Chipmunks are small members of the squirrel family. They are quite wily and have quick movements, curious personalities, and hearty appetites. Therefore, many people find them incredibly beautiful and welcome them to their yards. Unlike squirrels, these rodents can be quite annoying. This is especially when they get closer to your bird’s feeding station in large numbers. In this article, we are going to explore how you can keep chipmunks away from bird feeders.
You will most likely see chipmunks eating bird food that has fallen on the ground beneath your feeders. Without prevention, these rodents tend to climb into your bird feeders, causing some tension and disrupts your view of songbirds. However, that may not be that easy as you may imagine.
Top 6 Ways To Keep Chipmunks Away From Bird Feeders
1. Clean the area beneath your bird feeders regularly
The underneath area of your bird feeders is the most likely place you will see chipmunks. That’s their comfort zone where they feed on the bird food that drops onto the ground. These small mammals are best known for stuffing their cheeks with plenty of food as they can. They take the food to their underground holes to eat later on or keep it for cold winters.
So, it should not surprise you that one way of keeping chipmunks away is to try and prevent bird food from falling onto the ground. Also, trim the shrubs or bushes underneath your bird feeders to expose the chipmunks. If they feel exposed, they will try to move onto a safer area away from feeders.
Use a tube bird feeder with a tray that can get secured at the lower end to prevent bird food from falling onto the ground. Or, go for a shelled sunflower kernel designed to ensure a messy-free feeding habit of the birds.
2. Deny access to your bird feeders
Without using any barriers, chipmunks can easily climb into your bird feeders. When they get into the feeder, they fill their cheeks with food in no time, scaring away the birds as they eat. The good thing is that chipmunks can’t jump at greater heights or even climb around stumps. This means that it can be a bit easier to ensure that these rodents don’t get into your bird feeders. To do that, you can try the following things:
Baffle the feeder pole baffle acts as a gadget designed to deter mammals from climbing up your bird feeder pole. Even though they are mostly used to stop squirrels, they can also work best in controlling chipmunks. You can buy baffles separately or craft them and attach them to your existing pole.
Get a pole designed to stop rodents from climbing. If you don’t have a feeder pole or maybe looking for one, buying one with a baffle in their design can be pretty helpful. You will find most of them excellent at restricting chipmunks from climbing up and can also give incredible support to about eight bird feeders.
Hang the bird feeder using a strong fishing line. Many bird owners prefer hanging their bird feeders from a tree or any other raised structure. However, chipmunks can still climb the tree and access the feeders from above. When you use a small and thin fishing line, chipmunks will find it hard to navigate down towards the bird feeder.
3. Use spicy food
Another great and easy way to stop chipmunks from eating your bird’s food is by using spiced food. Chili peppers are one of the spices used in foods though many people find them very irritating and hot. In other words, the peppers have an active ingredient known as capsaicin, which only mammals can feel effects. As for birds, they are not affected. Chipmunks are mammals and have a better sense of taste and smell than humans.
So, using bird food coated with hot pepper can be worth trying. You will find chipmunks taking off whenever they don’t like what they sniff or smell. The best thing about using spiced food is that all kinds of mammals are kept away from your bird feeders.
4. Keep chipmunks away by using traps
If everything else doesn’t work, you can use traps to keep away chipmunks. Catch and release them far away from your home. By doing so, these stubborn rodents will fear coming near your bird feeders. To trap chipmunks, you can use a small trap with an inner part of placing a bait, like sunflower seeds, which they like most. Wait, and you’ll have a chipmunk in your web.
After that, you can look for a suitable place in the park or a friend’s place with wooded areas where the rodent can live. However, you should not trap and relocate chipmunks during summer and spring times as most of them have babies waiting for their return. Please don’t hurt the chipmunk after trapping them!
5. Create separate feeding spots
Just like how a restaurant separates guests from one another when you and your family come in to eat, you can accommodate your furry little rodent guests as well. If you still like having the chipmunks around, you can create different feeders for the chipmunks and the birds. This will prevent and keep away chipmunks from scaring the birds and eating all of their food. If you give the chipmunk adequate food, they won’t even try to access your bird feeders. Suppose you don’t prefer seeing chipmunks hanging around your bird feeders. It would then be better to put a different tray in an outlying area of your backyard and relocate them.
6. Practice proper seed storage
Chipmunks are easily attracted to homes with poor seed storage facilities. They quickly make a hole on the side of the bag of seeds and get their share. Besides, they may cause damage to your property with burrows and diggings as they try to access the seeds in your store. Therefore, it would be best for you to keep your bird feed properly. Try to clean any seeds that may spill on the ground, as this helps discourage chipmunks and other rodents from coming back and tamper with your bird feeder.
That’s our list of 6 ways on how to keep chipmunks away from bird feeders. You can apply any of these steps that are convenient for you, and should hopefully find some success. If not, you can try visiting our review page where we outline the 6 best squirrel proof bird feeders, where you might be able to find a product to help keep the rodents out.
Hopefully this article has been informative for you. Have any input or tricks of your own that you utilize to keep the rodents out? Let us know in the comments below!
Linda Bedell says
Would hot pepper flakes work for the chipmunks