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How to Get Rid of Chipmunks in Your Garage

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks in Your Garage

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Most people don’t really clean their garages on a regular basis. It’s the one part of the house that is not just used for keeping your car safe, but many people also like to double it up for storage.

They keep their freezers in the garage, and many people also have a series of shelves set up in the garage where they keep all of their household items and other things that are not regularly used.

However, what many people don’t realize is that their garage is not just their own. It often becomes home to a bunch of other pests and rodents, such as rats, chipmunks, squirrels, and many other animals.

As long as they find an opening in, it doesn’t take long for these tiny animals to quickly set up their nests and then multiply. The garage is actually an excellent place for these animals because of a number of reasons.

For starters, most people don’t really bother spending time in their garages. They park their cars and then go out. When they need something, they just look around for a bit and then they get out.

As a result of that, these animals have an adequate amount of time to themselves. They don’t get disturbed, and it doesn’t take them long to forage for food.

These animals generally need a few things to survive. They only need water, a bit of food, and safe harbor. As long as these three requirements are met, they won’t mind spending their entire time in any place.

Ultimately, your garage becomes the prime choice. As long as they are able to find a way in, it doesn’t take long for them to set up shop in there. There have been cases where people have found bats living in their garages too!

Now, chipmunks are a serious problem for many people to deal with. Chipmunks are tiny rodents with stripes on their back, which is what sets them apart from squirrels and other rodents.

Chipmunks might seem cute at first, but these guys can wreak havoc in your garage if they are allowed to roam free. Chipmunks like to eat a bunch of different things and they make a huge mess.

They have an omnivorous diet, and they can eat all sorts of things such as buds, fruits, nuts, seeds, plant matter, grass, shoots, insects, worms, bird eggs, frogs, and a whole lot more.

In fact, there have been cases where chipmunks have been known to eat tiny birds as well. Having chipmunks in your garage is a nightmare and it could be a serious problem.

Why Are They Such a Problem?

Burrowing Chipmunk

You might think that their diminutive size doesn’t make them much of a threat. But you’d be wrong. These chipmunks can do so much more damage than their small size would let you on.

When they are out in your yard, the most they can do is dig a bunch of burrows, killing all of your plants and causing lots of damage. However, if they find a way in, they can easily make their homes inside the walls of your house.

They could cause major problems if you do not take serious, swift action. If you have ever seen one, you probably remember them stuffing their cheeks. It’s what they do when they are looking to store some food for the cold months.

Chipmunks like to hibernate during the winter months. They like to dig tunnels under the ground and then spend their days out in the winter, sleeping and eating the food they stored. These burrows can even be found in the foundation of your house if you are not careful.

The real problem is that these guys like to multiply incredibly quickly. They put rabbits to shame when it comes to multiplying!

Before you know it, they are in your garage and then they are in the structure of your house, causing serious damage to the internal gaps and spaces.

More importantly, chipmunks can also damage your car. Your car is generally warm, and there have been cases where they have been known to chew straight through the wires in your car.

They are attracted to the car because of the warmth it offers. During the chilly months, they avoid living in their deep burrows. As a result, they seek shelter above ground, wherever they can find it.

You might not think about it, but you should know that as soon as you turn off the ignition and go in your house, the engine still remains warm for a while.

It makes the car an excellent place to live. They also love to gnaw through the wires whenever they can. It keeps their teeth sharp, especially when they are growing.

Another reason why they love your car is because they are incredibly curious animals. If they find wires hanging out of the undercarriage of your car, they will definitely want to explore more.

As you can imagine, these guys are a handful. Keeping them out of your garage is important and you need to be quick about it. There are a number of different methods that you can use in order to get rid of chipmunks in your garage.

But, before you do, it’s important to figure out the infestation.

How to Identify a Chipmunk Infestation

Chipmunk on Concrete Surface

If you have been hearing rattling noises from your garage every now and then but ignoring them, it might be a wise idea to start paying attention to them. It could definitely be chipmunks.

As mentioned, these little guys have white and black stripes on their back. You might want to take a look at the darkened corners of your garage.

These guys like to hide around in the dark, and you will probably find them in the corners of your garage shelves or behind other fixtures. Obviously, if you go poking around, you will find them scurrying about.

Once you are sure that there is a chipmunk infestation in your garage, here are a few steps that you can take in order to get rid of the problem.

