The more fruit I grow, the more it seems to feed the chipmunks in my yard and their population is getting ridiculous. I’ve heard of killing rats by tossing chunks of dry ice in their tunnels and closing up the tunnel exits, so the carbon dioxide suffocates them. Does this really work and might it be a way to reduce the chipmunk population?
If it might work, how much dry ice do I need to use per chipmunk hole? Also, there are a bunch of chipmunk holes in my perennial garden as well as very close to the bases of some of my fruit trees, so is there a chance the carbon dioxide might harm the roots? I expect not, but I certainly don’t want to harm the trees and plants.
If I use rat traps a few times for specific plants I’ve netted, I’d rather not take chances of neighboring kids, dogs, and cats possibly getting hurt, since many of the chipmunk tunnels are fairly near the sidewalk, etc.
Get a couple of the bait boxes. The big ones are big enough to let them in. Just keep loaded with poison. I’ve been experimenting with home made mixtures. Either way dogs, kids, or what ever can’t easily get in them. Easy and continues to work forever. For rats put them against your house foundation. Everything else scatter around the property.
Any type of gun is a non-starter here, since my lot is less than 9000sqft and I have neighbors all around who I’m sure wouldn’t be comfortable with me shooting at things so close. Also, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be legal anyway. Not that I wouldn’t like to take care of a few as I watch them run off with my strawberries.
There are to many to hunt them with an air rifle anyway i think. They will win in my opinion unless you try these methods and say this because professional exterminators all over have been having a hard time eradicating rodents like voles, Rats, chipmunks, and packrats
Traps in my area work fine on voles but not on rats or pack rats. Pack rats are very aggressive here. The pack rats here attack live animals like rabbits at times and eat them. Poultry is their favorite food once they get large. Many people blame cats for what pack rats do. House cats even.feral fear pack rats. Thankfully we have coyotes , hawks, and owls but remember they dont discriminate on what they eat. So a coyote will eat your house pets. If your coyote population is higher like mine is remember my pets sleep inside for yheir protection at night. We have eagles or falcons at times but they are so rare like bobcat right now im not including them. Racoons and possums are rare right now. We have had a coyote with a strage bark so he might be part wolf or dog and he is an aggressive hunter at dark every night. If for some reason you must use traps because baits will be eaten by good animals here is what i do #1 set traps in clusters of 5 or 6. Learned smart animals defeat traps so set traps they back into outsmarting your other traps they wont see that coming they are watching their front not their back. So a trap in the center with bait but 5 or 6 more traps all around the baited trap. #2 i used victor traps before but found modern snap traps are cheaper and better.
A really great method but requires a big commitment on your part is a small rat terrier or similar breed. My friend wiped out all of his rodent problems with a terrier.
If not convinced see this thread You win some you lose some with rodents! . This is my dog thats with my ex fiance now. He murdered many rodents but its rare footage to capture him doing it. He ate them so fast it was shocking.
It might be worth noting for some people my barred rock chickens cured me of eating eggs many times when they attacked rodents or snakes. They are a meat eating breed that actively hunt voles but they will be hunted by large packrat communities. You can see the size of the packrats on this thread Rodent control - #2 by clarkinks
Dry ice is a great idea consider running exhaust off your muffler down in the hole. In my experience water never worked or fumes of any kind in my area im not sure why. All that said i dont have chipmunks or squirrel because the predators like coyote who eat vole as their primary food are left alone on my property. Snakes are their natural predators but my guess is you have few snakes since population is higher there. The prey remain long after the predator is wiped out.
I have not tried dry ice , not sure where you would get that?
Might work ?
I have successfully used smoke bombs to eliminate ground hogs around here. Make sure you have something to cover hole with before you light the fuse ,I use a big piece of sod .may be multiple entrances , so have extra Pieces of sod handy to plug holes .
Works good .
I make my own smoke bombs , but these , or something similar should work .
Mark the entrance , check the next day, if they have opened it back up,likely they were not home at time of treatment, repeat.
My smoke bomb recipe;
Not sure of the best proportions, but this works for me…
Mix more or less equal proportions of
Salt Peter (= potassium nitrate )
Mix well , wet with water , mix very well .
Pour some potassium nitrate solution on newspaper , this make the paper like a fire cracker fuse when dry, used as a wrapper ,cigar size tubes of the dry mix.
Spread out on layers of news paper to dry, for several days , or until bone dry.
Roll up the mix like small cigars useing the treated newspaper as wrappers, tying with a string.
These are cheep and effective .
@Hillbillyhort thanks for that suggestion. Sounds like a bit more exciting than all the baits, etc. and the reviews look pretty good. I sent it on to my sister as well who has been dealing with a family of woodchucks destroying her garden all season.
Any idea whether these might harm tree roots? I have a bunch of chipmunk holes around one of my big oaks and one of my apple trees and certainly don’t want to harm them in the process.
I have not seen any harm to nearby plants , essentially all the ingredients are fertilizer. Combustion is very temporary.
The commercial products and my cigar size ones are sized for large ground hog dens.
Likely best , more economical, to use proportionally smaller size for Chipmunks ?
Could try cutting the commercial ones into smaller pieces ?
May look for smoke bombs at a fireworks store ?
Should be on sale this time of year ….cheep ? ?
The problem with trapping and poisoning is that it doesn’t break the idea that your orchard is little more than a buffet to be tapped on a daily basis. Nor it fixes anything. In Virginia where the OP hails from there are 45,000 squirrel hunters and never a shortage of squirrels. They are rodents, reproduce like rodents, and as long as there is food and nothing to fear they will just keep at it. Heck, big fat rats exhibit the exact same behavior; if they learn not to fear humans they will walk up to you to check what you are eating. The difference is that we think one of them as cute and simply promote that behavior.
Heck I looked it up; in Virginia there is no closed season on your private property for personal use. You don’t even need a hunting permit.
Once more I just sat down on my living room with a cup of coffee and binoculars, it took me a bit to spot one but they are there, all while my trees are loaded with fruit. They would not come into my yard anymore than they would stand in the middle of an empty field, waiting for one of the fifteen different birds of prey from around here to stop and say hi. They are really that smart.
That sounds more like it should be called anti-ratpoisonfacts.org. Any tool can be misused and while rat poison is not something you can just sprinkle on a problem to make it go away, it doesn’t mean that it has no place in a well thought-out approach.
I have a sealed crawl space under a room. From time to time mice actually manages to get there. This is Alaska, they will go to great lengths to find a warm place. There is a hole through which I drop some ‘mice food’ as needed.
My storage shed outside. There is no food but it does provide an inviting dry and protected environment so once again a bit of ‘mice food’ can take care of rodents that may decide to take residence there.
CO2 will certainly kill rodents, and most anything else. It’s how they kill rodents at large operations where mice and rats are grown as food for reptiles. It’s heavier than air so as the dry ice evaporates the CO2 would settle into the burrow. My best fruit buddy used to sell tens of thousands of rats a year for snake food.
I don’t see how you could call that inhumane. They won’t know what hit them and won’t feel any pain.