Habitat for Chipmunkity

Remember that stone wall? Well, the chipmunks have moved in, turning my rustic landscaping project into a condo for yard rodents. It seems that I inadvertently created a system of caves that suit the little buggers perfectly, and now whenever I approach to water the flowers or pull weeds they dart out from between the cracks and dive into some other hidey hole in the yard.

Yes, chipmunks are delightful — until they get into your garage and start sharpening their teeth on things like doorframes, sheetrock, plastic hose spools… then they are a menace. It already appears that this year we have a bumper crop of chipmunks; providing them with a friendly environment could lead to an explosive problem.

What to do? First I’ll try repellents that make the wall smell — I think the stuff is made from fox urine or something — but if that doesn’t work, it may be time to take drastic measures. Perhaps we have to make an example of one to discourage the others. I loathe to hurt a small animal, but they’ve overstepped their bounds.

One other question: whose job is it to collect all that fox urine?

11 responses to “Habitat for Chipmunkity

  1. Scatter some of the dogs’ hair around the wall or in the nooks and crannies. Works for deer and rabbits.

  2. I see another “Caddy Shack” in the making.

  3. We have a chipmunk burrow right underneath our back deck. Whenever I go out to fill the bird feeders, I always pour a little seed right into the mouth of the burrow, and then check back a few hours later, and it’s always been grabbed and moved into the nest. It makes me wonder what the chipmunks think of this seemingly divine bonanza that appears at their doorstep every so often, and what they might be doing with the increase in leisure time that my benevolence has provided them. Have they crafted a new chipmunk religion to explain why manna seems to rain upon them without rhyme or reason? And when the manna doesn’t arrive on schedule, do they fall prey to heresy, building little Golden Voles to worship in lieu of their rightful, deserving deity? Or are they secular chipmunks, using their free time to build little telescopes or dissect other chipmunks to explore the mysteries of their vascular systems? I keep looking at the deck to see if any smokestacks start popping up around its edges, indicating that the Chipmunk Industrial Revolution has begun, now that the little mammals have been freed from their serf-like dedication to gathering seeds and grains. I’ll let you know when they rise up to shake off their bourgeois shackles and embrace the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    • It concerns me that you may be creating a class of chipmunks who are dependent on your benevolent handouts — and when times get tough, they will rise up against you. You will need cats to keep them in order.

  4. The crystal/granular repellent that Hewitt’s sells works well, but you need to re-apply every couple of weeks. We went that route for a while, now we name them. The backyard alpha-male is my hero, way ‘busier’ than his landlord.

  5. Alvinnnn !

  6. All you need for quick and efficient chipmunk disposal is an in-ground swimming pool. Apparently, chipmunks are not that bright when it comes to open bodies of water; perhaps it’s the glimmering blue opulence that attracts them so, or maybe they simply need more chlorine in their diets. I routinely dispose of at least a half-dozen on a seasonal basis.

    • I like it — and it bolsters my swimming pool argument.

      I can see myself now scooping them up and hurling them over the neighbor’s fence; the skimmer seems like it would work just like a lacrosse stick…

  7. Oh yes, the skimmer basket works quite well in providing suitable lift and arc. We have several feral cats that roam the neighborhood, so I generally just toss their waterlogged little bodies into the pine trees toward the back, and let the cats have an easy meal. If the cats don’t find them, the decomposition is rapidly aided by the acidity of the conifer needles. Natural fertilizer.

  8. If the performance of ‘Scratchy, Lord of the Chipmunks’ is any indicator, your Anchor Babies should be showing up July 4th or so.

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