Eastern Chipmunks

Chipmunks are pretty clever little creatures that many of us find in our own backyards.  They are really cute, but often hide when humans are around.   Frequently, we can only watch them out our windows.  I often see them eating the bird seed that drops on the ground, but I am rarely able to actually catch them on film.

I just happened to be outside the day I captured the photo on the left.   As you can probably tell by looking at the photo, as soon as this little guy realized I was actually around, he tried hard to hide.  I wasn't about to hurt him, but he had no way of knowing that, so he hid until the coast was clear.

Homeowners & Chipmunks 

 Chipmunk 2 Inch Round MagnetCheck PriceMany homeowners find chipmunks to be a nuisance since they will indeed dig up flowers and bulbs as they seek insects, worms or food.  They dig burrowing holes in the yard, or even nest in a basement.  Chipmunks are ground dwellers so are not likely to move into your attic, but if you have a basement or a crawl space under your house, you do need to take precautions.  Otherwise, like any creature, they are seeking shelter and a safe place to live.

It isn't necessary to spend a lot of money trying to keep chipmunks out of your house.  A simple owl or hawk decoy will often do the trick.  They are easily scared away by just the sight of such predators, real or not real, especially if you purchase a decoy that lights up or makes a loud noise when sensor activated.  (see example below)

Keep in mind that poisoning a chipmunk is a dangerous decision.  Any animal will eat poison, including your own pets, therefore you seriously run the risk of having many unintended victims.

Other than the nuisance factor, chipmunks do very little harm, if any.  Their damage is mostly limited to the garden areas when they are trying to extract food.  They don't carry diseases often associated with wildlife.  The biggest concern would be Lyme disease from ticks since all outdoor animals, including pets, are susceptible to ticks.  Those of us who live in areas that are highly infected with ticks need to be more informed of how to deal with ticks.  Killing the wildlife in our area is not the solution.

Facts About Eastern Chipmunks 
(Tamias striatus)

Habitat:  Woodland or Bushy Areas
Life Span:  3 Years
Size:  5" - 8" or 12" including the tail
Weight:  2.5 - 5 oz
Food:  Nuts, Seeds, Fruit, Mushrooms, Insects, Worms and sadly Flower Bulbs
Predators Include:  Cats, Hawks, Owls, Snakes, Weasels, Raccoons, and Foxes

  • Rodent
  • Product 2 Litters of 4 -6 of Babies each Year:  One in Spring and One in Late Summer
  • Cheek Pouches for Food 
  • Sounds of the Chipmunk Sound like He is Telling You His Name:  Chip Chip
  • Often Referred to as a Ground Squirrel
  • Easily Recognized by Distinctive Stripes
  • Burrows Underground with Multiple Entrances

One really fascinating thing Chipmunks do when digging their homes, they either spread the dirt, or carry it away in their cheek pouches so the entrances are not easy to see.  He also camouflages his home with leaves, sticks or other natural debris.

Learn More About Eastern Chipmunks, Bring One Home or Scare Them Away!

 Eastern Chipmunks: Secrets of Their Solitary Lives (Smithsonian nature book)Check Price Hansa Upright Chipmunk Plush Animal Toy, 6Check Price Visual Scare Eye Glowing Owl - 15.5 Inch Owl Scarecrow with Solar Glowing EyesCheck Price

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1 comment:

  1. What a clever little creature, both in hiding from predators and in hiding his home. I don't think I've ever seen one up close; not like squirrels who are much more brazen! :)


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