The Q&A Archives: Destructive Chipmunks

Question: We have chipmunks living in our area that, although they are cute, can be annoying. Last year I had a problem with them eating my tomatoes until I kept a dish full of water out for them, so they didn't have to raid the fruit to quench their thirst. This year I planted a windowbox with some herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley and dill). A day after I put it out I found a chipmunk in the box rooting the soil around. What can I do to deter them from destroying my plants? I don't want to kill the chipmunks.

Answer: Chipmunks can be pests, it's true. You could try one of the commercially formulated rodent repellent sprays, or a home made one based on garlic. Spray the mixture on the plants and soil and reapply periodically. You could also try placing wire mesh such as chicken wire, hardware cloth, or screening on the soil surface in between the plants to make it more difficult for the critters to dig.

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