinators, apply something else rather than a hot pepper spray, chili powder, for example.
You can keep away chipmunks by attracting their predators, a method to work with nature to protect your tomatoes.
Put up an owl box in order to attract the owl predators to your garden. This way, you will have owls taking care of, not only chipmunks pests, but also rats, mice, moles, and voles.
One way to go about preventing chipmunks from digging up your garden and crops is to remove features that provide them with cover as they dig for food.
As such, remove rock or woodpiles near your garden and trim back plantings.
In addition, these animals love rock walls and shrubs since they provide convenient venues in which to hide.
They love to hide within such venues until the coast is clear for them to start digging up your garden for food.
In this regard, removing these types of structures and plants from around your home garden makes your yard less attractive and more dangerous to the furry animals to dig in peace.
To keep the fuzzy animals from digging up your flower bulbs, plant them in bulb cages or beneath a plastic or wire screen ground cover.
The most basic methods at your disposal to keep chipmunks away from digging up your potted plants involve putting up physical deterrents. These work through curtailing their digging instincts.
One method involves placing a woven hardware mesh around your potted plant in its container. Remember to make provision for enough room to allow your plant stems to grow without the sharp woven wire mesh edges causing any damage.
Cover this woven hardware mesh with a thin layer of mulch or potting soil, whichever one that you prefer.
Another method involves spraying or sprinkling squirrel repellants around or on the plant container. Remember to follow the manufacturer instruction manual recommendations keenly to avoid mishaps.
Finally, keep away or remove anything that could attract the fuzzy animals to the vicinity of your potted plants.
Spilled birdseed, for example, presents chipmunks and various other small pests with a major attraction.
Squirrels, like their smaller chipmunk cousins, are avid foragers and can be a massive nuisance to a gardener. They spend inordinate periods gathering food, eating it, and storing away some of this food for future consumption.
They are quite persistent, will dig holes, and chew their way through nearly anything that stands in their path as they pursue a tasty meal. Rather than nibble on shoots or flowers the way rabbits and deer do, squirrels tend to dig downwards to pull up and munch bulbs.
Fortunately, there exists plants and plant bulbs that squirrels tend to avoid. Planting plants that squirrels detest can give you respite from their annoying onslaught.
Such plants have tastes and scents or odors squirrels and chipmunks abhor. In that regard, when it comes to methods involved in keeping squirrels and chipmunks away from your beloved garden, a good idea would be to think with your nose.
The lists of plants squirrels abhor include galanthus, fritillaries, alliums, and daffodils. Others are lily-of-the-valley, geraniums, and hyacinth.
Besides repelling various animals away from your garden, these plants are lovely border plants.They also provide early spring bursts of color around your yard trees and between your shrubs. A number of them are hardy perennials in several climates. They will add colorful drama to your garden.
The animal repelling plants will also thrive in those shady sections around your garden. Furthermore, their scents may be abhorring to foraging pests but extremely pleasant to the human sense of smell.
There are certain plants that chipmunks tend to avoid, despite the nuisance they are. These plants also tend to be pollinator friendly and grow well within diverse climatic environments.
Plants that chipmunks do not eat come in two general categories. These are perennials and annuals. The traits that these plants have that chipmunks detest include perennials with fragrant foliage. Such fragrant plants include bee balm, lavender, catmint, and hyssop.
Another trait in plants the furry animals detest is hairy leaves. Toxic traits in plants too, such as foxglove, mean chipmunks leave them alone.
Perennial plants you can grow in your garden that chipmunks will not eat include monarda or bee balm, Echinacea or purple coneflower, goldsturm or black-eyed Susan, hyssop, phlox, delphinium, spiderwort, and milkweed.
Other perennials are sneezeweed, yarrow, butterfly bush, irises, evening primrose, lavender, ornamental onion, chives, carmint, sedum, daffodils, and lupine.
On the annuals list of plants the fuzzy animals will avoid are celosia, zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, alyssum, petunia, ageratum, lantana, snapdragons, calendula, heliotrope, annual salvia, marigold, and calendula.
