Chipmunk Situations & Solutions

Eastern Chipmunk with a dried leaf in its mouth in autumn © Suzanne Hirschman
Eastern Chipmunk © Suzanne Hirschman

Chipmunks pose no real threat to people. However, they can be quite disruptive in the garden and, occasionally, gain access to your home. Learn more about them >.

Tunnels Under Patios & Walkways

Chipmunks' burrows rarely cause structural damage. In most cases, they can be tolerated and should be left alone.

Chipmunks Digging Up Flower Bulbs

After planting bulbs, place 1/2-inch mesh, chicken wire, or hardware cloth flat on the ground over the bulbs. The plants will grow up through the mesh, but the chipmunks cannot penetrate it.

Chipmunks in Homes

Chipmunks rarely enter homes intentionally—they much prefer to set up house underground. But, if there is an opening that provides easy access, the chipmunk may enter a home in search of food. Check for openings around foundations and bulkheads and seal with wood, metal, or caulking. 

If a chipmunk is found in the house or basement, try to confine it to one location and open windows and doors with direct access to the outdoors. The chipmunk will be attracted to the light and exit the building.

Injured Chipmunks

Any wild animal that appears to be injured, including chipmunks, should be evaluated by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Attempts by non-professionals to rear young mammals—including chipmunks—nearly always end in failure, prolonged suffering for the animal, and unnecessary grief for the people involved.

Chipmunks & Rabies

As with most other rodents, chipmunks are not susceptible to rabies.

Know the Law

Relocating wildlife is illegal in Massachusetts and is detrimental to the well-being of the animal. It can also be harmful to public health, as sick animals may unknowingly be transported and released in other locations—causing the spread of disease. Learn more >