Chipmunks Conflict Solutions

Chipmunks might be one of the cutest wild animals we see in our neighborhoods.  They’re not any danger whatsoever to humans, and have never been known to cause any structural damage. 

Some have the misconception that chipmunks tunnel under walkways and yards to cause damage, but that is not true.  If you do see chipmunks in your yard, we suggest just leaving them alone. However, if you’re having a conflict with a chipmunk, HAP has humane, long-term solutions.

Black bear roaming in the wild

Unwanted in Your Yard

Sprinkle chili powder anywhere the chipmunk, or other animals, pay be frequenting or digging.  This nontoxic irritant will deter most mammals.  Vinegar-soaked rags or vinegary sprayed directly onto the area will also deter.  You can reapply daily for best results.

To keep chipmunks out of your yard long-term, try these tips from the HSUS:

  • Use an L-shaped footer to keep them from burrowing around foundations, sidewalks, porches, and retaining walls.
  • Remove wood or rock piles and trim back plantings that provide cover or food sources around the area of concern.
  • Surround the area with a plant-free gravel border.
  • Plant flower bulbs beneath a wire or plastic screen ground cover or in bulb cages. This mesh should be large enough (1 x 1 inch) to allow plants to sprout but small enough to prevent digging.

Raiding Your Bird Feeder

If you do not want chipmunks in delving into your bird feeder, try picking up spilled seeds, putting the feeders where chipmunks cannot access them, or trying a seed chipmunks do not like, such as thistle.


Commercial repellants used for squirrels will also work for chipmunks.

For a DIY option, try soaking bulbs before planting in a thiram-based repellant.  You can also plant daffodils (Narcissus) or Allium in the spring, as most wildlife will not eat these.

Black bear roaming in the wild


Chipmunks do not want to be in your home.  If you find one inside, don’t panic! 

  • Usher your pets into another room.
  • Close all the doors leading to other rooms and closets, and open the door to the outside.  The chipmunk will gladly leave on their own!
  • If there’s no exit to the outside, place a live trap with peanut butter on the floor and leave the chipmunk alone for a few hours.
  • If live trapping isn’t an option, put on heavy gloves, hold a heavy towel in front of your body (so the chipmunk doesn’t see a human), and drop the towel on the chipmunk while quickly rolling it up.  Make sure not to put too much pressure or weight on the chipmunk, and then immediately take the chipmunk outside.

Make sure to find the entry point for the chipmunk so you can prevent another intrusion.

Black bear roaming in the wild

Please note, Humane Action Pittsburgh (HAP) is not a wildlife rescue and is unable to address concerns or assist with wildlife emergencies. Please utilize the resources on our website to find the appropriate organization to contact. Submissions to HAP through our contact form or email will not be able to be addressed.