Do Chipmunks Damage Gardens And Lawns?

do chipmunks damage gardens and lawns

Chipmunks are small and cute, but they can be a problem when they reside in your yard. Although chipmunks are small and harmless, having them in your yard could cause potential damage. Every homeowner needs to understand that types of damage chipmunks can do to a lawn or garden. 

Chipmunks can damage gardens and lawns but are more likely to damage vegetable gardens where they can find food. The rodents burrow in the ground, damaging lawns and eating plant roots, which damages gardens. These rodents can also cause cosmetic damage to gardens if left unchecked. 

Chipmunks can cause several issues, but many are avoidable, and chipmunks are not too difficult to remove from an area. However, it is best to act quickly if you are concerned about potential chipmunk damage. 

Let’s look at the damage that chipmunks can do to gardens and lawns and what to do about it. 

Do Chipmunks Damage Gardens?

Chipmunks are among the smallest type of ground squirrels, and their presence in an area usually brings a smile to those who see them. 

However, these animals are burrowers and omnivores with a vast range of dietary needs, which means that they can potentially cause harm to gardens. 

How Chipmunks Damage Gardens?

Chipmunks can damage gardens when they burrow in them or eat the plants in the garden. 

They may also damage garden walls, fences, and other structures, like greenhouses. 

Chipmunks can eat the roots of plants, which can cause extensive damage to gardens. They may also strip fruit trees or vegetables for their seeds.

These animals do not create burrows as large as other squirrels and marmots, but the burrows can still damage the root systems of plants and disrupt water flow in gardens. 

These rodents eat plant roots, bulbs, and young plant shoots. Their diet consists of fruits, nuts, grains, berries, flowering bulbs, and plants. 

They damage plant containers, bird feeders, and irrigation systems. Furthermore, they have an affinity for digging through well-cultivated soil beds in search of their next meal. 

Unfortunately, the destruction a family of chipmunks can cause to even the most carefully maintained and tended garden is extensive.

If you don’t take action to stop it, chipmunks can quickly wreak havoc on your garden.

Do Chipmunks Damage Lawns?

Chipmunks can wreak havoc on gardens, devouring and damaging certain parts of plants and burrowing into the ground, but there is a silver lining for those who want to maintain their lawns.

These rodents do not cause severe damage to lawns if dealt with quickly.

Though chipmunks may dig tunnels that weaken the root systems of lawns by digging under them, their burrows are not deep enough to kill an entire section of the lawn. 

These rodents have been known to damage lawns in some ways, and their presence in an area is not a good thing for lawn, but they are not likely to kill your whole yard. 

How Chipmunks Damage Yards

Chipmunks will dig through the lawn to create burrows, and they are known to make small holes in yards looking for food items or when they need a safe place to rest, but chipmunks spend most of their above-ground time in trees. 

These rodents forage for food in trees more than they do on the ground, and when they dig their burrows, there are usually only two holes made for entrance and exit. 

Despite this, if a chipmunk burrows under your lawn, it likely will not be detrimentally affected negatively. 

With that said, it is still a good idea to try and deter chipmunks from your lawn if possible, as they can cause long-term damage. In addition, if the chipmunk family grows too large, the damage will increase with their numbers. 

Do Chipmunks Damage Vegetable Gardens?

Chipmunks are omnivores with a very diverse diet. As a result, these rodents eat a more comprehensive range of food than almost any other squirrel and are very likely to cause damage to a vegetable garden due to this diet. 

Vegetable gardens are grown for food, and so they are full of edible plants. 

If left unchecked, chipmunks can quickly ravage your unprotected vegetable garden because they enjoy most of the same edibles as humans. 

To protect your plants from destruction by these furry critters, you must take steps to deter them or chase them away before it’s too late.

In addition, if a large family of chipmunks discovers your unprotected vegetable garden, they will likely decimate the plants quickly if ignored.

Chipmunks will eat the roots, shoots, fruits, and leaves of most of the plants in your vegetable garden and will likely burrow into the soil. 

These animals do not care for garlic, onions, and other aromatic plants, but almost everything else is a food source for them. 

This means that if you have a vegetable garden, be sure to keep these animals out of it, or you may come home one day to find that you have nothing left but onions in your veggie patch. 

How To Deal With Chipmunks That Are Damaging Your Plants

As we have alluded to, there are certain smells and food that chipmunks cannot tolerate. This means that the best way to keep chipmunks from your vegetable garden, flower beds, and lawn is to deter them with strong scents. 

Using garlic, lavender, rosemary, onion, and cider vinegar to repel these rodents is very effective. 

Other options include:

  • Getting a cat or a dog that will drive them away or hunt them.
  • Filling their burrows with strong odors.
  • Even filling their burrows with concrete after ensuring no chipmunks are inside. 

These extraction methods are successful in making chipmunks vacate a specific area, though they can be tricky to execute yourself.

If you have a real chipmunk problem, the most effective way to deal with these animals is to contact professionals that understand how to get rid of these rodents. 

Final Word

Chipmunks don’t generally cause issues in most lawns and gardens, yet they can seriously damage vegetable patches. On the other hand, if there is no food for the chipmunks in your yard, they’ll likely search elsewhere for sustenance and leave your property unharmed.

If chipmunks are causing damage to your lawn or garden, you must get rid of them as quickly and safely as possible. 

The best way to do this is by using natural deterrents like strong smells or by calling professionals to ensure the chipmunk problem is properly handled.

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