About chipmunk traps
Put all this together and it becomes clear that dealing with unwanted chipmunk guests needs to be done as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Using multiple traps at once is strongly advisable, as is the use of multi-catch traps such as bucket rod or plank traps. Speaking of the different types of traps, however, let’s go over the most popular ones:
The good old, reliable cage traps. Rodent cage traps come in a lot of different shapes, sizes, and designs. Depending on what exactly you need you might want to go for a single-door trap, a dual-door trap, or a multi-catch large cage trap. Either way, when they are made well, with a good design and out of quality materials, cage traps can serve you faithfully and effectively for years. If they are poorly designed – for not so long.
The best thing about cage traps is that they allow you to catch the animals in a humane and safe way, giving you to the opportunity to dispose of them however you like – typically by driving them away from your property and releasing them there.
Bucket rod traps
These work on a very simple principle – you place a cylindrical rod over a 5 bucket and place some bait in the middle of it. As the rodents try to walk on the rod to get to the bait, the rod rolls sideways due to the rodents’ weight and they drop in the bucket. The bucket can be filled with water to drown and kill the rodents, or its bottom can be covered with sawdust to prevent them from jumping and escaping. The good thing about such bucket traps is that they are surprisingly effective and they can catch multiple rodents per night without needing to be emptied and reset after each successful catch.
Bucket plank traps
These work on a very similar principle as the bucket rod traps, only instead of a rod they use a wooden plank set on the side of the bucket. As the rodent tries to walk on the plan to the bait at its end, the rodent’s weight lowers the plank and the animal drops in the bucket. After that, the plank’s counterweight straightens it back up, ready to cheat more animals. As with rod traps, the bucket can be filled with either water or sawdust, depending on how you want to deal with the captured animals.
Another drawback of both bucket trap types is that you usually need to get the bucket yourself, as well as prepare a couple of laths for the rodents to climb on.
Choose the right bait
Most chipmunk traps need good bait to function properly. Fortunately, chipmunk baits are not bizarre in any way – the easiest way to attract chipmunks is with things such as peanut butter, oatmeal, various nuts you have in your home, as well as seeds. You can also add some berries if the trap allows for it, but nuts and seeds are generally the way to go.
Infamous for their brutality as well as for their effectiveness, snap traps are still used today. They are as effective on chipmunks as they are on mice, and there are newer models on the market that you can buy instead of the old wooden classics. The drawback of snap traps is that they are a tad too bloody and brutal, which can be annoying to deal with even if you don’t particularly care about the rodents’ wellbeing.
Electronic rodent zappers can also work on chipmunks. All you need to do is set them up in a good spot and place a delicious bait inside. Rodent zappers typically discharge around 7000 volts of power once the rodent is inside and has triggered their bait plate. 7000 is usually enough to instantly kill a chipmunk, so they can be considered “humane lethal traps” for chipmunks. They are less so humane against rats, as rats can often survive the 7000 volts and the traps often zap them continuously for minutes until they slowly cook them alive. Chipmunks are smaller and weaker, however, so they usually die quickly.
The drawbacks of using zap traps against chipmunks are that they do leave quite a mess and need to be cleaned meticulously after each kill. Additionally, chipmunk traps usually need to be placed outdoors which can be a problem for an electronic trap.
These glue traps are known for their brutal effectiveness. They work on a very simple principle – the animals walk over a glue-covered sheet to get to the bait on its other end. They get stuck on the super-powerful glue, they can’t break free, and they die. The captured rodents are often known to break or chew off their limbs in attempts to escape or even break their own necks in the struggle. If not, they often die of dehydration. Either way, it’s a gruesome way to deal with a simple chipmunk, which is why most people avoid these traps.
These are the basic and most well-known types of chipmunk and rodent traps. If you don’t want to use traps, however, what are some of the other methods you might want to employ:
- Taste repellents such as ones containing bitrex, thiram, or ammonium soaps of higher fatty acids are often used to protect flower bulbs, seeds, and foliage. They can be very expensive, however, and they require multiple applications. Even then, they don’t guarantee a 100% success rate
- Toxicants such as the ones used against rats and mice can also be used against chipmunks. However, you don’t really want multiple toxic chipmunk corpses lying in their underground tunnels right beneath your veggie garden
- Fumigants are generally considered to be ineffective against chipmunks because of how difficult it is to locate all the openings/exits of their underground burrows
- Shooting can be a way to deal with chipmunks, as long as it’s legal where you live. You can use a small-gauge shotgun or a .22-caliber rifle with birdshot, as well as C.B. cap loads. However, keep in mind that chipmunks are hyperactive and nervous animals, which makes them very difficult targets to hit
Chipmunk trap buying guide
The quality of the trap is obviously of the utmost importance – reading as many customer reviews, as well as industry professional reviews is always beneficial in order to get a better picture of which product is worth buying and which – not so much. Customer reviews can unfortunately often be subjective, unclear, incomplete, and simply wrong, while professional industry reviews are sometimes biased. However, when reading in conjunction and in large enough quantity, they can serve their purpose.
