Chipmunks are part of the same genus as squirrels, and like all rodents, they possess enormous front teeth capable of chewing through wood, plastic, and other rigid materials. There are many stories of these small animals chewing their way through concrete, and many people with a chipmunk infestation wonder if these stories are true. But can chipmunks chew through concrete?
Chipmunks cannot chew through good-quality concrete. These rodents can break through brittle or uncured concrete, but high-quality concrete is impenetrable for chipmunks. However, when chipmunks dig, their burrows underneath concrete can damage it.
Chipmunks are known to chew through almost anything, but concrete is especially tough.
However, these rodents are known to damage concrete and even house foundations. Do they cause damage with their teeth? Can concrete be an effective way to close up chipmunk burrows?
Let’s explore the answers to these questions. But first, let’s take a look at these rodents’ teeth.
A Look At A Chipmunks Teeth
Chipmunks have 20-22 teeth, including incisors, molars, and premolars.
Their front teeth are responsible for grinding hard materials. The incisors are sharp enough to gnaw on hard wood, plastic, and other materials, while the molars juice soft fruits, nuts, and other food items.
Like their squirrel cousins, their teeth never stop growing. So they constantly chew on hard materials to keep their teeth from growing too big.
Can Chipmunks Chew Through Concrete?
Chipmunks are small rodents, but they are capable of causing surprisingly intense damage to plants, yards, gardens, roots, shoots, and even buildings. Is it true, then, that chipmunks can chew through concrete?
While many people will tell you that chipmunks can chew or burrow through concrete, the reality is that well-cured and well-laid concrete is impenetrable to chipmunks.
Chipmunks cannot chew their way through the concrete.
Why Chipmunks Can’t Chew Through Concrete
Good concrete is too complex and dense for chipmunks to chew through, regardless of how hard they try. Concrete consists of limestone, sand, iron ore, limestone, shale, chalk, marl, and bauxite. After mixing these ingredients and adding water, the materials compress and become hard.
While all concrete is HARD, the hardness is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). Below is a table to help measure the different hardness levels of concrete.
|Concrete Hardness||PSI||Megapascals or MPa|
|Medium Soft||3000||20 MPa|
|Medium Hard||5000||35 MPa|
The stories you hear about chipmunks chewing their way through concrete steps, house foundations, garden paths, or paving stones are usually untrue.
Chipmunks are indeed capable of causing damage to concrete and other such materials, but they do not do so by chewing threw it.
Chipmunks are tiny rodents, even smaller than most squirrels, and simply do not possess the physical power to chew or burrow through concrete.
They have large front teeth that are strong for the animal’s size but nowhere near strong enough to chew their way through the concrete.
Can You Use Concrete To Block Chipmunk Holes?
We have established that concrete is too rigid for chipmunks to chew their way through and that the myth that they can do so has prevented many people from using concrete against these animals.
If chipmunks cannot chew through concrete, is it possible to use concrete to cover up chipmunk holes and burrows?
Using concrete to block chipmunk burrows and burrow entrances is very effective. Filling the entryways into these burrows with a concrete plug is enough to prevent them from digging their way back in.
To use concrete to block chipmunk holes and to prevent them from going back into the hole, follow this method:
- First, lure the chipmunks out of their burrow with food to ensure that none become trapped inside.
- Use quick-drying, fine-powder cement that is curing but still pourable to block the holes by pouring it into the burrow and pushing it down with a mixing stick or other rod.
- Fill the burrow until the concrete travels roughly 15 inches underground, and leave 3 – 5 inches of space above the concrete at the top of the hole to fill with soil.
- Plug both ends of the chipmunk burrow, and the rodents should move on to another area and leave their old burrow behind.
Filling the burrow entrance like this will prevent the chipmunks from digging back through, and it leaves enough space for soil to regrow lawn over the hole and to prevent anyone from tripping in the hole left behind.
Fine-powder concrete creates dense concrete that is still applicable for this application, so be sure to use this concrete for the best possible results.
Is It Ever Possible For Chipmunks To Chew Through Concrete?
We have learned that well-poured, good-quality, properly cured concrete is too tough for chipmunks to dig or chew through, but is it ever remotely possible for chipmunks to get through concrete this way?
While good concrete is impossible for chipmunks to chew through, very old, brittle, not fully cured, or cracked concrete may be a different issue.
Most rodents, including chipmunks, can chew through poor concrete if given enough time.
If the concrete is very old, brittle, or still slightly soft, chipmunks can chew and burrow through it every time.
This is not a common occurrence, and chipmunks usually do not need to chew through concrete like this, but if there is a good reason for them to do so, you may find yourself with a cracked concrete path that has a chipmunk poking out of it.
The best way to avoid this issue is to ensure that your concrete surfaces are well-made, well-poured, and well-maintained.
Chipmunks cannot get through good-quality concrete, no matter how hard they try.
How Do Chipmunks Cause Damage To Concrete?
If chipmunks can’t chew their way through good concrete, why are so many people concerned that these small rodents will cause damage to their concrete surfaces or building foundations?
The reality is that chipmunks do not chew through concrete, but they can cause severe damage to this material.
Chipmunks are prolific burrowers and can easily burrow under concrete that gets in their way.
When these rodents burrow under the material, the void created can cause the concrete to collapse or lose structural integrity, lead to cracks and crumbling concrete sections, and even make enough room for concrete to shift.
If chipmunks end up burrowing under concrete, they can cause serious damage to the material that radiates through it and can even be seen on its surface.
Chipmunks cannot chew through concrete, but that does not mean they cannot break or damage it.
Can Chipmunks Chew Through Cement?
Cement is the binding agent used to make concrete stronger. Meaning chipmunks, squirrels and other rodents cannot chew through cement because it is too hard for their teeth. Most people think that concrete and cement are the same, but they are actually two different materials.
Cement is a powdery material made from limestone and clay that when mixed with water creates a paste. This paste can then be added to other materials such as sand and gravel to create concrete. Concrete is the hard, solid material used in most construction projects. Chipmunks can not chew through concrete, because it is too hard for their teeth.
Chipmunks can be very frustrating to deal with, as there is almost nothing that can stop them from burrowing wherever they want to, and they can cause serious harm to concrete and foundations.
Deterring chipmunks from the area is the best way to prevent this issue, and any chipmunks that burrow close to the building should be removed.
Understanding how to manage chipmunks is the key to dealing with them, and you can use concrete to block their burrows before they end up causing damage to your property.
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