How to Keep Chipmunks Out of Bird Feeders?


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

how to keep chipmunks out of bird feeders

It’s always great to see the local avian creatures flock to your yards. However, with seeds comes pesky critters like chipmunks. In this case, a regular feeding platform won’t keep them out. So, how to keep chipmunks out of bird feeders?

You can keep them out by mixing ground pepper into the feed, keeping the area clean of fallen seeds, and reinforcing your feed’s stand and container. Luckily, chipmunks aren’t as athletic as squirrels, so your work would be lighter.

Ways to Keep Chipmunks Out of Bird Feeders

Rodents can be pesky creatures, and because of this, you definitely won’t want them lingering around your home. Don’t make the mistake of assuming they can’t reach high feeders, as chipmunks go to great lengths to have something to eat.

So, to prevent that, here is how to keep chipmunks out of the garden and your bird feeder.

1. Keep the Area Around Your Feeder Clean


Chipmunks are foragers and will go around their territory for even the tiniest morsel. Plus, since they can stuff a large amount of seeds into their cheeks, they’ll be more than willing to climb the feeder if they notice where the fallen grains come from.

One way you can prevent the area from falling seeds is to set up a net or tray just beneath the feeder to catch them. Alternatively, opt for tube feeders so that birds can’t throw seeds around while feeding.

2. Make It Impossible for Them to Reach Your Feeder


One of the methods to get rid of chipmunks permanently is to make it impossible for them to reach your feeder. You can do this in three easy ways:

  • Metal pole

Try mounting your feeder on a metal pole with 7 feet of clearance around it. Then, apply some dilute castor oil around the post, which will make it slippery, to stop chipmunks from climbing the bird feeder pole.

Another way to prevent critters from climbing the pole is putting a slinky around it. Given how bouncy a slinky is, it’ll be nearly impossible for chipmunks to hold onto it.

  • Bird feeder baffle

Baffles, when installed on both the upper and lower sides of the feeder, prevent chipmunks from hopping their way to the seeds. Rest assured, both store-bought and homemade chipmunk baffles still allow birds to reach your offerings.

  • Fishing line

If you prefer the feeder to be hung on a branch or house, you would need a sturdy fishing line. Chipmunks aren’t as agile as squirrels, so they aren’t equipped with the skills to skim their way down such a flimsy support.

3. Pepper


Mixing your bird seed with ground pepper is a natural home remedy that will repel chipmunks from going near the feed.

Pepper is what scares chipmunks, but not birds, because the latter cannot taste spicy food. So, feel free to include the spiciest pepper you can find in the mix.

4. Scent Deterrents

You can use smells chipmunks hate to drive them off. A few options you can try are DIY garlic spray (crushed garlic mixed with hot water), peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil. Try spraying these near the bird feeder, and these critters will definitely steer clear of your yard.

However, when applying these deterrents, make sure they don’t contaminate the seeds, as this can pose health hazards to the birds.

5. Rodent Proof Containers

You won’t have to change the location or its hanging area if you focus solely on the container itself. Consider getting a chipmunk-proof bird feeder that stops chipmunks from chewing through the material.

Flimsy builds like plastic or thin wood would be easy for chipmunks to get through, but if it’s made out of metal or reinforced plastic, then these critters might give up.

6. Trapping Chipmunks


Alternatively, you can trap chipmunks and release them a long distance away from the bird feeder in an animal-friendly area like forests or parks

The good news is that these critters are easy to capture—all you need is a small trap with baits, such as seeds. After setting up the trap, you should be able to catch at least one within a day or two.

Of course, releasing them like this can get tiring in the long run and can’t permanently keep chipmunks away. You only need to attempt this solution when the others wouldn’t work, which is rarely the case.

7. Give Chipmunks Their Own Personal Feeding Area


If you also want to feed chipmunks but don’t want them hogging the bird’s food, you can give them their own personal feeding area to keep chipmunks off the seeds.

The process is easy, just place the chipmunk’s separate feeder on the furthest side away from the birdfeeder. With their food more accessible than the bird feeder, they won’t make efforts to ransack it.

8. Hire a Professional to Remove Chipmunks

If you don’t want to have chipmunks in your yard, have tried, or don’t want to go through all the methods above, then it’s time to hire a professional.

Wildlife removal experts will take them to a better and harmless place, and you’ll be chipmunk-free.


Setting a bird feeder at your home sounds like a great idea, but it can attract more than just birds. If you don’t want chipmunks to raid feed meant for the local avian life, then you’ll need to go to these lengths.

After reading our guide on how to keep chipmunks out of bird feeders, you should be able to keep the seed containers safe without resorting to harming the little critters. We hope that you’ll be successful with your attempts.

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