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I have no desire to kill the chipmunks, but they completely undermined the flower bed behind a stone wall.  Is there a way to make them move on?  We have a mountain of woods by the house, but they seem to prefer the flower bed.  FYI  they are not eating any plants in the bed.

Lynn, I have found planting garlic, marigolds, and aromatic herbs nearby usually deters most animals and insects, including chipmunks.

Another option is to spray the plants with garlic spray. This can be purchased commercially or can be made at home by crushing a few cloves and mixing them with cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce. One other option is to mix 1 tbs. lemon ammonia and 1 tbs. dishwashing soap to one gallon of water. Spray liberally every few days for a couple of weeks. Not only will the smell prove offensive to the animals, but it will deter insects as well.

Garden centers sell quite a few commercial products which will deter pests. These include chemicals such as Ropel, or natural ones such as fox urine. I have tried bloodmeal and mothballs to deter rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks. The bloodmeal seemed to work best, but it had to be reapplied after a rainfall. For me, this made it rather impractical given the size of my garden. But if the area is small, this is very effective.

If all else fails, your only alternative is use a live trap to catch the animal(s). Havahart makes fine products in several sizes, which are highly effective, will not harm the animal, and is easy to use.  Just use some apples and peanut butter for bait, and relocate the animal at least 1 mile from your home.

Finally, as a last option, most garden centers also sell poisons which are very effective, but highly toxic to both humans and pets. Like you, I prefer not to kill the animal. That is why I would try the safer, natural suggestions I gave before resorting to the harsher ones.

Good luck, and please write again if I can ever be of further assistance.




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Mike Mascio


I have been an avid gardener since 1985 and an AllExpert volunteer since 1998. I specialize in soil preparation, seed starting and plant propagation, flowers, vegetables, and general landscaping. I am a strong advocate of the square foot method of gardening and the use of organic controls for pests and diseases.

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