Have you had it with the chipmunk infestation in your backyard? Do you want to take effective steps to get rid of these pesky rodents once and for all? Well, then it’s time to take matters into your own hands. You have to thoroughly do your research, concerning rat baits and poison and approach this matter with utmost seriousness.
In our previous guide, we reviewed different chipmunk traps. They’re all useless unless you know how to properly set up the right bait. Luring chipmunks into a trap requires certain devious schemes, and we are here to teach you each and every one of them.
Many traps come with sample baits, but not all of these baits deem themselves effective.
Table of Contents
- Chipmunk Facts You Should Know
- Chipmunk Damages
- Preventing Chipmunks
- Purpose of Chipmunk Baits
- Method of Snatching Chipmunks without killing them
- Types of Baits
- Bait and Wait Method
- Chemical or Organic Bait?
- Best Organic Natural Baits
- 7 Best Chipmunk Poisons
- How to Bait a Trap
- Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Bait
Chipmunk Facts You Should Know
Chipmunks belong to the Squirrel family and weigh less than one pound. They are quickly identified by the white and black stripes along their backs. Their fur can range in color from brown, yellow and gray.
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Chipmunks can be anywhere from two to six inches long, with an approximately three-inch tail. Most chipmunks are found in the North American continent and a group of them is referred to as a scurry.
Fun fact: These little rodents can gather 165 acorns each day.
Do Chipmunks Carry Diseases?
Chipmunks do carry diseases as do almost all other rodents. The most common diseases include: salmonella, rabies, leptospirosis, encephalitis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Other diseases can also be present and pose a risk, such as the plague.
Avoid touching a dead chipmunk at all cost to further reduce spread of disease.
Do Chipmunks Bite?
Yes, chipmunks can and do bite but it is a rarity. Running away is their first instinct, but they tend to bite when they feel threatened. If you are bitten by a chipmunk, seek medical attention for a quick evaluation.
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Can Chipmunks Transfer Diseases to Humans?
Chipmunks themselves do not transfer diseases to humans, with an exception for rabies. The biggest risk comes in their ability to host insects, which can transfer diseases directly to humans. Fleas, mites and ticks are the main culprits, specifically ticks.
Ticks suck diseased blood and then pass on the illness to the next victim it bites, even if it is a human being. It is important to avoid touching wild chipmunks and take precaution when it comes to ticks in order to avoid illness.
Chipmunks will burrow up to three feet below the ground and their tunnels can extend up to twenty feet. Most of their digging will take place outside, especially in flower beds. Small holes will appear on the ground as a sign of burrowing.
Occasionally, burrowing may be done underneath house foundations, which can pose a structural risk.
Along with garden damage from tunnels, chipmunks also love digging up plant bulbs. Uprooted bulbs and chewed plants may be a visible sign of damage.
There will be clumps of seeds and if you have bird feeders, they will enjoy having a free meal by stealing most of the seeds from there easily.
Like all rodents, chipmunks enjoy chewing on almost anything, including wires. If exposed wires are frequent around your home, you may run into electrical issues if a chipmunk decides to snack on a wire or two.
Another problem can be chipmunk feces if they somehow get inside, or if there is a great quantity of them in the area
Keeping Them Out in the First Place
You can choose to do the fencing method but be warned that chipmunks are good climbers. They will most likely climb over any fence. However, you can add in a net, mesh fencing with tiny holes, or other fencing materials to make climbing over a difficult task for chipmunks.
It may help reduce their numbers effectively if done well.
Using Decoys or Fake Predators
Using a fake predator such as a plastic owl may also deter chipmunks from visiting your yard. You can also purchase sprays with various odors of different predators, which will be smelled by the rodents and convince them that they will not be safe.
You can also choose to have a pet cat, which will normally go after chipmunks. However, that is not a guarantee either. Preventing chipmunks will typically require the use of more than one method.
Cleaning Up Food Sources
A good way to reduce chipmunk numbers is by removing any food sources from your yard. This includes bird feeders and fruit plants. You can also opt to buy bird feeders that are deterrents to chipmunks due to difficult or impossible access.
Clean up any outdoor picnics quickly as well and keep your yard clean of piles of food or debris. This is so that chipmunks have no place to make their home.