Live Traps

One of the best and most effective ways of getting rid of chipmunks in your garage is to use live traps. Remember, it’s always better to make use of humane methods to get rid of these animals.

Live traps are designed to capture chipmunks without harming them. They require food as bait, and it’s pretty easy to catch these animals. One good thing that you should know is that chipmunks are not very clever.

As long as you keep the traps in the right locations, it won’t take long before you will be able to capture them. These live traps are readily available from a bunch of different stores.

You just have to place them in a quiet location that the chipmunks frequent. Using a bit of pecan paste is always a good idea because these guys absolutely love that. Adding a few seeds in the mix is also a wise move.

And remember that you have to keep the food all the way in the back. Do not keep it in the front of the trap, because there’s a chance it won’t close properly.

As the chipmunk goes all the way in the back to get it, the trap will shut tightly. Most traps have trip pans in them so as soon as the chipmunk enters, it goes down, making it easy for you to capture them.

In order to make the trap a bit more attractive, you might want to add a few things around the trap, such as a bit of grass. A common mistake that most people make when setting up traps is that they tend to be a bit impatient. Don’t go checking your trap on a regular basis.

Once you have set it up, give it a few days before you check it again. The chipmunks will need a bit of time to smell the food and then make their way to the trap.

The best thing about using these live traps is that they don’t harm the chipmunks. Once you have caught the chipmunks in the trap, you can then let them out in a distant location.

There are hundreds of different kinds of live traps to choose from and most of them are relatively cheap. It’s not a big investment and the results are pretty good.

In almost all cases, live traps are going to work a treat in getting the chipmunks out of your garage. You just have to keep using them time and again to make sure that you have rounded them all up.

It’s also important to note that getting rid of chipmunks through this, or any other, method is only effective if you seal up all of the openings in your garage. Otherwise, come next season, your garage will be populated again.

So, once you have rounded up all of the chipmunks and gotten rid of them, the very next step is to carry out a thorough inspection of your garage. Look at all the corners and crevices and look for tiny openings.

In most cases, chipmunks are able to find their way in through small holes in the walls or through the tiny gaps that build over time in between your garage door and the walls.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle all on your own, it’s always wise to call a local contractor and they will seal up all of the openings in your garage and cover up all the nooks and crannies.

Using Cat Litter

Container of Cat Litter

Another method that you can use to get rid of these chipmunks is to use cat litter. These animals are deathly scared of cats and they like to keep their distance.

Foxes, coyotes, cats, and owls are just some of the many predators that like to prey on the chipmunk. By their very nature, these animals like to run away whenever they smell them close by.

If you have coyote or fox urine pellets, you can also use those. This is easy for people who have a cat in their home. Just keep the cat’s litter tray in your garage for a few days, especially with some residue, and they are going to run away.

Furthermore, mothballs are also an effective deterrent for keeping chipmunks at bay. These guys don’t like the smell at all, and will realize that the garage isn’t as welcoming as they thought it was.

Obviously, most people who have pets in their house are scared of putting down mothballs on the floor. However, if you keep them in a container with a few small holes, they will remain out of reach of your pets.

The smell will linger on in the garage, and that’s what you effectively need. It’ll chase the chipmunks out of your garage very quickly.

Apart from that, there are a whole host of natural remedies that you can use to get rid of chipmunks. If you are looking for a cost-effective solution to this problem and don’t want to spend a great deal of money on dealing with this infestation, here are some simple remedies that you can try out.

Cayenne Pepper: One of the most commonly used spices in the world, cayenne pepper is found in almost every house, especially in kitchens where people like to make different kinds of foods. If you don’t have a bottle of cayenne pepper, just get one from the market.

Ground Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is easily one of the most effective repellents that’s going to resolve your chipmunk problem very quickly. Chipmunks absolutely hate the spicy taste of the pepper, and they usually run away as soon as they smell it.

The best part is that the cayenne pepper can be used in a myriad of different ways. Here are some simple ways to utilize cayenne pepper to get rid of chipmunks.

Let’s start with the spray. Creating a bottle of cayenne pepper spray is a fantastic idea. You can find a spray bottle at your local general store, and all you need is some cayenne pepper and water.

