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10 Jun

Do you remember the talking Disney chipmunks, Chip n’ Dale? I couldn’t always understand what they were saying but they sure were cute!  Next to Eeyore, they were our daughter’s favorites.  Well, now we have our own version of these famous chipmunks and I’ve named them Skamper and Hyde.  Cutest little things with adorable antics! 

While sitting on our front porch, we observe them hug the perimeter of the front of the house as they make their rounds. We place bird seed (meant for the birds I might add!) on the flagstone walkway and along come Skamper and Hyde.  I attempt to divert them with a brief twist and tap of my foot and momentarily, they both scamper and hide.  But while under a large leaf of a nearby giant hosta, they ponder, plan and prepare their getaway route and off they run to the seed pile.  They almost look like miniature upright vacuum cleaners with tails up, sucking in the seeds until their horizontal cheeks are filled to the brim.  Then off they go to their storage places.  Time and time and time and time again! 

However, cute and adorable only go so far! They are a nuisance and are also destructive! They make holes in the garden where tunneling allows excessive water retention that can cause fungus and rot to appear.  They frequently tunnel under the porch and driveway, threaten foundations and pockmark the lawn with their holes.  They are also known for chewing on air conditioning pipes, cable lines and electrical lines.  Cars are also vulnerable as some have been reported to build their nests in air filters and chew on wiring.  They also can be infected with fleas, mites, ticks and diseases that can spread to humans and pets in your yard. So what can be done?

According to www.aaanimalcontrol.com, chipmunk traps can be useful so that once trapped, they can be carried to a location far from home and set free. Some use mothballs, but they deteriorate over time and  can poison the environment.  Better options include outdoor cats or large plastic owls placed in the yard that scare them away as both owl and cat are predators of chipmunks.  If you find chipmunks entering your garage, it is suggested you place a pan of cat litter near the garage door fooling them to believe you have a cat around! 

That cat litter trick would have helped us the day I found one chipmunk entering the garage by hugging the wall and baseboards, then jumping up onto the garbage can lid, climbing on up to the potting bench, jumping up and diving into the small swinging lid container that was storing peanuts in the shell meant for feeding Bluejays.  The little guy then exited the container and the garage in the same manner it entered, but this time he was carrying a peanut in the shell horizontally in his mouth.  Back to being cute and adorable once again I’m afraid.       


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