SQUIRREL REMOVAL IN NAPERVILLE
Damage Prevention and Control Methods
- Rodent-proof construction
- Store food items in rodent-proof containers
- Ground covers, shrubs, and wood piles should not be located adjacent to structure foundations
Fifteen species of native chipmunks are found in North America. The eastern chipmunk is one of the two most widely distributed and notable species. The eastern chipmunk is a small, brownish, ground-dwelling squirrel. It is typically 5 to 6 inches long and weighs about 3 ounces. It has two tan and five blackish longitudinal stripes on its back, and two tan and two brownish stripes on each side of its face. The longitudinal stripes end at the reddish rump. The tail is 3 to 4 inches long and hairy, but not bushy. When startled the chipmunk will carry its tail upright.
Habitat and General Biology
Eastern chipmunks typically inhabit mature woodlands and woodlot edges, but they also inhabit areas in and around suburban and rural homes. Chipmunks are generally solitary except during courtship or when rearing young. These animals are most active during early morning and late afternoon hours.
Chipmunk burrows often are well-hidden near objects or buildings (for example stumps, wood piles or brush piles, basements, and garages). The burrow entrance is usually about 2 inches in diameter. There are no obvious mounds of dirt around the entrance because the chipmunk carries the dirt in its cheek pouches and scatters it away from the burrow. During cold weather, Chipmunks enter a restless hibernation and are relatively inactive from late fall through the winter months.
The diet of chipmunks consists primarily of grains, nuts, berries, seeds, mushrooms, insects, and carrion. Although chipmunks are mostly ground-dwelling rodents, they regularly climb trees in the fall to gather food. Chipmunks cache food in their burrows throughout the year. By storing and scattering seeds, they promote the growth of various plants.
Damage and Damage Identification
Throughout their North American range, chipmunks are considered minor agricultural pests. Most conflicts with chipmunks are nuisance problems. When chipmunks are present in large numbers they can cause structural damage by burrowing under patios, stairs, retention walls, or foundations. They may also consume flower bulbs, seeds, or seedlings, as well as bird seed, grass seed, and pet food.
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The above information was adapted from PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE with permission of the editors, Scott E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, and Gary E. Larson (Cooperative Extension Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage Control, Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee). It is will great gratitude and appreciation that we are able to pass along this useful information.
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