When chipmunks move into an urban setting, they may conflict with humans. In their normal activities, they may dig seeds from the garden, feed on flower bulbs and burrow into lawns, especially near dry rock walls. In lawns, the two- to three-inch diameter burrows descend almost vertically. Burrow openings are cut neatly through the turf and lack excavated soil at the entrance. If you value your garden, lawn, or flowers more than seeing chipmunks, control measures are needed to offset the conflict.
Environmental methods. Homes with wooded lots, thickets of ornamental shrubbery and dry rock walls are attractive to chipmunks. This habitat can be made less attractive to the animals by altering the pattern of natural and ornamental plantings. However, most people value their trees and shrubs too highly for drastic modification of the landscape, and may opt to tolerate the chipmunks as a part of the natural community.
Removal. Though chipmunks are protected, they may be trapped or shot when they cause property damage.
Live trapping with small commercial or homemade box traps can reduce their numbers. Once trapped, they should be released at least a mile from the capture area.
Rat-sized snap traps are effective, but they kill the animals. Baits attractive to chipmunks include peanut butter, nut meats, sunflower seeds and rolled oats. Place either type of trap in areas where chipmunks travel or feed.
Chipmunk numbers can be reduced locally. However, new animals may move into vacated habitats. Thus, chipmunks can seldom be eliminated from an area unless their living conditions are radically changed.
Mechanical methods. Chipmunks will occasionally enter homes where they are generally more bothersome than destructive. Their entry can be prevented by closing holes in foundation walls, and by screening windows, vents and other ground-level openings.
Pesticides. Pesticides are not suggested for use to control chipmunks.