A chipmunk is just about one of the cutest little critters in Michigan. However, as a ground-dwelling, burrowing species, they are not so popular among property owners this time of year. Chipmunks are a part of the Sciuridae family, same as squirrels; but rather than climb trees and build nests high off the ground like their distance relatives, chipmunks burrow, creating their homes beneath our feet. Although small, they can certainly cause a significant amount of lawn and garden damage.
What does this mean for you? Continue reading to learn more about wintertime chipmunk activity. This information will give you the insight you need to protect your property from nuisance chipmunks this year.
As mentioned, chipmunks are part of the Sciuridae family, just like squirrels. This means they are rodents, and as rodents, they like to dig. Chipmunks spend all spring and summer burrowing a complex series of tunnels underground, and foraging for as much food as they can find to store for the winter. During these times, they hand out in the shallow parts of their tunnels during the day, and enter the lower chambers for sleeping at night. They are also known to take up shelter in ground cover, logs, trees, hollowed stumps, shrubs, hedges, fence lines, and rocks. But once the weather turns too cold, they enter the lowest part of their tunnel system and rely on the storage of food the collected over the spring and summer seasons.
Opposed to common belief, chipmunks are not a hibernating species. However, they do enter a relative state of hibernacula (state of rest and lowered heart rate) for parts of the winter season. For the majority of the season, chipmunks are actively searching for ways to stay warm. During the coldest parts of winter, they enter deep into the tunnel system they created over the spring and summer, and sleep most of the time. When there are warmer days in the winter, chipmunks will arise from their underground tunnels and forage for more food.
Chipmunk behavior, like tunneling and foraging, will certainly cause a nominal amount of damage to a lawn. At first glance, these tunnels unsightly and greatly reduce curb appeal. However, they are also an obstruction and a tripping hazard, and can even jeopardize a property’s foundation. In the spring and summer, chipmunks can be highly destructive to gardens and potted plants. For these reasons, it is in your best interest to put a stop to nuisance chipmunk activity as soon as possible. Contact a licensed and insured Michigan wildlife removal and control company for expert assistance at an affordable price.