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How to Get Rid of Chipmunks and Squirrels

Chipmunks and squirrels are cute, but they can be a nightmare when they tear up your garden and dig holes all over your yard. Not only can they do that, but they can chew through water pipes, cables, and nest in attics or chimneys. Therefore it's important to know how to get rid of these critters.

In this guide, we've rounded up effective ways to get rid of chipmunks and squirrels without hurting them.  With these techniques, these small animals won't sample your tasty produce and your garden will stay beautiful all year long. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links with no extra cost to you. Learn more.

    Use Repels-All Animal Repellent

    Repels-All animal repellent is a great natural product that is used to drive away pesky critters like chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, and rabbits without harming them. The active ingredients of this repellent have a strong smell that can overpower the animal's sense of smell. So using it around places where you don't want these critters to go will help to keep them at bay.

    Repels-All granules come ready to use. It doesn't require any special preparation on your part. You just simply sprinkle it around the perimeter of your yard, garden bed, across potential entry ways, or anywhere you want to protect. Repels-All can be purchased online, at home improvement stores, or garden supply stores.

    Install Motion Detection Sprinkler

    Using motion-activated sprinklers is an effective trick to scare away chipmunks, squirrels and other animals. The motion-activated sprinkler has an infrared motion sensor that detects the movement of nearby animals and sprays a burst of water. 

    The surprise of a spray of cold water will send animals scurrying away. This trick is absolutely a game-changer. You can purchase motion-activated sprinklers online or in garden supply stores and set them anywhere you don't want these pesky critters. 

    Use an owl decoy

    Chipmunks and squirrels are scared of owls because they're their natural predator. So an owl decoy is an answer for deterring these animals. When buying a fake owl, make sure to get one that has a rotating head and a vibrant eyes so that they will assume it's a real bird. 

    Additionally, when using an owl decoy, you should try moving it around to a different spot every few days so the chipmunks and squirrels won't get used to it and realize it's not real. Do this in the morning or at night so that they'll not see you moving it. 

    Discourage Them From Stealing Bird Food

    Missing bird food is one of the tell-tale signs of chipmunks and squirrels in your garden. These cute but very naughty guests are the main culprits for stealing bird food. So to hold them at bay, use squirrel-proof feeders or add a baffle to your feeding setup. The more they fail to access bird food, the more they back off.

    Use Physical Barriers

    Animal experts recommend making some changes to your garden to keep nuisance animals out of your garden. To do that, you can install chicken wire, metal hardware cloth, or bird netting around plants you want to protect. For protecting plants in pots, you can use an (upside-down) mesh waste basket. All these provide immediate preventative measures to discourage chipmunks and squirrels from reaching your plants

    When installing physical barriers, make sure to bury the bottom of the fence so that chipmunks and squirrels won't get any chance to burrow under it.  Also, you can further net over the top to provide additional barriers because these small animals are good climbers too. 

    Trap them

    Trapping and relocating these critters is also one of the effective ways to eliminate them from your garden. But in some states, chipmunks and squirrels are protected animals. Therefore you need to check local law before deciding on a trap option. If it's allowed, you can trap and release them in a suitable area specified by law. Use peanut butter or sunflower seeds as bait since chipmunks and squirrels like nuts.

    Tidy Up

    Keeping your yard neat is one of the important things that can help you minimize the number of these critters. When they don't find a place to hide, it discourages them from hanging out around your yard. Their common hot spots are debris, rocks, overgrown grass, and shrubs. So by keeping your yard tidy, they won't turn it into a breeding ground.

    Related Questions

    Should you poison squirrels and chipmunks? No, you should not do it. I recommend you use humane methods because using poison could cause them to die in hidden places and leave a foul odor. Besides that, poisons for killing chipmunks and squirrels have a smell and flavors that are designed to attract them, and your pets may also lick or eat the poison and die. 

    What smells do chipmunks and squirrels hate? Unlike human noses, these small animals hate the smell of strong oils such as citrus, peppermint, and cinnamon. So you can use these scents to drive chipmunks and squirrels away from your garden.

    How do you find a chipmunk hole? Chipmunk holes can be easily identified. You need to check the surroundings of the hole opening. If it is clean or has little dirt, it's probably the chipmunk hole. But if the dirt hill is visible and cone-shaped, you may be dealing with a mole.

    Do fake snakes scare chipmunks and squirrels? Chipmunks and squirrels are terrified of snakes, so using a fake snake may effectively keep them away. This idea is similar to the abovementioned method of using a fake owl. So when using a fake snake don't forget to move it around to different spots so that it looks realistic. These small animals are very observant.

    To Sum Up

    Now that you know how to get rid of chipmunks and squirrels, the ball is in your court to make sure they stop destroying your garden and yard. All these listed tips and tricks are safe, effective, and simple. They don't cause health risks to humans and animals, as synthetic pesticides do. For quick results,  try to use a combination of these ideas. 

    Happy Gardening!!


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