Sometimes critters leave behind mementos of their visit that remain long after they’re gone. Chipmunk holes are one notable example, and while the entrance to a burrow can be tiny, the tunnels can stretch a good 20 to 30 feet underground.
Filling in a hole with dirt might seem like the obvious solution, but chipmunks (or other critters) may still reclaim the burrow and reopen the hole. Here are a three ways to fill a chipmunk hole and ensure it won’t be excavated again.
What Does a Chipmunk Hole Look Like?
The entrances to a chipmunk burrow are only two to three inches in diameter, making them hard to spot. You’ll usually find them near bird feeders, potted plants, shrubs, or other good ground cover. Chipmunks transport dirt in their cheeks, so the entrance will look clean and level with the ground.
Filling in a Chipmunk Hole
There are a few ways to fill a chipmunk hole. While dirt may seem the obvious choice, this won’t stop chipmunks from digging holes in the same spot later. Instead, we recommend three methods that give excellent results.
Method 1 – Cat Litter
For those who have feline family members, the litter can be used to both fill and repel. Filling a chipmunk hole with used litter (preferably a non-clay type to be more environmentally-friendly) makes it much harder for them to excavate the old tunnel entrance.
Not only is the litter crumbly and more likely to cave in, but it will taste terrible. Furthermore, the urine smell will permeate the den, leading them to believe a predator has invaded.
This method has a few drawbacks, most notably that you need a cat to provide potent filler material. The ammonia is also toxic to many plants, so this isn’t a solution for your garden.
Method 2 – Fine Gravel
A more flora-friendly method is to use fine gravel or very course sand. The particles are unstable, causing the hole to refill as fast as a chipmunk can excavate it. Gravel allows water to drain and won’t harm any nearby roots.
Additionally, the gravel can be topped with a bit of topsoil or turf to make the filled hole blend in with its surroundings. You can add one part soil per three parts gravel to ensure your plants have more food.
Method 3 – Sand/Cement
A third method can be a little more extreme, but works best near your foundation or other sensitive parts of the property. Begin by filling all but the last four to five inches with dry sand. This will have the same effect as gravel.
Next, pour some cement in to create a sturdy cap. As the cap is narrow, the sand will still allow for proper drainage. Leave the last one to two inches for topsoil so your ground cover can return.
Preventing Future Chipmunk Holes
As with most burrowing critters such as prairie dogs, moles, groundhogs, and voles, chipmunks create a home with long tunnels (up to 30 feet long) and multiple entrances. This means filling the holes in your yard might not be enough to keep them from creating new holes from underground.
Not only do the holes cause extensive yard damage over time, but the tunnels themselves can put your entire home at risk if you allow chipmunks to burrow in. A good defense is critical for getting rid of chipmunks for good. A fence will help solve this issue and help ensure the chipmunks (and most other four-legged critters) stay out once evicted.
The best fencing choice will either be a privacy fence or good mesh fence (such as the ever-popular chicken wire). Be warned that any fence material with holes the size of a burrow entrance (such as chain link) will still allow chipmunks through.
The fence itself should extend at least eight inches below ground. This is deep enough to keep chipmunks out, and their poor climbing ability (despite what Disney tells you – remember, Chip and Dale are giant anthropomorphic critters and thus can do many things the average chipmunk cannot) means they won’t be able to easily scale a mesh fence.
A good, easy to install alternative is the Dig Defence which not only keeps critters out, but your pets in.
You can combine a wooden privacy fence with mesh for a more attractive look. Simply bury the mesh portion and connect it to the inside bottom of the privacy fence approximately two inches up from the base. You can then cover and further secure this exposed portion of mesh using a baseboard.
See Also: Best Squirrel Traps and Repellents