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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - August 27, 2008

From: Reston, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Chipmunk in the garden.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a rogue chipmunk this year (never had one before doing this) who is eating roots and digging holes in all my plant containers. I have tried Plant Skyd (excellent deer repellent), ginger, garlic and forks with the prongs up. Nothing seems to work. Do you have any ideas, brilliant or otherwise, that would deter this annoying, but cute animal?

ANSWER:

It's probably Alvin; he's the troublemaker of the bunch. 

Chipmunks are best controlled by relocation.  It is fairly easy to catch them in live traps (heavy-guage wire mesh traps with trap doors) and relocate them to an area away from civilization.  However, some municipalities prohibit live trapping of wild animals by unlicensed individuals.  So it would be a good idea to check before putting out a trap.  You can find sources for traps by entering "live small animal traps" in a Google search.  Peanut butter makes an excellent chipmunk bait that is not easily removed from the trap.

If you do not wish to do it yourself or if you're prohibited by local laws from trapping the chipmunk, many exterminators offer a removal service.

 

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