Tamias striatus

Most people see chipmunks as cute and harmless but they can do damage around structures.

Color Reddish-brown coat
Legs 4
Shape Small rodent with two tan and five blackish stripes on the back
Size 5 to 6 inches, weighing 3 oz.
Antennae False


Chipmunks feed on a variety of foods including mushrooms, insects, nuts, grains, and berries. There are typically 2 to 10 animals per acre but can become very severe in an urban setting with the proper environment. They have their young in April or May and then again in August to October. They are usually active during the early morning and late afternoon.


They nest in burrows that can be as long as 30 feet and there are no mounds because they carry the dirt away in their mouth. They will have one nesting chamber and several food storage chambers and several escape tunnels.


Their extensive burrowing can cause collapsed walls or slabs. They can also damage flower and vegetable gardens. When they tunnel next to a foundation and the tunnels flood due to heavy rains, the homeowner can experience water in the basement or other sub structure. They can get into buildings but it is rare.


Exclusion methods are the best ways to ensure the chipmunks don't enter buildings using the same materials as used for the rodent pests. Ground cover, trees and shrubs should not be planted in a way to connect the foundation of the home with the wooded areas of the lot.