This question is related to my earlier question about when it is safe, from the young chipmunks' point of view, to relocate a burrow of chipmunks.

To recap the background of the earlier question:

One of my neighbors is terribly concerned that her resident chipmunks will harm her flower beds. They dig holes, and she finds the holes unsightly. She wants to trap them and relocate them.

Beyond the unsightly holes, she is concerned that the chipmunks will harm her flowers. I don't know what she is planting, because this comes from a neighborhood on-line site, and I don't know her personally.

We live in northern Virginia, 20 miles or so to the northwest of DC. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries the chipmunks in question are probably the common eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus striatus). (I say probably, because animals are migrating.)

As I say, I don't know what style of garden she favors, formal or centered on naturally occurring species, nor whether she is at all inclined to change her plantings, so I will try to be more specific:

What are non-lethal, and non-harmful (to the chipmunks) tactics to encourage the chipmunks to move away from her front yard? For example, are there candidates for a chipmunk very-friendly garden that she could plant out of sight? Almost everyone here has at least an acre.

I'd like to suggest an alternative or three to the options she is considering: amateur and perhaps premature trapping, exterminators, stuffing mothballs into the burrow, and (don't know how serious this is) getting a cat to control the chipmunks.

  • 2
    Mothballs work for me for squirrels, they don't like the smell. I would bet they work on chipmunks also. They sublimate over time and disappear, so you need to reapply occasionally. Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


Had the same problem. Sprayed some "pepper wax" around the area. Problem disappeared.

There are many brands available, as a web search for "pepper wax spray" will reveal. I've used whatever brand was in the store on the day I went to get it, and they all work. The product is a liquid wax mixed with the oils of hot peppers. After spraying, the wax dries, leaving behind a thin film holding the pepper oils. The smell is noticeable, but not bothersome, to a human. But apparently it is totally intolerable to deer, rabbits, small rodents, and some even say it repels aphids and mites. For me, two doses a year- one just as the shoots were coming up in the spring, and a refresh around mid-summer, was plenty.


I was advised by my father, a lifelong farmer, to use those little fans that are on a wire that you stick into the ground. My Dad said that the vibration would run them away. It worked for me. He actually said to tie something light onto a coathanger, but that was before they started selling those little fans. His main idea was that causing vibration would scare the little ground runners away. I put out two little fans on a 1/3 yard. It did the trick for my yard.

For example, here's one from Walmart:

enter image description here

The're called "wind spinners" if you want to search for them. Most stores that sell gardening supplies, lawn ornaments or lawn furniture will have them, but they are usually a seasonal item available in spring and summer.

  • Can you add a picture or link to one of these "little fans on a wire"? Is this an agricultural product, or a lawn decoration, or something else?
    – csk
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 18:33
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    csk-They are those yard décor things you can buy at Walmart, dollar stores or gardening stores. They usually have fans suspended on thick wire, although sometimes they have other shapes. Anyway, they are plastic fans that turn when the wind blows that are suspended on thick wires that you stick into the ground. Sometimes they might be plastic birds whose wings turn as the wind blows across them. My laptop is so slow, I don't want to try to attach a picture. If you still don't find what I'm talking about, I'll try to find a picture to add.
    – Lauradena
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 4:09
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    I know exactly what you mean now. That's a great suggestion, and I will recommend it to my mother for her tomato garden. Chipmunks pick her tomatoes, chew a hole in the side, drink the juice, and leave the nearly-intact tomato on her porch steps. It's like they're taunting her. I added an image and some more details to your answer (feel free to edit or rollback the changes if you don't like them).
    – csk
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 17:49
  • @csk they're not taunting...they're being polite.. from their PoV
    – ahron
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 14:21

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