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Q – We have discovered chipmunks living in our yard. They appear to be getting closer to the house. We don’t have any real issues yet, but there may come a day.

What do we do?

Lauri in Duluth 

A – Ok, this is not going to be good news…

If the chipmunks are not disturbing you or your landscaping or your house and you enjoy watching them, then watch them.

As they are getting closer to the house, their tunnels may start to compromise the ground beneath your walkways or your driveways or your foundation, or trees or flowers or gardens, and at that point it’s time to send Theodore and the boys packing.

For me (and this may just be for me) the best way to get rid of them is to get a cat or a dog (I prefer a dog). Let it spend some quality time outdoors and your population of chipmunks should start to dwindle.

If you don’t want to go that route, you can buy live traps and trap them. Hav-A-Hart (no. 0) or Tomahawk (no. 102) are about the correct size. However, and this is where it gets kinda yucky, the DNR says that if you trap chipmunks you must euthanize them. To put that bluntly, you have to kill them.

There is no catch and release. Homeowners cannot legally trespass on other property to release trapped animals. And it is illegal to release trapped animals on county, state, or federal lands.

So that is the fate of your chipmunks. 

Good luck.