Did you know chipmunk burrows can run for 20 or 30 feet? Deep into this complex tunnel network, a chipmunk will store nuts, seeds, and other foods in a large chamber. These chambers are also used for hibernating and raising young. In the process of digging a tunnel network, chipmunks can comprise the quality of your soil and the roots of existing plants. However, you can prevent this by removing things chipmunks desire and keeping them off your property altogether.
While tree squirrels like to move along tree branches and utility lines, they will also forage for food at ground level. Some strategies used to control and remove chipmunks will also work for squirrels. Unfortunately, squirrels have excellent climbing ability, so keeping them off your trees is very difficult. However, a thorough sweep of your property will keep these pests out of your home.
Additional Pest Information
Appearance – Tree squirrels are about 12 to 20 inches in length, including the tail, which is quite bushy. Ground squirrels are more similar to chipmunks at only 8 to 12 inches in length. Tree squirrels have no stripes, while ground squirrels only have stripes on their bodies.
Biology – Squirrels consume nuts, seeds, berries, small plants, tree buds, and twigs. They will seek entrance to your home (usually near your roof or attic) in search of food and protection. As they chew through your structure, they may also chew on electrical cables, creating a fire hazard. Unlike chipmunks, squirrels don’t hibernate and are active all year.
Prevention – Keep squirrels from entering your home by covering potential entry points near your eaves, roof, and attic with sheet metal. Reduce the amount of loose seeds, nuts, and other squirrel foods in your yard. Staple hardware cloth around your house, buried beneath the dirt, to prevent subterranean entry.
Appearance – Chipmunks are notable for their vivid stripes along the head and body. They are smaller than squirrels, typically between 6 and 12 inches in length. Their tails are short and not particularly bushy. They have short fur and round ears.
Biology – Chipmunks burrow and create a complex tunnel system for food storage and hibernate. Within these tunnels, which can run up to 30 feet, a large chamber is used to store nuts, seeds, and other foods while nurturing young. Chipmunks have a similar diet to squirrels, favoring nuts, acorns, seeds, berries, and tree buds, but tend to favor smaller plants.
Prevention – Chipmunks mostly stick to ground level, so cleaning up your yard and minimizing potential habitats is important. Remove anything that could attract hungry chipmunks as well log piles and rock piles, which are common hiding spots. Hardware cloth can protect your house and basement from entry.
Tips For Controlling Squirrels and Chipmunks
1. Remove bird feeders with seed or, at the very least, place a collection bin beneath the feeder to keep seed off the ground.
2. Remove possible habitats like log piles, brush piles, and rock beds.
3. Try growing a straw bale garden to keep plants off ground level.
4. Seal holes and openings under your eave with sheet metal.
5. Staple hardware cloth to the side of your building and bury below several inches of dirt. Similarly, protect newly planted bulbs by covering with hardware cloth.