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How to Catch a Chipmunk

Getting rid of chipmunks and other small critters can be a real challenge. Chipmunks are so cute to watch… they scurry around gathering nuts and seeds. They dig little tunnels in your yard and seemingly pop up out of no where. They run up and down the trees and chase each other around. Then, they get just a little too comfortable, and they start inviting themselves inside your house. They steal dog and cat food to save for later. They make nests in your Christmas decoration boxes. They raid your pantry when you’re sleeping and sample a little bit of everything. Then, they decide to burrow down in your walls and ceilings. You can hear them scurrying around, and maybe even chewing on wood and wires. It’s time to take action!

There are several different methods for ridding your home of chipmunks. The easiest but the most expensive way is to hire an exterminator. Some other methods include using various traps that kill the chipmunks, and repellants to deter them from coming in. The cheapest and most humane way to rid your house of chipmunks is to use a live small animal trap. If you think you only have a small problem… maybe one or two of the pesky critters… you might want to see if you can borrow a small animal trap. Begin by calling your local courthouse to see if the county extension office has one to loan out. Put the word out with friends and relatives that you’re looking to borrow a small animal trap. Who knows? Maybe someone has one stored in their garage that you can borrow for a couple of weeks. If you can’t find one to borrow, never fear. They really are very inexpensive. You can buy one for about $20. Check with your local hardware store, or order a small animal trap on-line.

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Now that you have a trap, it’s time to make a plan. Chipmunks are very smart, and you have to outwit them! Read the directions for the trap, and make sure you know how it works. It’s very important to set the trap properly. Using the right bait is also very important. The best thing to use is something that you smear on the plate inside the trap. Although peanut butter is a good choice here, marshmallow crème is even better. Chipmunks seem to love their sweets. It’s even better if you sprinkle a few nuts or seeds on top. You want to find something that chipmunks find tasty, as well as something they will have to lick off. If you just put a few seeds on the tray, the chipmunk will scurry in, pick up the seeds, and be out the door before it can snap. If you find that happening, just add a little bait and reset the trap. You also need to figure out where to put the trap. The logical place would be to put it where you see or suspect the chipmunk to be frequently. If you don’t catch the chipmunk within a day or so, move it to a different location.

When you see that you have caught a chipmunk, you’ll want to go for a little ride. If you release the chipmunk in your back yard, he’s going to invite himself back inside. It’s best to take the little critter at least five miles away from your house. Before putting the trap in your car, be sure to put something under it. If you don’t, you’ll probably find a little mess when you remove the trap. When you’ve driven at least five miles, take the trap out, set it on the ground, and release one end of the trap. Don’t worry about this part. The chipmunk will want to get as far away from you as possible. You open the trap, and it runs for dear life. When you get back home, bait the trap, and set it up again. Even if you think you only have one chipmunk, leave the trap out for a few weeks. You just might be surprised about how many chipmunks you actually have living in and around your house.