This is not proven to work, but it is said that adding certain spices, such as cayenne pepper, will help deter chipmunks as well. Intense spices will help keep chipmunks away, or so many gardeners swear by it. However, it is worth a shot and relatively cheap to try.
Sprinkle the spice in problem areas or the perimeter of your yard. Be sure to sprinkle again after a rainy day, or a week or two has passed. This method is also safe and non-toxic to plants, humans and other animals, which is a bonus.
Purpose of Chipmunk Baits
You can’t lure a chipmunk into a trap without tempting it with his favorite meal. I mean, think about it, If your school cafeteria presented you with stale food day in and day out, would you want to satiate your appetite from there? Of course not! Same is the case with chipmunks. Chipmunks have sensitive olfactory organs and taste buds that guide them towards the food of their choice.
Method of Snatching Chipmunks without killing them
As we mentioned in our previous guide, there are two types of chipmunk traps. Live traps are innocuous for the rodent and lethal traps kill the chipmunk by default. We will always recommend rodent traps that don’t torture the animal, because of ethical reasons.
Bait is the surest way of luring a rodent into the trap. If you’re using bait that has a proven track record of enticing rodents, you’re increasing your chances of capturing them significantly.
Types of Baits
There are two types of baits: Chemical baits and Organic baits. Both of them deem themselves useful in varying conditions.
- Chemicals baits, also known as “Chipmunk poison”, are composed of harmful toxic chemicals. The Chipmunk dies a slow painful death after the ingestion of these baits. Sometimes, coming in contact with them can also inflict suffering on the rodent. We will not recommend chemical baits for obvious reasons. Having empathy for all life forms on earth is just as important as getting rid of rodents.
- Organic baits, on the other hand, are foods that are loved by chipmunks and are found in their natural habitats, such as forests. Some foods that are consumed by humans also fall in this category.
Bait and Wait Method
After you’ve finally decided on the bait of your choice, it’s time to employ Machiavellian maneuvers to set it up. Luckily, we have you covered there.
The bait and wait method requires patience on your part. There are some preparations that you need to do before you initiate the waiting games. If you don’t set up the bait properly, it will render itself useless.
Chemical or Organic Bait?
If all else fails and you’re still caught up amidst a chipmunk encroachment, then and only then, we recommend taking the assistance of chemical baits. Although they are lethal, they are still highly effective in eliminating chipmunks for good.
Chemical baits disrupt the reproductive functions of the rodents, and stop them from multiplying. They are lethal poisons that entice and eradicate large swaths of chipmunks. Organic baits, on the other hand, show clemency to the animal.
You have to immediately dispose the body of the chipmunk, if you are using chemical bait. If you don’t, other predators will arrive and make matters worse for you.
Best Organic Natural Baits
Peanut butter is revered as the number one chipmunk enticer. Chipmunks just can’t resist it, and are quite willing to put themselves under grave danger, just to get a single bite of it. Its sweet sugary content gives them intense food cravings, and needless to mention, nuts are a chipmunk’s wet dream. Moreover, the viscous nature of peanut butter makes it a perfect choice for sticking on to traps.
Peanut allergies are prevalent in the US and other countries. If you have a severe peanut allergy, then there are many other useful bait options that you can try out.
We have compiled a separate list of effective baits for people who can’t stand being around peanuts.
Chipmunks are attracted to a large variety of food, and most of them are available right in your kitchen. They love Breakfast cereals, shelled sunflower seeds, raisins, and they are just as effective at tempting chipmunks as peanut butter.
7 Best Chipmunk Poisons
It’s been stated multiple times that chipmunks can’t resist the taste of peanut butter. That is why there is no better way to eliminate them than by disguising a lethal compound with their favorite treat.
Eaton’s formula combines Diphacinone with peanut butter for an irresistible treat a chipmunk can smell from far away. Once they begin eating, you will notice a decrease in the furry animals within just a few days.
Though this is a chemical compound, Eaton is a first-generation coagulant, so it is safer to use around other pets than similar products. If your cat or dog ate one block, they are not likely to have many serious side effects.
This product comes in a tamper-proof, resealable container of 144 pieces, perfect for the basement or garage. Unless you have a really bad infestation, you shouldn’t have to order any more.
