Chipmonks - How to get rid of them?

My wife has a large flower garden (about 30' x 40') that chipmonks have declared to be their home! There are small tunnels that literally have spread all over the garden. We have tryed to block the tunnels; we've have used fork shovels and "stabbed" the dirt all along the tunnels; we've found their entrances and exits and filled them with "special" formulated food laced with chipmonk poison.
Nothing has worked. We're now worried that the colony may start eating roots and underground bulbs. The only thing we know of, but not tryed, is a slow burning gas bomb that you put into a tunnel that shows a lot of activity.
With all the gardeners and collective wisdom in this group, there must be a method that works -- even if it takes a lot of work. Please post any words of wisdom on how to rid the area of chipmonks. Thanks!
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You have chipmonks?
Are they that religious order devoted to making tollhouse cookies? Or are they that cult that only makes potato chips?
Chipmunks don't make tunnels. You are alluding to ground squirrels. Not the same at all.

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They sure do. Their nests can be a few feet down, especially when they winter over.
I never seem to have had any problems with them eating my plants or bulbs (compared to mice, rabbits, and squirrels). They do like the bird seed that falls around the bird feeders though. The population of them have seem to have grown substantially over the past few years. Hawks, foxes and coyotes seem to be the natural control; maybe snakes.
-al sung Hopkinton, MA (Zone 6a)
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they'll kill things by tunneling under, small shrubs & perennials. they eat tomatoes, watermelon, & cantalopes in the veggie garden (they make a little hole on the bottom of a melon & eat out the insides leaving just a shell). we got barn cats specifically for the chipmunks, but the fewer mice in the barn is a bonus. lee
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i ahve the little critters as well, although they do make many holes in my garden, they have not eaten any roots or bulbs either. but i would also like to know how to humanely get rid of them???
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On 2 Jun 2004 15:28:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (krissy) wrote:

Hey if you want to be really humane put up a bird feeder on the opposite end of your property and feed them poor little buggers some sunflower seeds... ;o)
Bad Bob
"Cook him till he's blue, and smother him in onions."
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Like hell they don't! Mine not only make their own tunnels but they use an underground drain to get from the back of the house to the front. Maybe they make their cookies in there.
Felice on Cape Cod
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Chipmunks build tunnels to get from one chamber to the next, & over years, this system of underground housing can become elaborate, especially with females, though generally there is only two or three chambers & merely enough tunnels to get from one to the next chamber, & to provide emergency escape locations. Often their entrances are difficult to find, they are so unobtrusive, intentionally so lest they invite digging predators.
Usually only one chipmunk lives in a burrow because they're not a communal species (unless they're actually lined ground squirrels, which are communal), but during estrus temporary couples may live together, & females' larger burrows will have kits & adolescents for a while, though when they reach adolescence they're usually leave.
Very rarely males have been observed helping raise young, but usually he lives somewhere else entirely; almost never the mother tolerates her young when they are adults, but often instead of shooing them out, the mother will move to new territory to get away from her offspring, & a dominant female offspring will take over the old burrow & shoo away her siblings. The population is usually controlled by their own reluctance to live in any ongoing way in close proximity.
The tunnels are not like mole tunnels. Chipmunks make them deeper, & they exist to get from chamber to chamber, not to hunt for food near the surface like a mole. Tunnels are usually well below bulbs & not harmful to plants. An excavating chimpmunk will even circumvent thick root systems of shrubs just to keep the digging labors minimal; they are tunnelers of least resistance, so might really enjoy tunnelling through a newly-turned area if ground was loosened to over a foot depth. It could happen, but is rare, that their tunnels pose any problem to plants; they're are strongly in harmony with their environment & do much more good than harm.
Chipmunks are stupider than squirrels, & don't often thrive where domestic cats are living. Though excellent climbers they are not particularly arboreal (so as not to be in conflict with squirrels) & this makes them more vulnerable to cats & dogs.
If a female & her transient family members did get established in a garden, they would probably do minimal damage, & be great fun to observe since they're strongly diurnal & out & about a lot & very playful. They will of course harvest from a vegetable garden which can be annoying, but they are not usually harmful to an ornamental garden, & they're generally easily kept away from veggies if they're given a feeding station with nuts & corn. Since they eat things like tomatoes more for the water than for food, a water feature in the garden that they can reach to drink from also helps keep them out of a veggy garden (unless you grow corn, nothing will bait keep them away from that). As a rule, they do less harm in a garden than sundry songbirds, or one's pet dog, & before deciding they're pests, really think strongly about their activity & if you're overreacting, & assess whether they can't actually be accomodated & loved.
If someone really has an exception-chipmunk that is an honest-to-shit destructive little pest, check with Fish & Game, & Animal Control, in case it is a protected species, & someone may even come out with a trap to catch them live for you, or at least loan you free a suitable trap & inform you what to do with captives (release elsewhere may be illegal).
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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I trap and relocate mine with a Havahart live trap.
Live traps are essentially cages that trap and hold the animal without injury until it is released. It has doors at either end that fall shut when the animal steps on the release plate in the middle of the trap.
They come in various sizes. In the case of chipmunks, a small one (18" x 5" x 5") is fine. Just set the trap near where they are active, bait it something they like such as peanut butter or peanuts and when you catch one move it promptly to a new home and release. Be sure to check the trap regularly so the ones you get don't stay confined too long.
I take mine to a large public park about a mile and a half away ... far enough so they don't find their way home and big enough so they can make themselves at home.
After having had a severe infestation one year when I moved 12 of the little darlings, I find that if I just use the trap every 2-3 years and move relatively few chipmunks, the population stays below a level where they do much damage.
wrote:

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: My wife has a large flower garden (about 30' x 40') that chipmonks have : declared to be their home! : There are small tunnels that literally have spread all over the garden. We : have tryed to block the tunnels; we've have used fork shovels and "stabbed" : the dirt all along the tunnels; we've found their entrances and exits and : filled them with "special" formulated food laced with chipmonk poison.
: Nothing has worked. We're now worried that the colony may start eating : roots and underground bulbs. The only thing we know of, but not tryed, is a : slow burning gas bomb that you put into a tunnel that shows a lot of : activity.
: With all the gardeners and collective wisdom in this group, there must be a : method that works -- even if it takes a lot of work. Please post any words : of wisdom on how to rid the area of chipmonks. Thanks!
Figure out if it's a chipmunk or a ground squirrel, with some species, it's easy to confuse them.
Here's a useful list of species by state: http://www.geocities.com/yosemite/rapids/4362/squirrels.html
eNature has useful online field guides: http://enature.com/search/show_search_byShape.asp?curGroupID=5&shapeID 41
I have 13-lined ground squirrels around the farm and garden and haven't found them to be particularly destructive to perennials or trees and shrubs. I do select rodent-resistant bulbs when I plant bulbs, but more because of the voles than the ground squirrels.
-- Karen
The Garden Gate http://garden-gate.prairienet.org =================================================================="If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." ^and cats -- Cicero ==================================================================On the Web since 1994 Forbes Best of Web 2002
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12 Guage!
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Plastic rat traps baited with peanut butter!
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Rotweiller!
Sherman
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Jim Schott wrote:

You can deal with this like a gardener or as a farmer.
Personally I choose: http://www.rodenator.com /
-- Kit Walker Guardian of the Eastern Dark http://www.deepwoods.org /
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dude, you can almost hear Kenny Loggins singing "I'm Alright" and Bill Murray cackling.
-goro-
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