Something else to check out when looking for quality is the brands of the traps you’re comparing. Some of the better brands we’d recommend include: Havahart, Kat Sense, Guarden, FABUTA, Trapro, StarMiUp, Abco Tech, AB Traps, PAWMATE, and others.
Aside from simply looking for quality, however, it’s important to get the right type of trap for your situation.
- Are you dealing with dozens of chipmunks at once? Consider using multi-catch traps like bucket traps or large cages.
- Do you lack a sufficient way to transport live chipmunks away from your property – you might have to use a lethal trap then.
- Will all the taps need to be set up outdoors? Avoid electronic traps in this case.
- Are the surfaces you’ll need to place the traps on too uneven – be careful with dual-door cage traps or other traps that don’t function well on uneven surfaces then.
Asking all these and other similar questions will help you decide which device is most suitable for your situation and will help you the most in your quest of ridding your property of chipmunks.
Using traps for chipmunks
Generally, as with all other types of traps, choosing the right location and setting is key. Placing your traps in the wrong location can render them ineffective even if the place is overflowing with chipmunks.
If you are not sure exactly where and how to set the traps up, consider deploying one or several night vision cameras around your property to see where exactly the chipmunks go through more frequently and where they don’t seem to go at all. This can tell you a lot about the habits of your unwanted rodent guests and help you deal with them.
Also, keep in mind that chipmunks are very fearful and careful creatures – more so than even mice and rats. This means that they are likely to avoid new and unfamiliar things, so it often makes sense to first place the traps without setting them up for a night or two. This will give the rodents a chance to get used to them and not associate them as something dangerous. Then, when you set the bait and the trap, the pests will be more likely to enter. If you feel like the bait isn’t working chances are that it’s not the bait that’s the problem but the location of the trap. Also keep in mind that different traps can reduce the effectiveness of the bait – zap traps, for example, make the bait harder to smell because they are covered from all but one side. Cage traps, on the other side, are open, so the chipmunks are able to see and smell the bait easily from afar. The drawback here is, of course, you don’t really want to waste time, so try and see what’s best depending on your particular situation.
Another good idea is to use several different types of traps at the same time – like cage traps and bucket traps, for example. This will make sure that your rodents will have a variety of options to get themselves captured, which is always nice.
If one or several of your traps seem ineffective, don’t be quick to chalk it as a “bad” trap – maybe it’s not placed well. Try putting the trap somewhere else, where it might attract more rodents. Also, consider changing the bait every once in a while to spike their curiosity.
The problem with zap traps and other lethal traps is that they can smell like dead chipmunks if they are not cleaned properly. After prolonged use, even if they are cleaned as well as possible, they can still repel the chipmunks away from them, regardless of what bait you have inside.
And that’s more or less it. As long as you use the traps properly, you maintain them well, and you reset them regularly, you should deal with your chipmunk problems relatively quickly.
Single-door live cage traps are generally considered to be the best way to capture and remove chipmunks since dual-door traps can be trickier to set and need to be placed on a perfectly even surface. Bucket traps can work well too but zappers are harder to use as they are not made for outdoor use.
Regardless of what kind of traps you choose to use, it’s important to act fast. Chipmunks reproduce very quickly and when they settle in your property they settle for the long-term. Using multiple traps at once is often needed and the faster you deal with the problem, the better.
To wrap things up, here are our Top 3 suggestions once again:
The Havahart 0745 is a great live cage chipmunk trap that works on all kinds of other rodents such as squirrels, mice, rats, weasels, and more. Its 12-Gauge wire mesh is made out of Galvanized steel and is nearly impervious to the chewing attacks of the trapped rodents. It has dimensions of 16 x 6 x 6 inches, which is enough for most common rodents, including larger rats. The trap sports a unique and patented Havahart design with its trigger rod being placed on the outside, where it is safe from being damaged by the trapped animals.
The PAWMATE Trap for Catching Chipmunks is a great bucket rod trap with multiple possible applications. It needs a 5-gallon bucket to work, so you’ll have to buy that separately, but once it is set up it can catch multiple rodents at the same time, without having to reset it. It can be used both as a live trap and as a lethal trap, depending on whether you fill the bucket with water or sawdust (or – depending on what you do with the captured live animals), and it can easily deal with your whole rodent problem in one night, without needing to be reset multiple times.
The AB Pro-Quality Live Trap has a clean and simple design and comes assembled and ready for use. It can be ordered both as a single-door or a dual-door trap with both types being made out of durable high-quality steel wire mesh for extra longevity. The trap has smaller dimensions than our previous entry but it is still big enough for chipmunks or other small rodents. This means that it isn’t big enough for large rats, but on the flip side – it’s also not big enough for your cat or other small pets.