Chipmunks can destroy flowerbeds by digging up bulbs and burying seed and nut caches in the soft soil. Their tunnels and burrow holes result in an uneven lawn. Filling the holes provides only temporary relief unless you take further steps to make your yard less inviting to the furry animals.

Chipmunk
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Chipmunks don't hibernate, remaining active year-round.

Tunnel Problems

Chipmunk tunnels extend far out from a visible burrow hole, with tunnels traveling 30 or more feet and often having multiple entrances. Entrance holes are often against logs, fences or landscape rocks, but the exits are placed in open areas. Rolling over the lawn around the holes with a lawn roller may collapse the tunnels. Use tightly packed soil to fill all holes you find after rolling the lawn. A top-dressing of soil applied over the lawn smooths depressions caused by tunnels that collapsed. The soil in the holes will settle over time. So add soil as necessary to keep the ground level.

Exclusion Tactics

Burrow holes aren't the only problem with chipmunks. The animals may access garages, garden sheds or even your home through small holes in the foundation or walls. Even small holes where gas lines or wires enter the home can give a determined chipmunk access. Fill the holes with caulk, or cover ventilation holes, such as a clothes dryer vent, by using screen mesh that has 1/4-inch holes.

Food Source Elimination

Placing a barrier between chipmunks and their food sources can make your lawn less attractive to the mammals and make them less likely to return after you fill their burrow holes. Nuts, seeds and flower bulbs are their primary food sources. Line bulb beds with hardware cloth that has 1/4-inch holes; after planting, place over the top of each bed hardware cloth that has 1/2-inch holes so chipmunks can't dig up the bulbs. Deadheading flowers to prevent their seed production and getting rid of bird feeders, and the spilled seeds that result from them, will eliminate another common food source of chipmunks.

Relocation Method

If chipmunks keep returning even after you fill their initial burrows, then trapping may be the only remaining option. Verify that trapping and transport of chipmunks is legal in your area before using this control method. Live-catch traps placed near burrow openings or in areas where chipmunks travel and feed are most effective. After you capture chipmunks, release them in a wooded area away from homes and buildings after you ensure it is legal to release them in that location. Filling the remaining burrow holes and collapsing the tunnels will help prevent a new group of chipmunks from moving into your yard.