With their chubby cheeks and fuzzy tails, chipmunks are adorable, but these little critters are capable of doing major damage to homes and structures.
Color:Reddish-brown coat with 2 tan and 5 black stripes on the back.
Size:5 to 6 inches, weighing 3 oz.
When Are Chipmunks Most Active?
Active during early mornings and late afternoons, chipmunks give birth April through May and again August through October. Though they do not hibernate like ground squirrels, chipmunks are relatively inactive during the late fall and winter months.
Feeding on foods like mushrooms, insects, nuts, grains, and berries, chipmunk populations can balloon in urban settings with bountiful food sources.
Chipmunk burrows can measure up to 30 feet long, with a nesting chamber, escape tunnels, and several food storage chambers. Unlike mole trails, these tunnels cannot be seen with the naked eye because chipmunks carry the displaced dirt away in their mouths.
Are Chipmunks Harmful?
Despite their cuteness, chipmunks are still pests that can damage gardens, flood basements, and cause walls and slab structures to collapse.
To prevent their incisors from overgrowing, chipmunks are known to chew wires, pipes, insulation, and flooring, as well as damage personal property like furniture, clothing, pictures, boxes, and other stored items.
Do Chipmunks Bite?
While all wild animals are capable of biting when threatened, chipmunks are rarely aggressive and will almost always flee from threats rather than fight. However, when cornered or handled they may scratch or bite to defend themselves. Chipmunks can also carry deadly diseases like plague, salmonella, and Hantavirus.
Signs of a Chipmunk Infestation
Like many other rodent species, chipmunks have begun to depend on people for food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, they don’t make the best houseguests.
In addition to chew marks, opened food, and waste trails, other signs of an infestation include scratching and scurrying noises behind walls, above ceilings, or under floors.
Keep Chipmunks from Invading Your Home
To keep chipmunks from invading your home, keep brush around the perimeter of your home to a minimum and seal up any holes and crevices in your home’s foundation. Caulk gaps around exterior windows and doors and keep a tight cap on your chimney.
Avoid attracting chipmunks to your yard by preventing access to easy food sources like unsecured trash cans, bird feeders, standing water, and gardens full of edible plants.