Q: I recently poured one hundred and fifty gallons of water down a chipmunk’s hole and it didn’t fill it, nor did any come out anywhere else. I even checked under the house in case it was leaking there.
How deep do chipmunk holes go and where do they put the dirt when they dig?
A: A chipmunk burrow can be pretty extensive. The tunnel is 2 – 3 inches in diameter and can be 20 – 30 feet long.
As you noticed, the entrance is not easy to see: chipmunks carry soil they excavate in their cheek pockets to be scattered elsewhere.
My bet is that there was enough soil leakage along the length of the hole to absorb the water you introduced.
It’s easy to understand that the chipmunk population peaks in May but declines drastically by winter. Dogs, cats, owls, hawks and autos take their toll on the scampering creatures.
Knowing this, I rarely encourage control measures. In January, only a couple of chipmunks may be left in your landscape from the dozen that started the summer.
Over-filled bird feeders are the biggest contributors to backyard chipmunk population explosions.
Remember too that chipmunks are protected by state law – you are not supposed to trap, kill or harass them.
My advice is to fill the holes with concrete or large gravel and let nature take its eventual course.
See Georgia Law on Non-Game Wildlife.
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