Chipmunks – Canton Wildlife
Most people are fairly familiar with chipmunks. They are striped rodents that are slightly smaller than your average squirrel. Their name most likely came from the Odawa word jidmoonh, which means “red squirrel.” Despite the name, chipmunks are an entirely different species than squirrels. There are 25 identified species of chipmunks around the world, but the vast majority of these species live in the Americas.
Chipmunks have an omnivorous diet, which mostly includes nuts, berries, and seeds. They will also consume insects and some types of grass. Chipmunks are often seen scavenging on the ground, foraging for food. They build nests near autumn and store food for the Winter months.
They also have specialized cheek pouches designed for food storage and allow the chipmunk to carry extra food when foraging. Their burrows are extremely clean and well maintained and designed to be lived in during winter months.
Chipmunks play a critical role in the ecosystem by spreading seeds while foraging, eating and spreading fungi, and they are prey to many species that live off of them.While they are very active while awake, they typically sleep for around 15 hours a day. They often hide inside of their burrows when they sleep, where they are safe from predators. In the Eastern United States, chipmunks hibernate during the winter, while the Western Chipmunk survives instead off of food caches.
While there is no doubt that chipmunks are cute little creatures, they can be a hug problem for homeowners if they establish themselves around your home. Chipmunks are known to eat flowers, dig holes in yards, and damage property by burrowing underneath stairs, patios, and other outdoor structures.
The best way to avoid any chipmunk problems is to make sure chipmunks do not infest your property initially. To avoid this, make sure to clean up any debris or anything piled up that chipmunks might move into.
Also remember to not leave large amounts of food for any pets outside. You can also use several different repellents for dealing with chipmunks.
If you already have a chipmunk infestation, it is preferable to deal with it in a humane, nonlethal way if possible. The best method for this is trapping. You can either purchase traps yourself or have a professional put in traps for catching the chipmunks. This will often scare the chipmunks away from the area and get rid of the problem.
If it becomes necessary to use lethal methods, it is important to note that some stats do not allow you to kill chipmunks unless you are appropriately licensed. The best method for dealing with chipmunks in a lethal method is using snap traps as well as an air rifle or small firearm. Eventually these methods will cause the chipmunks to move away from the area.
If you live in a state that does not allow you to kill chipmunks without a license, or the chipmunk infestation is severe, then it is best to call in a wildlife control technician.