EC (Tamias striatus)
Eastern chipmunks are ground dwelling members of the squirrel family and measure approximately 8 to 10 inches in length from the nose to the tip of the tail. They are reddish brown in color with five distinctive black lines down the back that alternate between lighter colored brown or cream stripes. Chipmunks have pouched cheeks that they use to carry food to store in their burrows. They also use the pouches to carry dirt away when they dig their burrows that can be up to 30 feet in length with many channels and entrances. They typically inhabit the same burrow for several years and conceal the entrances with rocks and leaves.
Chipmunks are usually solitary and defend their territory from other chipmunks. Occasionally, you will see a mother and her young together in the same area, but chipmunks do not usually inhabit an area in large numbers. Their diet consists of nuts, fruit, insects, corn, and occasionally they will take small vertebrates like baby birds when the opportunity presents itself. Owls, hawks, snakes, and larger mammals like coyotes prey on chipmunks.
Chipmunks do not typically cause substantial economic damage, but they are somewhat of a nuisance for gardeners. If a chipmunk is digging up your flower bulbs and seeds or eating the fruit from your trees, you may chose to trap and relocate the animal. A snap trap like you would use for mice can be used to remove them from your home. They are easily trapped using peanut butter or oatmeal for bait. If relocated several miles from your home, a chipmunkwill not return. However, another will move in to occupy the territory if proper steps to protect your home or garden are not taken. Check out the "more info" button on the lefthand side of this page for more ideas on chipmunk damage control.