How To Get Rid of Chipmunks

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Published: March 25, 2022
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Chipmunks are cute little critters, but they can also wreak havoc on your garden! If you’d like them to stay away, we’re here to help. The most effective and humane way to get rid of chipmunks is to make your yard unattractive to them. Add deterrents like marigolds, gravel borders, or items hung from trees to look like predators.

This article will talk about the above deterrents in-depth and more things you can do to keep chipmunks out of your yard or home.

What Are The Most Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Chipmunks?

Getting Rid of Chipmunks Indoors

close up of an eastern chipmunk

Chipmunks are unlikely to cause structural damage.

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The easiest way to get a chipmunk out of your home is to isolate it in a single room. Open the doors and windows in the room, leave, and the chipmunk will likely exit on its own. If you’re unable to do so, set a humane trap with peanut butter and release the chipmunk outside. You can try using a towel to capture the chipmunk. This is the riskiest option.

Before trying to catch the chipmunk, put on a pair of thick gloves. Then, sneak up on the chipmunk while covering your body with the towel and drop the towel on top of it. Quickly but carefully wrap the towel around the chipmunk without hurting it. Hold it closed tightly and deposit the chipmunk outside.

Getting Rid of Chipmunks Outdoors

Trapping Chipmunks

Make your yard unattractive to chipmunks by removing hiding spots and food.

©RT Images/

According to the Humane Society, the best thing to do if you have chipmunks outdoors is to enjoy them! They seldom create structural damage and mostly stick around to nibble on your plants.

If you want them gone, though, or at least out of your vegetable garden, here are some effective solutions:

  • Make Your Yard Boring to Chipmunks: Rocks, woodpiles, and shrubs near your home will attract chipmunks. Take away their hiding places and prune back any bushes to discourage chipmunks from visiting your yard. Cover up your edible plants or surround them with a gravel border. L-shaped barriers can also keep chipmunks away from prohibited areas. If you have a bird feeder, make sure chipmunks cannot access it. By taking away the positive aspects of your yard for chipmunks, you’re making them a lot less likely to return.
  • Use Humane Repellents: Some repellents are inhumane or bad for the environment. We recommend choosing one that won’t kill chipmunks, but simply keeps them away, and that doesn’t harm other wildlife, your garden, or the environment. This can include hanging things from your trees to make it seem like birds of prey are in the area, adding the scent of predators like dogs, cats, or humans, or planting things chipmunks hate.
  • Use a Humane Trap: Set live traps with peanut butter to lure chipmunks in. Once you catch them, you’ll have to release them at least ten miles away. This way, they won’t be able to find their way back home.

Chipmunk Repellents: What Do Chipmunks Hate The Most?

Chipmunk repellents

include marigolds, onions, electric repellents, and predator scents.


The following are things chipmunks hate that are humane and eco-friendly. Add these to your yard to keep the chipmunks far away!

  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper or onions in the soil.
  • Plant hyacinths or marigolds in your garden or other areas you’d like the chipmunks to avoid.
  • Use electronic repellents that emit sound waves.
  • Leave out predator scents such as pet hair or feces. We don’t recommend human hair or long-haired pet fur, as it can injure wildlife, such as birds trying to build nests.
  • Hang items such as beach balls, pie tins, or CDs in trees. These can be mistaken as birds of prey and will scare chipmunks away.

I don’t recommend using thiram, as it can kill wildlife, including chipmunks. Another common suggestion is mothballs—but these are terrible for the environment and your garden.

How To Fill Chipmunk Holes

You can fill chipmunk holes using dirt or gravel. Gravel will be most effective at stopping chipmunks from digging the holes again. It isn’t advised to use cat litter. This is because it is bad for the environment, and cat pee has risks to human health.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © AmberLouise/

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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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