Ground up the pepper and then add a tablespoon to one cup of water. If you want, you can always increase the potency of the mixture. Then, you just have to pour the cayenne pepper and water mixture into your spray bottle.

Spray it all around your garage. It might smell a bit funky, but it’ll get the job done. Make sure that you spray on the bottom of the shelves and in the corners, and then close it up.

Give it a few days to work its magic and by the time you return, you will notice that most of the chipmunks will have vacated your garage. There are likely to be a few stragglers, so the best thing to do in this situation is to just spray a bit more.

Another thing that you can do is to buy a bottle of cayenne pepper powder and then apply it neatly around the perimeter of your garage. You can even use whole cayenne peppers for this if you want.

If you use the whole ones, you just have to make sure that you cut them. This is going to expose the flesh and increase the intensity of the smell.

The spicy fragrance will waft through your garage and within a few minutes, it’s going to spread all around the contained environment. It’s a highly effective deterrent that’s going to keep the chipmunks out.

However, it’s important that you use lots of cayenne pepper for this. Remember that you have to increase the intensity of the smell, so it’s best not to be stingy about this.

Use lots of pepper so that every time you enter the garage, the smell should hit you straight up.

Another thing to do is to sprinkle the cayenne pepper all around the perimeter of your garage. If there’s an outdoor door that leads to the garage, add a bit of cayenne pepper at the bottom, near the gap between the floor and the door.

It’s important that you sprinkle generously around the crawl spaces and even under your car. They have relatively small noses, so the smell is going to be a strong deterrent. As long as the smell stays for a few days, you will notice the chipmunk population thinning out until they are eventually gone.

Mothballs: Using mothballs to get rid of chipmunks and keep them away is also a highly effective strategy. For those who don’t know, mothballs emit a chemical known as naphthalene.

Jar of Mothballs

Chipmunks absolutely despite the smell of naphthalene and they are quite easily repulsed by it. As we have already established, chipmunks are incredibly sensitive to scents.

It’s one of their key senses, so the smell of mothballs is definitely going to keep them out. You can place the mothballs in different parts of your garage, especially near their nests.

Look for tiny crevices and tunnels, or just lay them around at different spots outside and around your garage. If you are worried about your pets eating up the mothballs, you can just keep them in a container and then add some holes.

Mothballs are at their most effective when the smell can be allowed to spread freely. Once it starts spreading through their nest, these animals tend to run.

Another thing that you should know about chipmunks is that they usually prefer generally smaller areas where they nest. As a result, it doesn’t take long for the smell to spread all over.

However, it’s important to understand that mothballs must not be used in the house. Naphthalene is a harmful chemical and if you keep them in a closed environment with improper ventilation, it could cause harm.

If you are not sure about using mothballs, there are other methods that you can use as well. Many people like to stick with organic and natural methods to get rid of chipmunks, so you don’t have to think of mothballs as the only solution.

Juicy Fruit Gum: Readily available at almost every store, Juicy Fruit Gum can also be used to drive out chipmunks. The smell attracts them, but the gum actually clogs their digestion system until they succumb to death.

You just have to place a few Juicy Fruit gum sticks unwrapped near their nest and around your garage, and it’ll do the trick. However, this is a brutal method and should generally be avoided.

Use it as a last resort if you must. More importantly, you should know that people have had varying results with this. Some people claim that Juicy Fruit is effective, while others believe that it doesn’t do anything to get rid of the chipmunks. Ideally, it’s best to stick with passive methods as those are the best option.

Coffee Grounds: Finally, you have coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are an incredibly potent repellent that can help you keep rodents such as chipmunks and squirrels away from your garage.

Coffee Grounds

The strong odor emitted from coffee grounds acts as a serious deterrent to the chipmunks. These little animals use their noses to smell their food and identify what they are going to eat.

The incredibly strong smell that emanates from the coffee grounds is a serious annoyance and keeps the animals at bay.

You can easily get it from any local coffee shop. In many cases, you don’t even have to pay for it. Just visit your local coffee shop and ask for some spent coffee grounds.

They might wrap you up a bag that you can take home with you. Sprinkle them generously throughout your garage, and also sprinkle some in your yard.

The smell deters them from coming too close. It’s an incredibly cheap and all-natural method that you can use to get rid of chipmunks. This one also yields very good results.

These are just some of the most effective methods that you can use to get rid of chipmunks from your garage.

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