Chipmunks have got to be one of the cutest little rodents ever! These little energy-filled bundles of reddish brown fur dart here and there always chattering as they go. They seem to be on a never-ending quest to frolic and play. It can actually be quite amusing to watch these hyperactive little rodents as they chirp and flit and chase each other through your backyard; but have you ever really stopped to think about where they came from or where they may be going?
No, this is not some deep philosophical discussion about the whole circle of life and where chipmunks do or don’t fit in; but literally, have you ever stopped to think about where chipmunks physically have been or where they are going? Sure, they may have been up in a tree or nesting somewhere nearby in a shrub or other appropriate place; but they also may be on their way to snuggle down in their nice, temperature controlled condo that they built inside your home.
Now, you may be tempted to think that a few chipmunks tucked into a nest inside your wall is not really a big deal. After all, they are so tiny and cute and all; but this would be a wrong assumption. You cannot forget that chipmunks are rodents; and as such, they are destructive, disease spreading, parasite infested wild animals. That’s right! Chipmunks are actually a huge threat to your home and your family when they decide to move in with you!
Chipmunks are rodents, and rodents have front incisors that never stop growing resulting in the dangerous and constant habit of chewing. This means that chipmunks that are near or in your property will be gnawing on wood, sheetrock, and even wires. When the chipmunks in your attic chew on your electrical wires, it can lead to a house fire! While chipmunks prefer to live outside, they will enter homes and when they do, they commonly damage soffits, porches, decks, and crawlspaces.
But these damages are not the biggest threat that chipmunks pose. The real threat comes with their ability to carry and transmit diseases. Chipmunks are known vectors of several illnesses including salmonella, hantavirus, and others. These diseases are most commonly transmitted through the bite of a flea that the chipmunk is carrying. Plus, chipmunks may harbor as many as 13% of Lyme-infected ticks coming in second only to mice in accounting for major outbreaks of this disease.
The best way to keep chipmunks from coming too close to your home or business is to make your property less hospitable for them.