While chipmunks are adorable critters, they can be pretty mischievous as well. As someone who values the appearance of their lawn, it can be pretty frustrating to discover that a family of chipmunks has dug holes all over it. So what can you do about it, and should you fill the holes back up?
You can fill chipmunk holes using a lawn roller to collapse the underground tunnels and then fill the entrance and exit holes with soil, gravel, or concrete.
Unfortunately, even if you have taken every step to plug and fill the chipmunk holes in your garden, the likelihood they will return is very high. To permanently eliminate chipmunks in your yard, you must use exclusion or relocation methods, which we’ll discuss in this article.
Should You Fill Chipmunk Holes?
If it is your first time dealing with chipmunks in your yard, you may wonder whether chipmunk holes are a problem and if you need to fill them.
While having a family of chipmunks in your yard is harmless, it can also be a terrible nuisance. Chipmunks regularly destroy flowerbeds by digging up bulbs or burying their seeds in the soft dirt. The tunnels they make under your lawn could produce an uneven surface, which is unsightly for any backyard enthusiast.
While there may be some concern for structural damage to your foundations, it is doubtful that chipmunk tunnels will cause any lasting damage to your property.
Are Chipmunk Holes Dangerous?
Chipmunk holes vary in depth from 2-3 inches in diameter and can be up to three feet deep. These holes can cause damage to gardens, lawns, trees, etc.
The holes can cause a person to trip and twist an ankle if they are playing outside or don’t see the hole in time.
The holes are not dangerous as long as the pests don’t dig too close to the foundation. So while no one wants chipmunk holes in their yard, they are not dangerous to homeowners.
When To Fill Chipmunk Holes
As chipmunks are relatively harmless, knowing when to fill their tunnels depends on your situation and tolerance for the little critters. Below are some of the signs that it may be time to fill the chipmunk tunnels in your yard:
- Your flowerbeds are being destroyed – Your love for gardening may attract more chipmunks to your property. If you notice your flowerbeds and plants are being damaged by chipmunks, it may be time to fill their tunnels.
- The state of your lawn is upsetting you – If left alone, a family of chipmunks can dig up a yard. When you’re tired of them digging up and damaging your yard, it’s time to take action.
- You find chipmunk holes in your home – Occasionally, chipmunks can find their way inside a house. They have the potential to cause some damage to your home, leaving holes in the walls and even chewing through cables. It is probably time to fill the holes to prevent an onslaught of damage to your property.
Identifying Chipmunk Holes
As mentioned above, chipmunk holes are 2-3 inches in diameters. Unlike ant hills, they don’t have mounds of dirt. Instead the holes are flat and can be challenging to see, unless you’re looking for it. Chipmunk burrows have more than one entrance and long tunnels, making it challenging to see them enter or leave.
These burrows are where the chipmunks, reproduce, store food and live. Chipmunk tunnels can extend a large portion of your backyard.
How To Close Chipmunk Holes
Unfortunately, this may not be easy, as chipmunk holes can extend farther than you might think, almost 30 feet in the winter. The entrance holes to these tunnels are usually around fences, rocks, or logs, and the exit holes pop up in open areas, like your lawn.
Below are some of the steps you should follow when filling chipmunk holes:
Step One: Use A Lawn Roller To Collapse Tunnels
As the tunnels can extend quite far, it might not be enough to plug the entrances to the chipmunk holes. Using a lawn roller and rolling around the entire surface of your lawn will ensure that the tunnels underneath collapse.
A lawn roller is a heavy barrel-shaped metal cylinder you fill with water or sand to compress the terrain. Most homeowners don’t own one, but you can buy or rent one from most home improvement stores such as; Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Menard’s.
Step 2: Plug The Entrance And Exit Holes
After using your lawn roller, you can walk around your yard and plug any entrance or exit holes you find with dirt. You can use a shovel or the back of your foot to tamp the soil, ensuring the spot gets filled with tightly packed soil.
Step 3: Use A Top Dressing For Uneven Surfaces
Your lawn’s surface might still look uneven after collapsing the tunnels and packing the holes with soil. Spreading topsoil over your property can help to prevent any depressions and keep your yard looking smooth and uniform.
You may need to add more soil or a top dressing to your lawn as the dirt from the collapsed tunnels settles.
Alternative Methods: Using Gravel Or Concrete To Fill Holes
While the above steps may help close existing chipmunk holes, they might not be the best methods for permanently stopping them from burrowing into your lawn.
Using gravel to close the holes instead of soil may keep chipmunks out of the ground, as it is harder for them to burrow through. Concrete is also an excellent permanent solution, provided you are not planning to plant in that area.
Unfortunately, simply filling up chipmunk holes is not enough to rid them of your property forever. You must use the exclusion or relocation method if you do not want to constantly fill new holes.
How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Yard
If you want to rid your property of chipmunks permanently, you’ll need to do more than destroy their tunnels.
Fences Can Keep Chipmunks Out
Putting up a tall privacy fence can do the trick if you are trying to stop chipmunks from entering your yard. Ensure the fence extends at least 8 inches into the ground to prevent the chipmunks from burrowing underneath.
Steer clear of chain-link fences, as the chipmunks will be able to squeeze through the gaps.
Birdfeeders Can Attract Chipmunks
Chipmunks usually camp out in your yard if there is a good food source. Moving your birdfeeders 20-30 feet away from your home, or better yet, getting rid of them entirely, will ensure the chipmunks have no reason to stick around.
Spray Natural Chipmunk Repellent Around Your Yard
If you want to ensure chipmunks stay off your property, you’ll want to make your lawn as unwelcoming as possible. Creating a natural repellent and spraying this around your yard and near the entrance to tunnels will keep the chipmunks away.
You can mix one tablespoon of red pepper flakes and pureed garlic with a cup of soapy water in a spray bottle so you can spray this mixture around your yard to deter chipmunks from moving in.
An alternative to this mixture is buying coyote and fox urine online to spread around your yard.
You will need to reapply either of these mixtures every 2-3 weeks to ensure the chipmunks do not return.
Use Humane Traps To Catch And Release Chipmunks
You’ll need to leave your catch-and-release trap near the entrance or exit holes where you frequently see the chipmunks going in and out.
You can leave some enticing food options, such as seeds or nuts, in the cage to attract the chipmunks. Once you have caught a chipmunk, you should release it at least half a mile from your home to ensure it does not return.
Call A Professional
If the chipmunks keep coming back, it may be time to call a professional. Some pest control companies specialize in wildlife removal and have the expertise and equipment to remove pests from your yard.
Unfortunately, many won’t close the holes, but they can prevent future infestations by identifying and sealing off potential entry holes.
Some companies that offer pest removal services include; Terminix, Orkin, and Critter Control.
Other Animals That Dig Holes In Yards
Now that you understand how to cover chipmunk holes let’s look at other animals that dig holes in yards.
- Prairie dogs
Any of the above animals can become a nuisance, and if you find them in your yard, you can use the same steps to protect your property.
When chipmunks are terrorizing your yard or flowerbeds, it’s time to fill those chipmunk holes and rid your lawn of these adorable critters.
You can fill chipmunk holes with either soil, concrete, or gravel. The substance you use to fill the holes depends on where they are digging.
To ensure they don’t come back, implement deterrent measures such as fencing your yard or spraying a natural repellent over your lawn to ensure the chipmunks don’t return.