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9 Humane Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks

Paul Pogue
Written by Paul Pogue
Updated November 19, 2021
A chipmunk standing on a piece of wood
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These critters sure are cute...until they wreak havoc on your garden, dig holes to burrow underneath the driveway, and find their way inside your walls. 

Chipmunk digging and burrowing can potentially damage your home’s foundation, so it’s wise to take action sooner rather than later. Before you set up dangerous traps, use these tips to learn how to get rid of chipmunks safely and humanely instead. 

If you decide to hire professional pest control, be sure to ask if they use humane removal practices. Though their destruction and antics can be frustrating, remember that chipmunks are just little wild creatures looking for a means of survival.

Natural Repellent

DIY natural rodent repellents are easy to use and are harmless for any curious chipmunks that may be overstaying their welcome. Try using one or a combination of the following natural chipmunk repellents:

1. Human Scent

Chipmunks often turn around and run the moment they sense a human in near. They can easily detect human scent, so consider saving hair clippings at your next haircut to scatter around your plants or bird feeder. You can also hang old pieces of clothing on stakes or fencing wherever chipmunks frequent. 

2. Hot Spices

Chipmunks steer clear of spicy foods. Sprinkle chili or cayenne pepper around any area you want to keep critters away from.

3. Peppermint

The strong smell of peppermint is a natural chipmunk deterrent. Dilute 2–3 drops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle, and mist the solution around your yard. 

4. Garlic

Garlic is another natural repellent you can use to keep critters away. Either sprinkle garlic powder on the ground around your yard, or dilute garlic powder in a spray bottle and use the solution around desired areas.  

5. Daffodils

Despite their love for most plants and flowers, chipmunks do not like the smell of daffodils. Consider planting daffodils in your gardens to keep them chipmunk-free. 

Electronic Repellents

If natural remedies aren’t strong enough to solve your chipmunk problems, an electronic repellent system can provide extra protection.

6. Ultrasonic Repellent System

An ultrasonic repellent system uses high-pitched sound waves to scare away chipmunks and other animals including deer, squirrels, and raccoons. Some electronic repellent systems even have mechanisms that spray water when unwelcome wildlife is detected. 

Defense Spray

Defense spray is a liquid product made with deterrents that keep rodents away from wherever you use the spray. Some defense sprays can have harmful and toxic chemicals, so check the label before you buy. 

7. Nontoxic Liquid Repellent

Nontoxic rodent defense sprays use essential oils instead of chemicals to deter chipmunks and other pests. This option is considered safer for your family, pets, and the chipmunks.

Gentle Traps

If your chipmunk problem is getting out of hand, it may be time to set up traps. Don’t worry—it’s possible to trap chipmunks without harming them. 

8. Catch and Release Traps

Humane rodent traps are designed to lure in pests and catch them without harming them. Once they’re trapped, you can then release them in a different area. To make sure they don’t find their way back, it’s best to release them at least a mile away from your home.  

Fencing and Barricades

Since chipmunks are such sneaky climbers and diggers, fencing alone will not keep them out. Use fencing in conjunction with one of the suggestions listed above for the best results. 

9. Galvanized Wire Mesh

Though chipmunks can climb or dig their way around almost any fence, galvanized wire mesh is the trickiest for them to get through. When installing the mesh wire to a fence frame, make sure the bottom of the wire is buried 6 inches to 12 inches deep in the ground. This will keep chipmunks from digging their way in.  

Chipmunk Problem? These Are the Usual Signs

Do you suspect you have a chipmunk problem, but can’t tell for sure? These are some of the tell-tale signs your property damage is chipmunk-related:

  • Small but deep holes around your yard

  • Missing birdseed or piles of seed shells around feeders

  • Bite marks on plants in your garden

If you think they’ve made their way inside your home, keep an eye out for these indicators:

  • Bite marks and scratches on walls, especially on the corners

  • Trails of scattered droppings

  • Scratching sounds behind the walls

What Attracts Chipmunks?

The best way to keep chipmunks out of your yard in the first place is to learn what attracts them. If you have any of the following attractants in your yard, you may want to consider removing or modifying them. 

Vegetable and Fruit Gardens

These tiny critters love plants, especially ones that are on the ground and easy to reach. To combat this, regularly maintain your plants and clean up any seeds, fruits, and plant leaves that may have fallen. You can also build a galvanized wire mesh fence around your garden for added protection.


In addition to fruit and vegetable gardens, chipmunks are also attracted to flowers—especially those with seeds that are easy to access. Some of their favorites include sunflowers, tulip bulbs, daisies, and lilies.  

Bird Seed

If your bird feeder is attracting more than just birds, try swapping your current feeder for a rodent-proof one instead. You can also try using types of seed that chipmunks don’t like, including thistle, nyjer, and safflower. If your chipmunk problem is severe, it may be best to put the bird feeder away for a while.


Where there are trees, there are guaranteed to be chipmunks. Though it’s not always possible to remove the trees surrounding your house, you can make it more difficult for the critters to feed off of acorns and pinecones by regularly clearing them from your yard. 

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