Alvin, Simon, and Theodore in Your Home
Chipmunks are delightful animals who seldom cause any problems, and most people love having them around. Occasionally, a squirrel or chipmunk who is scurrying around searching for nuts and berries could damage an ornamental plant, but this is rare. If necessary, you can protect flower bulbs by covering the dirt above them with a coarse-gauge wire screen that allows plants to grow through but prevents chipmunks and squirrels from damaging the bulbs.
Chipmunks often build their burrows near rocks, logs, or woodpiles. Sometimes they burrow under porches, sidewalks, or plantings, but they do not burrow extensively, so they rarely do any damage. If you do want to prevent burrowing, bury a heavy-duty hardware cloth so that it extends down 10 inches and flares out 8 inches at the bottom.
If a chipmunk accidentally gets inside your home, don’t panic. These friendly little animals will typically leave as soon as you clear an escape path for them, usually by opening a door or window. It helps to turn off any lights in the room and let the natural light from the opening lead the chipmunk to the safety of the outdoors.
Never trap chipmunks. You won’t have any impact on the local population, and worse, chipmunks rarely survive when they are released into a strange area.