A Brief Guide For How to Keep Chipmunks Out of Gardens

Just like their larger rodent siblings, chipmunks can be a nuisance to anyone who has a garden. Sure, they’re really adorable, but their cute looks will be the last thing you’ll think about if they start nibbling on your beloved flowers. In this article, we’ll be sharing a few tips for how to keep chipmunks out of gardens!

1. Try Using Natural Chipmunk Repellents

There’s a huge array of chipmunk repellents that you can try to get rid of these tiny garden diggers. For example, you could go for finely ground cayenne pepper, which you’ll find in most grocery stores.

Simply sprinkle a good amount of cayenne pepper around the plants you wish to keep the chipmunks away from. Soon enough, these little guys will steer clear of it and lose interest in your garden altogether. Other natural repellents include castor oil, ammonium soap, and garlic.

Another great idea that you can try is to mix pureed garlic and hot pepper, steep them in a cup of hot soapy water, and wait until it’s cool. Next, you’ll have to add a tablespoon of oil after straining the mixture, then shake it thoroughly and pour it into a spray bottle.

Spray this mix on the plants and soil that you want to protect from the chipmunks. Remember that whatever repellent you’re using, you’ll have to reapply it after watering your plants or after rain.

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If you’re not interested in making your own version of a chipmunk repellent, there might be a better alternative. There are numerous market options that you can buy or order without leaving the comfort of your home.

The best thing about these repellents is that they don’t include harmful substances that might hurt the chipmunks or your plants. For example, some products use capsaicin as their main deterrent, which is almost equal to sprinkling hot pepper on your plants.

Other repellents rely on predator urine to scare the rodents off and keep them away from your garden. Of course, different things work for different people. So, you might need to go through each type of repellent one by one until you find the perfect fit.

3. Chipmunk Traps

Not everyone is enthusiastic about using traps to capture rodents, but you don’t have to go for snap traps to ensnare chipmunks. Instead, try utilizing live traps, which will allow you to catch these little guys then transport them somewhere else.

The good thing is that chipmunks are easy to lure in because they’re attracted to many types of food. You could put nuts, seeds, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter as bait inside the live trap.

4. Let Predators Do the Job For You

Because owls feed on chipmunks, mice, rats, and other rodents, you could use their help to have some chipmunk control in your yard, but how do you attract owls?

It’s pretty simple. Just build an owl box near the area where you’ve seen chipmunks or noticed evidence of their damage. Soon enough, one of these nocturnal creatures will cozy up in the box and take care of your chipmunk problem.

Snakes are also a viable option. Garden snakes feed on chipmunks and are generally harmless to people and pets. You can buy and release native garden snakes into your backyard to help solve your rodent problem (though this isn’t something everyone is comfortable with!).

5. Make Some Landscaping Changes

Sometimes, the slightest change in your garden’s landscaping can leave chipmunks exposed. Ultimately, this might cause them to avoid your plants and soil entirely.

Chipmunks tend to rely on shrubs and rock walls because they’re effective hide-outs. By removing these temporary safehouses from your garden, the chipmunks will find nowhere to stay hidden. This will make your garden risky and less attractive for a chipmunk to stay in.

Other seemingly random elements can be perfect places where chipmunks can hide. A pile of rocks or fallen logs may look innocent to you, but chipmunks love them.

6. Make Your Garden Less Appealing to Chipmunks

A good way to keep chipmunks out of your garden is to remove things that easily catch their attention and make them come back. For instance, get rid of any food sources such as birdseed or pet food bowls.

We also recommend mixing your existing plants with others that chipmunks don’t like. Believe it or not, these tiny creatures aren’t fond of the smell of daffodils. So, it may be a great idea to blend daffodils in with the rest of your plants.

Eventually, the smell of these flowers will cover the appealing scent of other flowering bulbs, causing chipmunks to avoid your flower boxes.

7. Take the Chipmunks’ Attention Elsewhere

Hopefully, trying one or more of the previous suggestions should work out fine. Still, if you can’t seem to shake these annoying rodents off, there’s one last thing you can do. You could always learn to coexist while simultaneously keeping them away from your precious plants and flowers.

Just provide them with food as far away as possible from your plants. This way, once the chipmunks have a straightforward food source, they won’t break a sweat to go for a more difficult one.

Keep them coming to the same spot day after day. Then, when you’re sure they’ll be there, catch them off guard and release them somewhere a good distance away from your garden.

You could also provide chipmunks with water far away from your plants. This is especially good for hot summer days. When the weather is dry and the temperatures are high, chipmunks might invade your birdbath or vegetable garden for water. Therefore, it may be a good idea to give them their own fresh and clean water source.

Other Smells Chipmunks Hate

Besides the ones we’ve already mentioned, there are other smells that chipmunks aren’t exactly fans of. For instance, these little guys hate the scent of:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus

You could always use this knowledge to your advantage to keep these rodents away from your planters.

How to Know if You’re Dealing With a Chipmunk Infestation

Most people notice chipmunks in their gardens straightaway. If you’re not paying much attention, damaged plants and flowers should be a good indication of their presence.

Another way you could tell if you have a chipmunk infestation is if you see holes throughout the soil in your yard. Chipmunks will burrow deep into the soil to store the food they’ve been stealing.

How to Protect Flowering Bulbs From Chipmunks

Planting spring-flowering bulbs can be a joy. You’ll end up with beautiful flowers and a great-looking garden. Unfortunately, if chipmunks munch on every bulb that you plant, there’ll be no blooms to look forward to!

To stop this scenario from happening, it’s better if you learn how to plant bulbs the correct way to protect them from chipmunks. The following guidelines might help you out.

  • Plant tulips and hyacinths at a proper depth, which is 6 to 8 inches
  • You could plant smaller bulbs at 3 or 4 inches deep
  • Tap the soil firmly down with your hands after planting
  • Water the planting area thoroughly to make it harder for chipmunks to dig up the bulbs
  • Consider using bulb cages to ensure your flowers’ further safety

Remember that covering your bulbs with a cage will only work if you’re planting small ones. For larger planting areas, you may want to cover them with chicken wire after you do your fall planting. Tack down the wire and hide it with a thin layer of mulch.

When the bulbs start coming up in early spring, remove this barrier and let the flowers rise to their full glory.

How to Mask the Smell of Freshly Dug Soil

Chipmunks quickly recognize freshly dug soil by scent. In order to keep their interest away from the soil that you’ve planted, you can spread a layer of mulch over it.

This way, finding your buried bulbs shouldn’t be as easy for these little mischievous creatures.

Final Thoughts

Chipmunks are cute, but they can turn your yard into an all-you-can-eat buffet if you don’t know how to control them. In this guide, we discussed how to keep chipmunks out of gardens so that they won’t ruin your flowers or vegetables!

We’re sure you’ll find the perfect solution after giving our suggestions a try. It might take more than one method to rid your garden of this little nuisance, but after experimenting with different tips and trying new ideas, something should work out!