With their chubby cheeks and fuzzy tails, chipmunks are certainly adorable, but these little critters are capable of doing major damage to homes and structures.
|Shape||Small rodent with two tan and five blackish stripes on the back|
|Size||5 to 6 inches, weighing 3 oz.|
Chipmunks are most active during early mornings and late afternoons.
Chipmunks feed on foods like mushrooms, insects, nuts, grains and berries. Chipmunk populations can balloon in urban settings with bountiful food sources.
Chipmunks nest in burrows. These burrows can measure up to 30 feet long, with a nesting chamber, escape tunnels and several food storage chambers. Unlike mole trails, these tunnels cannot be seen with the naked eye because chipmunks carry the displaced dirt away with their mouths.
Chipmunks give birth in April through May and then again in August through October.
Though chipmunks do not hibernate like ground squirrels, chipmunks are relatively inactive during the late fall and winter months.
Despite their innate cuteness, chipmunks are still pests that can damage gardens, flood basements and cause walls and slab structures to collapse.
In an effort to prevent their incisors from overgrowing, chipmunks are known to chew wires, pipes, insulation, and flooring, and damage personal property like furniture, clothing, pictures, boxes and other stored items.
While all wild animals are capable of biting when threatened, chipmunks are rarely aggressive and will most often run away from threats. When cornered or handled, however, they may scratch or bite to defend themselves. And while these little critters look adorable, chipmunks can carry deadly diseases like plague, salmonella, and Hantavirus.
Like many other rodent species, chipmunks have begun to depend on people for food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, they don’t always make the best houseguests.
In addition to chew marks, opened food and waste trails, other signs of an infestation include scratching, squeezing and scurrying noises behind walls, above ceilings or under floors.
To keep chipmunks from invading your home, keep brush to a minimum and seal up any holes and crevices in your home’s foundation. Caulk gaps around exterior windows and doors and keep a tight cap on your chimney.
Avoid attracting chipmunks to your yard by preventing access to easy food sources like unsecured trash cans, bird feeders, standing water and gardens full of edible plants.
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