Chipmunks are one of those animals that many Minnesota homeowners think are cute. Unlike mice and other rodents, chipmunks don’t give us a creepy feeling. It can be fun to watch chipmunks play in the trees outside or watch them hunt for seeds leftover from our bird feeders. This all sounds great in theory and it can be hard to picture chipmunks being anything other than cute, however, this isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, chipmunks can become a huge problem if they make their way into your home, garage, or any building on your property. Although we don’t like to classify them as rodents (they’re just so cute!) their rodent-like instincts become clear once they get into buildings. They will chew on wires, insulation, sheetrock and stored items. The fact that they chew on wires causes them to quickly go from “cute chipmunk” to fire hazard. They may ruin stored items and insulation by leaving behind urine and feces. On top of all of this, they are likely to be carrying parasites and other diseases into your home that could be dangerous to you and your family.
It’s okay if you think chipmunks are cute and would like to continue to enjoy watching them play amongst your yard. Meanwhile, it’s still important to protect your home from the damage that chipmunks can do. Here are a few do-it-yourself prevention tips. First, you’ll want to put as much distance between their environment and your home as possible. For example, moving firewood that they may nest in at least 20 feet away from your house, keep shrubbery trimmed back away from buildings, and move bird feeders as far away as you can. Secondly, if you haven’t already you should install sweeps on the bottom of any entry doors and garage doors if applicable. You should also take some time to repair any cracks or large holes you may notice around your home. Lastly, you should always properly take care of and store away any food, especially dog food and birdseed.
Attempting to eliminate the chipmunk(s) through trapping or by physically removing them is a very dangerous task. Chipmunks become aggressive when they feel trapped or threatened. They aren’t afraid to defend themselves through biting and scratching.