Chipmunks are small rodents with stripes on them and the majority of chipmunk species live in North America and West America. In North America, there are two variations of chipmunks: eastern and western chipmunks.
Chipmunks are a type of ground squirrel and even the word chipmunk can show this, having the meaning of “red squirrel”. Chipmunks are also known as “striped squirrels”, “munks”, “chippers” or “timber tigers”. They are part of the squirrel family, a family that has more than twenty-five different species.
What Do Chipmunks Eat & What is Chipmunk Behavior?
Chipmunks are almost at the bottom of the food chain. They are omnivores and this means that they eat any type of food. They usually focus on nuts, seeds, buds, grass, bird eggs, fungi, worms, insects, different forms of plant matter, and fruits.
These animals that the habit of gathering food and storing it throughout the year. Due to this behavior, people can see sunflowers on their lawns or in any other place where sunflowers don’t normally grow. Chipmunks carry seeds for depositing them and some of these seeds are lost on the way to the storage area.
What Do Chipmunks Look Like?
Because they look very similar to squirrels, chipmunks are often considered squirrels by mistake. The stripes are the things that make the difference mainly. There are five dark brown stripes on the body of a chipper, starting from the head, continuing to the rump and on the tail.
Chipmunks run with their tails raised up and it is very fast. Their movements are very fast and the small size helps their speed. Chipmunks are some of the cutest animals that you can see and they are used a lot in Hollywood productions for this reason.
Striped squirrels have different natural enemies, such as some species of snakes, predatory mammals (foxes, cats, weasels, etc), and hawks. Chipmunks have to always be on alert because they can be surrounded by predators. They are defensive creatures.
When they feel the presence of a predator, they warn other chipmunks and they flee to safety. An alert sound is used for this purpose and some predators recognize it and become discouraged.
Chippers live mostly in environments like alpine forests, scrublands and shrubby deserts. These animals are not afraid of humans and they can also be found in great numbers in urban areas as well. They build burrows that are quite complex, having different tunnels, entrance points and chambers meant for sleeping. The lowest tunnels are used for the storage of food.
While chipmunks can climb trees like squirrels do, they spend most of their lifetime on the ground. There are species that live on trees, but the majority of them prefer burrows to hide from predators. In general, chipmunks prefer places where there are a lot of rocks, bushes, fallen logs, and dense undergrowth.
Early spring is the first breeding season for these creatures. Another breeding season is in the early summer. Chipmunks from North America breed mostly in the first season. Eastern and western munks can have a bit different breeding habits, so the eastern type is different because it can mate in the second season as well.
Several males can be involved in the competition for mating with a female. The female makes a chipping sound when she is prepared for mating and this sound is the reason for using the word chipmunks as the name of the species. Gestation lasts for thirty-one days and the female brings one to eight offspring into the world.
Are Chipmunks Harmful to Humans or Pets?
These animals are dangerous, but not directly. They don’t bite. However, their offspring can carry an awful disease called rabies. This illness doesn’t have a cure and is deadly. But, the situation is not as negative as many people think, because chippers rarely have rabies.
Another indirect problem is that many people consider these creatures a nuisance because they can rapidly fill a yard with holes in the ground. If there are plants in your yard, they can eat their bulbs. What many people don’t know is that chipmunks only dig holes in the ground if they don’t have a structure made of stone around to den in.
Getting rid of chipmunks
How to Get Rid of Chipmunks in Your Yard?
Even if these are some of the cutest animals, they can be a nuisance sometimes. If you are not careful, they can destroy your lawn and they can carry diseases. There are ways to use repellents. Some people prefer to place mothballs around their yards or gardens.
The smell from the mothballs can make chippers run away because they don’t like it. Mothballs are not the best solution, as they can harm the environment and they don’t last long. There are chipmunk traps and baits that you can use from the stores, or you can build the traps yourself.
How to Get Rid of Chipmunks in Your House?
One of the most important aspects and the first thing that you can do is to sanitize your home. Chipmunks can carry insects and parasites with them and you can avoid any problems in this way.
You need to find the hole through which rodents enter the house and close that hole. You can also place mothballs around the place. If there are still problems, use baits and traps. You could also consider getting a cat to deal with the issue.
How to Get rid of Chipmunks in Your Garage or Attic?
You can place a cat litter in front of your garage to prevent rodents from entering. You can also use the urine of any other predator of these animals to keep them away from the garage. Mothballs can also be a good solution.
In attics, chipmunks are dangerous because they can chew electric wires and cause fires. Just like with the garage, you can use a cat litter, urine from other predators and mothballs in the attic. There are other good methods like chipmunk baits or traps and chipmunk poison.
Signs of Chipmunk Infestations
The first signs of an infestation may be the noises that you may hear at sunrise. These noises can be quite irritating. Then, holes will start to appear, because the rodents are attracted to the food in your house. They will have to dig holes in order to enter the home.
If there are no measures taken, chippers can get to your attic, garage and house. The population will keep growing and you may end up finding holes all over your house. Once they are in the home, they can even start to chew wires and your home’s insulation.
Chipmunk Control Services
Chipmunk control services can help you not only to control the current population of chippers on your property but also to prevent future infestations. Chipmunk control services can be crucial for helping a person to get rid of a chipper infestation and to remove the population of rodents before it does too much damage to the property. The staff of the company will seal all the entry points of the rodents to your house.