Since the JT Eaton company has been in business since 1932, you can trust that you’re ordering from a company that knows what they’re talking about.
- Not as immediately harmful to household animals
- Includes peanut butter for easier attraction
- Comes in a large bucket, so one order will most likely get the job done
- It takes several days for the pests to die after consuming this product
A very convenient choice, Contrax blox’ come in an 18-pound bucket, with approximately 288 pieces. In addition, these blocks are good for 2-3 years unopened, or one year once opened if kept in optimal storage conditions.
Containing Bromadiolone, a popular rodent-erasing chemical, you can be sure that your pesky little problem will be quickly taken care of. Also, Contrax is formulated to be used in all weather conditions.
However, because of that, this product must be placed inside a tamper-resistant bait station before use. Otherwise, you may find cats, dogs, or other neighborhood animals getting into it.
Because of the active ingredient used, it is considered safer for non-target animals than similar products on the market. If your pet accidentally ingests Contrax, Vitamin K1 is readily available as an antidote.
Although it must be administered in a certain time frame to inactivate the poison. Until your chipmunk problem goes away, it is best to keep your household pets inside, away from any poison that could harm them.
- Comes in a rather large size
- Safer for non-target animals than other single-feed formulas
- Designed to be used in all weather conditions
- Must be put into a tamper-proof bait station before use
Perhaps the most widely known name in pest control, D-Con provides quick and efficient rodent elimination. Reviews prove that it works, but there’s a reason for that. It contains Brodifacoum, a highly toxic chemical compound.
Only one feeding is necessary for a lethal dose, with larger rodents appearing lifeless anywhere from 4-5 days after consumption. D-Con comes in easy-to-use trays, which you just simply sit out and wait.
You’ll have to be extra careful with your pets though, as there is nothing to prevent them from eating this product.
- Works quickly and efficiently
- Comes from a leader in pest control
- Extremely dangerous to household animals
The first natural bait appearing on the list today, NB bait is a 100% safe and humane way of attracting chipmunks to a trap. Even though they can be a nuisance, sometimes you just want to get rid of the little guys in a nice, gentle manner.
Made from a blend of essential oils combined with a food-grade paste, NB is a product you can feel good about. Like many premium products, this paste has an added anti-drying ingredient, so it’ll stay fresh longer than baits containing peanut butter.
Since there are no chemicals or poisons, you don’t have to worry about any stinky odor. It’s extremely versatile and can be used with a variety of capture mechanisms, including snap, live and glue traps.
- Safe for consumption if other animals happen to get into it
- Has a different consistency than other products
- Doesn’t seem to work very well, according to some customers
A pricier alternative to hard baits, TakeDown brings a soft choice to the rodent removal market. Starting at a relatively expensive price for a 4lb bag, it’s probably not most people’s first choice. However, it does have many good reviews, so it’s worth a try if other methods have failed.
Bromethalin is the active ingredient, so it’s not all natural. However, it does work well for severe infestations. Different than other chemical formulas, TakeDown is a non-anticoagulant. Instead, it works in the nervous system as a neurotoxin – no gross internal bleeding to worry about.
Bodies appear within 2-3 days, so your problem should disappear rather quickly. As with most poisons, you do have to be extra careful about keeping this product away from children and household animals, as it can be deadly.
- Not an anticoagulant like most rodent baits
- Works rather quickly
- It is a soft bait that appeals to rodents more than hard ones
- Quite expensive
- You have to be very careful around children and pets
One of the cheaper alternatives, Neogen comes in individual, ready to use packs for your convenience. Containing one of the strongest anticoagulants allowed for use in pest control, this product works quickly and effectively.
What’s more, there’s no need to actually touch the poison. Each weather-resistant package can be positioned as is, without opening the wrapping.
Rodents will simply chew through the packaging, but it works a little faster if you poke a few holes so that they can get to it quicker. Just be very careful around kids and pets, as this stuff is very strong and can kill.
- Works very quickly
- Can kill with only one feeding
- You don’t have to risk touching the actual poison due to the packaging
- Cheaper than many other options
- Super strong, so take extra care around pets and children
Another bulk buy, this 4-pound container is sure to help you out. Containing Bromethalin, Fasttrac can be used in multiple areas, including residential homes, food processing facilities and industrial facilities, among others.
