Latest Discussions : Lawn & Garden


11:20AM | 07/13/02
Member Since: 07/12/02
4 lifetime posts
We're in zone 5 of Massachusetts and have been plagued with chipmunks eating 85% of our tomatoes for the past two years. We've tried everything we could think of including fly paper thumb tacked to the rims of our raised planting beds, fake owls and sonic devices. Have-a-heart traps haven't worked (the chipmunks manage to free themselves). Short of killing them or using something not organic, do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your reply.


09:36AM | 11/05/02
Member Since: 10/15/02
359 lifetime posts
Garlic and lots of it. Get a few bulbs from the grocers and plant them al around the bed, the smell will keep the critters away.


03:46AM | 11/06/02
Member Since: 07/12/02
4 lifetime posts

I've had many responses at another site, but no one suggested garlic.

This year, I tried soybeans for the first time. They were an attractive plant and I looked forward to making edamame (soybeans boiled in salted water in their skins - supposedly very popular as a snack food in Japan). I noticed one pod had the 'chipmunk mark of attack' on it. The next day, every single soybean had been eaten.

I can't thank you enough for this suggestion. It may save tomatoes, soybeans and other vegetables from attack.

Thanks for restoring my hope!

Jim D

11:26PM | 11/06/02
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
HGT3 - hi, I saw something in one of Jerry Baker's book ads that may be of help. If you have a cat, you can take its fur/hair off the brush you use to brush it, and deposit the hair around the plants. Supposedly, that works excellent for rabbits as well.

The Hav-a-hart live traps you mentioned are probably for squirrels and not chipmunks, if the chipmunks are getting out. The wire mesh that the trap is made from has openings too large - the chipmunks can wriggle through very small openings. The trap doors typically have a small latching mechanism to hold the door shut once the trap's gone off. (I've used these types of traps before on everything from squirrels to raccoons...)

Anyway - if you have pets, and you can save their fur/hair after brushing them, it might be a solution. Good luck!

Jim D/Heathsville, VA


04:03AM | 11/07/02
Member Since: 07/12/02
4 lifetime posts
Thanks, Jim, for your suggestions.

The Hav-a-hart traps we used were for mice which we've successfully trapped in our cellar.

However, in the garden, we'd find them upended the next morning with the trap door opened and the food inside gone.

This happened so many times, it was clearly a pattern.

I'd also heard of the idea of pet fur, but that, too, failed.

Years ago, we tried to grow strawberries in front of our large living room window.

When the berries were nearing the ripening stage, we put out the fur of our 3 cats and 2 dogs (one of which was a collie).

We watched these little chipmunk devils check out the fur cautiously and then proceeded to walk on top of it and 'dine' on 7 strawberries.

Within 2 days, all the strawberries were gone.

That was 15 years ago and the chipmunk problem has only grown worse and expanded to more crops.

Someone offered the suggestion that the chipmunks were looking for water when chewing into the tomatoes. We put out many shallow bowls of water (30 bowls), but the tomatoes were still eaten.

I nevertheless thank you for your suggestions because they might help some other people who don't have as bold chipmunks as we do.


06:58AM | 05/30/13
My step dad devised an electrical shock when squirrels and chipmunks stepped up to get into the bird seed. I know this is going to sound cruel, but it does not kill them, it merely shocks them and they learn quickly to keep away. Not sure how you could do this, unless you took strips of metal and attached them in say, a frame and placed it around your strawberry bed. Then attach low current electricity to the metal. Unplug it when you need to enter and it keeps them off. Occasionally there will be a new comer, and it usually only happens once for them to learn. Sounds pretty drastic, but like I said, it doesn't kill them, and they learn quickly. It's worth trying.


04:45PM | 07/29/15
something must be wrong with your have a heart traps make sure there are no holes and that they are closing tight. I have caught 50 or more. you dont need bait just set them next to a wall or in front of a hole or the spot you see them run through


04:53PM | 07/29/15
chipmunks cant turn those live traps over. it is probably raccoons. I have trapped 25 of them also.


06:44PM | 06/10/16
chicken wire. Period.


03:12PM | 07/22/16
I've caught probably 25 chipmunks each year in hava-hart traps. I bait them with cracked corn or scratch feed from my chicken feed. Never had them in the garden before so assume that is what is eating half or each of my tomatoes. Also see about a three inch diameter hole in the ground which I assume is their den?


11:57PM | 08/19/16
They climb the chicken wire. I was eye-to-eye with a chipmunk at the top of my cherry tomato plant yesterday. I've caught three in 2 days in my hav-a-hart trap, baited with a few sunflower seeds. I'm thinking about wrapping metal flashing around the chicken wire in hopes it will be too smooth for them to climb.


02:36PM | 06/13/17
One thing I learned to do is to take the mesh bags that lemons, limes or garlic sometimes comes in. You can cut them down to size. Wrap them around each "cluster" of tomatoes so that the tomatoes are in the bags, so to speak. Close the bag with a little wire bread tie. Rain and sun can get through, but chipmunks stop eating them. I put these on my zucchini and cucumbers too. Only rarely has a chipmunk eaten through the mesh. This is cheap, and very, very effective.


01:52PM | 09/03/18
Have been trying the mesh bags this week to try and save my giant Cherokee purple tomatoes from being chipmunk dinner- the little buggers have managed to eat tomatoes THROUGH the bags, going to try garlic pepper spray next to see if that will work...


03:52PM | 09/05/18
Get a Jack Russell, and teach it the word CHIPPIE!!! My Russell's pasted away a few years ago and I now have a bumper crop of chipmunks and very few tomatoes!


02:28AM | 09/06/18
Member Since: 09/06/18
5 lifetime posts
Chipmunks are known for their mess, destruction, and annoyance that they cause. When dealing with a chipmunks infestation, it is very important to be armed with the right tools. We have battled chipmunks infestation in our yard. We have tried using the cage trap and was useful for only a temporary time period. In order to protect the structural integrity of our home and property, we decided to consult a professional wildlife removal team ( They removed the problem in the safest and most efficient way. They also provided us with deterrents to keep potential future chipmunk problems out of our yard.


07:34PM | 07/09/19
Any updates on if the garlic and chilies worked? I’m worried about my tomato crop this year


03:49AM | 07/12/19
My dad had a couple of fake owls and a hawk that seemed to help a lot.


08:27AM | 05/02/20
Deer netting. Works all season long.


12:34PM | 08/11/20
What about moth balls?


07:59PM | 08/11/20
Chipmunk stew.


07:49AM | 08/17/20
This year, they have eaten through my deer netting!!! (On top of my garden!!


04:33PM | 09/03/20
Member Since: 03/16/11
43 lifetime posts
That's too bad! I recommend chicken wire or, even easier, deer netting.


10:45AM | 09/09/20
I tried hot pepper that I grinded up with a little veg. oil to spread on all my tomatoes, the chipmunks didn't care they go into them and ate 3/4 of all my tomatoes. At the end of the season I will dig a trench along my 6 ft. fence and place chicken wire so they can't enter my garden. I hope this will work


01:16PM | 04/14/21
If you aren't up to getting a Jack Russell terrier, then maybe you might consider investing in a couple of nice friendly black snakes or rat snakes. Not only will they deter, but they are nicely built for getting to the source of the issue. We have been fortunate to have a real set of owls nesting near our home the last 3 years...that, along with our live traps has really helped with the it's just the gray squirrels I need to deal with.


02:18PM | 03/24/22
Chipmunks in my yard went right through chicken wire. I saw them do it. This year I will try deer netting on the far side of the chicken wire. .

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