What can I do to get chipmunks out of my mother's garden area?
What can I do to get chipmunks out of my mother's garden area? We don't want to hurt them, just move them on their way.
—Jean Kerling, East Aurora, N.Y.
Roger Cook replies: Chipmunks breed in the spring and summer, so the sooner you start your anti-chipmunk program, the better your chance of success. I have to tell you, though, that deeply entrenched infestations can be difficult to remove.
There are all sorts of anecdotal remedies, but very few of them actually work. For example, when I tried dumping mothballs into the burrow, the chipmunks removed and neatly deposited them in a pile outside the tunnel. The best solution I've found is to make them think that predators are around by spraying fox and coyote urine in their territories; the little critters pull up stakes and head elsewhere. So do deer, raccoons, and other wild animals, at least until it rains. Be sure to follow the product directions and reapply as often as suggested, because if you don't keep up the pressure the chipmunks won't take you seriously. Chipmunks love to live in stone walls, but spray a small section of wall first to make sure the urine doesn't stain it. Same goes for patios.