It is extremely fast-acting, with a lethal dose happening with only one feeding. You will have dead bodies to dispose of in just 1-2 days.
Although you can use this bait as a standalone – it even has a hole in the middle to hang up – it is recommended for use in a bait station where other, non-target animals can’t reach it.
As with similar products in this list, anything containing poison should be kept out of the reach of children and household animals.
- Works extremely fast (only 1-2 days)
- Comes in a bulk size for stubborn infestations
- It is a very strong poison that is not safe for children or pets.
How to Bait a Trap
Choosing Your Type of Trap
There are many types of traps, but the two main distinctions are humane and inhumane traps. The former will not harm or kill the chipmunks – they are only used to trap live chipmunks and then they will be released further away from the house.
The latter – inhumane traps – will harm or kill chipmunks. If you choose the latter, please refrain from traps that may be considered as torture machines. The type you choose will essentially depend on the number of chipmunks you have to deal with.
Choosing Your Bait
There are also two categories of bait: chemical and natural. Chemically-bought baits are usually poisonous and made of many ingredients. All-natural baits are simple foods that are typically found in all households, such as peanut butter.
It is more economical to use natural bait and also better for the environment. Other options for natural baits include but are not limited to: nuts, sunflower seeds, corn, prune pits, raisins, cereal grains, pumpkin seeds and more.
If you go for the chemical method, consider getting one that is not dangerous to plants or other animals that may happen upon your yard.
Correctly Placing Your Bait and Trap
Another important thing to remember is correctly placing your bait inside the trap. It should be in the middle or further to the edge so that the chipmunk will enter completely. The bait itself should not be big or else the chipmunk may simply take a small piece and flee.
It is also wise to make sure that the bait is of the appropriate size and weight to trigger the trap’s mechanisms. A test drive can be done if using a humane trap. The trap itself should be placed in an area that is frequented by chipmunks.
For instance, outside and/or near chipmunk hideouts will be perfect. Most rodents usually run in straight lines, near edges if there are any. Place your trap accordingly, but if after a few days you fail to catch a chipmunk, try putting it somewhere else.
Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Bait
Here are some things you need to keep in mind before setting up the bait to compound your chances of success.
- The bait should be placed in the middle or farther section of the trap, so that the entire body of the chipmunk is inside, as the door traps shut.
- Make sure when the chipmunk snatches the bait, it activates the spring door in the process. Loading the traps with baits in large amounts is a no-go, because the rodent might get away with small chunks of it, without activating the spring door. A small amount of bait, on the other hand does the job supremely well.
- Chipmunks have an exceptional sense of smell. If they get a slight idea that a human is around, they will retreat from their mission. Wearing gloves to mask body scents is highly recommended.
- Chipmunks proceed with caution when they see new settings and objects in their environment. In order to acclimatize them, you can set up live traps that are baited but not properly set. The mouse will develop a habit of coming back to its usual place of plundering because it will not sense any danger. When the time is right, and the chipmunk is deceived into coming back to the same place, you can set the trap rightly.
- One of the things that amateur trappers do is that they place chipmunk traps in all the wrong places. Chipmunks like to nest in places which have plenty of cover, such as cupboards or attics etc. Placing traps in these places increases your chances of catching them.
- Chipmunks multiply rapidly and spread all over the house in a matter of days. Setting up one or two traps isn’t the answer to your problems. You must line-up traps all over your home to catch each and every one of these mischievous pranksters. A couple of traps won’t suffice. In places, where there is a high incidence of chipmunks, place traps in close proximity or in a tandem arrangement.
- Recent studies have shown that there is a high possibility of catching chipmunks on the first night. If chipmunks get well-aware of the hazards of traps, they will hesitate from entering them. Your first attempt must be well-planned out.
No matter what type of bait you use, you should always do your research first. Keep in mind that there are ways to trap chipmunks and other rodents without the use of baits. If those methods don’t work for you, make sure to consider all the variables before buying.
Think about whether you want to go all natural or not, or if you have children or pets that don’t always behave and get into things they shouldn’t. Also consider how big your infestation is and how quickly you need it gone.
Whichever you choose, hopefully this article has given you plenty of useful options.