Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tamias Striatus

We have a chipmunk living under the house. Lightning fast. Like so fast my eyes couldn't actually process him running into a tiny crack between the garage and the siding of the house. He was there one second, and a quick blur the next. Almost like he phased away, into a chipmunk dimension.

So I was reading that they're horrible for a house's foundation - their tunnels letting water under the house where water should never flow. So now I'm obsessed. We bought a humane trap so I could capture him safely and drive him out to a wooded location five miles away (or he'll find his way back supposedly) and make him someone else's problem. The first time he ate the peanut butter bait, all of it, without springing the trap. The second time, the bait was gone, the trap was sprung, but he wasn't in there (he probably phased into the Chipmunk Universe when he heard the doors falling).

Third attempt will be hanging a clump of peanut butter from the top of the cage... so he'll have to get up there and stand on the trigger to eat it. Hopefully this'll slow him down long enough for the doors to fall and trap him.



Any ideas how to get rid of these things?

17 comments:

shotgunner.la said...

Hello my good friend pumpkinrot.

The finest and longest lasting bait for small rodents, believe it or not, is bacon!

A bit about "humane" traps. The species in question is not endangered, yet is endangering your dwelling. You might consider using a rat sized "snap trap" the kind with a guillotine spring that "snaps" over when the bait is touched. These are far more effective than the "humane" varieties.

If you are concerned for the environment, then do not let the creature go to waste. Leave his carcass out in one of the fields you do photography in. A coyote, oppossum, badger, hawk, owl... or some other carnivore will accept the chipmunk as a free meal. These animals are natural predators of this species and will complete the chain of food, putting the resource back into the environment. All you will be doing is changing the random nature of predation by one individual.

Love your work.I hope you never stop.

Rot said...

Thanks. Glad you dig. And no worries - I'll never stop : )

And thanks for the advice. I dig animals, but if they're damaging my domain, I will do what I have to do in the end. We have a lot of turkey buzzards in my area, so that's an excellent point about providing a meal.

Ghostsoldier said...

Damn, that's a scary pic, Rot...but, I like it!

217 said...

As a small hillbilly child growing up in southwest Ohio, I used to catch them with a milk jug. I'd fill the milk jug full of water then turn it over in the hole that was in the yard and hold it there.
As the water emptied it sucked air and chipmunks up into it. But it will only work if it's a shallow hole in the ground where it will create a vacuum. When the milk jug didn't work I'd use a 5 gallon water cooler jug. Feel kinda sorry for the folks that recycled them back then.

(I see a blend of freakish wonder and shock on peoples faces now...)

icyfeetofdeath said...

The definitive chipmunk trap that I know of is the "swimming pool of death".

Take a bucket, partially fill with water, sprinkle sunflower seeds on water. Place a ramp up to the top edge of the bucket. Chippie goes up ramp, jumps in to get seeds, drowns when he can't get out.

Not a live trap but I've heard it works well. Never had the nerve to try it myself.

Jay's Shadow said...

I have tried the humane thing before but it would never work out. A lot of people would disagree, but animals are smart and they will figure anything out. (And have fun making the human look like a fool.....)

Now all I do is set the trap and..........SNAP! GOTCHA! Poor guy.

RebelShade said...

I must be a voice for the little swinties.
Rot I have several chipmunks that live around my house. I actually feed them. I have lived there for 12 years and have never had a problem with them. Don't panic about them, you might want to see where they are living before doing anything as drastic as killing them. Mine live in a wood pile next to my nieghbors house.They usally run the same path over and over so it's easy to see where they live. If they are not under your step/ foundation etc. I wouldn't worry about them. Clogged gutters do more damage than Chipmunks... :) Good Luck

Rot said...

I'm confident I'll figure out a way to capture them alive.

Though I'm pretty sure they live under the addition connecting the garage with the rest of the house.

The Frog Queen said...

That picture is terrifying....and cute....but mostly terrifying.

Good luck with this adventure :)

Cheers!

Terrormaster said...

Be advised though that if you guys are planning any sort of fruit or vegetable garden than chipmunks and squirrels love to munch. We lost several pumpkins to them last year before they were even carved.

RebelShade said...

This works with mice...If you take a trash can, has to be a tall one put it somewhere where he can get to the lip of the can, then take a flat stick like a ruler. balance the ruler with bacon on the end on the edge of the lip if the can. He'll go for the bacon and fall in. You only have one shot at it though if the ruler falls he won't try again. I have humanely captured many mice this way. Good luck and thanks for not killing the little wee ones :)

Jon said...

Lure them back under the addition with the promise of a delectable amontillado and then, well, you know...

Marrow said...

This is when it's useful to have a prop like Roots hanging around.

Dio said...

Cat. Black long-haired one works for me...

Anonymous said...

If I can provide a contrasting opinion as a volunteer wildlife
animal rehabber in my spare time...

Humane traps work just fine with patience. It's a little irritating and frankly disgusting for people to encourage a snap trap or drowning of an innocent animal right off the bat. This little guy is smarter than many dogs and just trying to get by. Let Rot try some other humane methods before encouraging more death. The humane traps work just fine. I use them. You may have to wire mesh the interior so he can't slip through the openings and have some patience. See? Solutions that don't involve killing. Amazing, I know.

Rot, you know I love ya.

~Randy

Rot said...

: )

I'll continue on with the human trap. Now it's become a challenge. I found the trap sprung today...but the little bait bundle I had taped to the roof of the trap was still there.

Soon, he'll be fat and sluggish and I'll be able to catch him with my hands ; )

ShellHawk said...

Plastic explosives sculpted to look like another chipmunk is the only way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lYm0c7gYyU

Think about it. ;o)