It is good practice to cut off spent flowers. This is especially on marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, coneflowers, or anything else that tends to form a tempting seed head once bloom is gone by.
Once you do this, you will not only prolong the blooming season but also encourage re-blooming. This is while removing tempting seeds chipmunks love to store and eat from your beloved garden.
An easy and entirely natural way to keep these animals from your garden is to provide them with food, away from your garden, where they cause damage.
The rationale behind this strategy is that if the animals have an easier access to their food, they will not make the more difficult choice of foraging or digging for food in your garden.
The animals have natural enemies. These include snakes, owls, dogs, and cats, among many others. Encouraging these enemies to patrol your garden goes a long way in protecting your cherished crops from chipmunks.
You could set out mothballs against the pests. Simply place mothballs near your crop of tomatoes, around chipmunk habitation holes, and around the foundation of your buildings that house potted plants.
These mothballs will not eliminate chipmunks from your environment. However, they will push these critters way back to the perimeter of your garden yard and away from your cherished plants.
Sprinkling hot spices, cayenne pepper, or chili powder for example, around areas chipmunks frequent in your vegetable beds or flowerbeds works perfectly as a deterrent.
Peppermint works diligently as a natural chipmunk repellent. Plant peppermint plants around your garden to repel the animals. A spray mist of water and pure peppermint oil drops on your plants is an excellent natural chipmunk repellant.
Other natural repellants include spraying with ammonium soap, predator urine, and castor oil concoctions.
Once chipmunks begin making a habit of chomping your garden and landscaping, it is time to get rid of them with finality. At your disposal are numerous trap varieties and natural deterrence methods.
Traps present you with an effective avenue to rid your garden off chipmunks.
Being small animals, the same traps used against rats work just as well.
In addition, snap traps and live traps present you with differing ways of disposing snared chipmunks.
Snap traps will kill the animals leaving you with a corpse to dispose.Live traps,on the other hand, present you with an opportunity to transport humanely snared animals to more suitable locations. This is in respect of prevailing laws.
Away from a snap and live trap, you can also use a bucket of half-filled water as a lethal trap.
Lean a wooden beam against the water half-filled bucket.On the wooden beam, on the ground around the bucket, and in the water, scatter sunflower seeds.
The chipmunk will fall into the water half-filled bucket and drown.
Most often, the dead chipmunk will have an infestation of mites, fleas, and various other critters. As such, always wear gloves whenever you handle and dispose the dead animals. Remember to wash your hands afterwards too.
A common and powerful homemade chipmunk repellent consists of a hot pepper and pureed garlic combination.
Steep these two components in a cup of hot and soapy water and allow the water to cool.
Strain the concoction and into it add a tablespoon of oil.
Shake the resultant concoction and pour it into a spraying bottle.
Use the spraying bottle to mist plants that you wish to keep chipmunks from.
Commercially produced repellents promising to repel squirrels from your garden will also effectively repel chipmunks.
One such repellent is thiram once it is sprayed on plant bark, stems, and bulbs.
Flakes, naphthalene, or mothballs placed around a garden housing your cherished plant crop works just as well.
So does any commercial product that contains thiram, nicotine sulfate, bitrex, polybutune, and methyl nonyl ketone crystals.
Of note is that these products must never be applied to plants that will be consumed by humans.
An application of these products requires repeat performances because watering and rainfall wash away the product from the plants they are supposed to protect.
Mix a teaspoon of Lysol, three ounces of Epsom salt, and a gallon of water.
Make a mist spray of this concoction and apply onto your cherished plants to keep away marauding chipmunks.
Chipmunks are an important aspect of the natural ecosystem that surrounds your garden yard.
Their importance lies in that they consist of the major meal item of numerous larger animals.
They are also critical in spreading certain environmentally important fungi and plants.
That being said, however, chipmunks have a tendency to destroy all that hard work you have put into your favorite plant crop and landscape. In other words, chipmunks are often a destructive pest.
To deal with this menace, exclusion forms the best and most effective avenue to deal with them. Where container potted plants feature, physical deterrents could help in controlling their digging instincts.
Should these forms of deterrence prove ineffective, fatal repellents and snap traps may be an effective last resort.