Chipmunk Habitat

What Is The Chipmunk Habitat Like?

If you like to observe chipmunks but you don’t know where to look for these tiny creatures, you can start to learn about the chipmunk habitat. Some people believe that chipmunks are a nuisance and that they can damage homes, properties and landscapes. This is occurring now because people are placing their houses and building on natural chipmunk habitat land. But there are ways to prevent and control damage by a chipmunk without harming the animal or your surrounds.

The chipmunk is a tiny creature that only weighs around 3 ounces. They grow to reach 5 to 6 inches in length and they are basically a smaller type of squirrel. They have the same shape but they have signature stripes that set them apart. They are located over the eye area and down the back of this animal. Unlike the usual neighborhood squirrel, the chipmunk has a tail that isn’t quite as fluffy. But they do hold food with their front feet and sit upright.

The chipmunk habitat consists of forests and heavily wooded areas. Chipmunks enjoy having places to hide, so they choose areas with a lot of ground cover. This includes dead and decaying trees and stone walls. Although most chipmunks prefer desolated places, they are also known to inhabit suburban areas and neighborhoods. As long as they have a place to retreat to, they can thrive in these places and their retreat is called a burrow.

A burrow is a dug by the chipmunk and it is a hole in the soil. They house the chipmunks and give them protection form predators and a place to store food.  A burrow can be shallow and only a few inches under the ground or it can lead to tunnels that can be several feet long. When the winter months approach, the chipmunk spends time inside the burrow hibernating. They finally leave the burrow in mid march and they survive on a cache of food stored in the burrow in the winter. They do not go into a deep hibernating period during this time.

Mating habits and certain types of food can have a lot to do with a chipmunk habitat. Chipmunks eat seeds, berries, grains and nuts but they are also known to eat birds and their eggs and salamanders. They have check pouches that are able to carry large amounts of food to the burrow for storage. They spread seeds around and these seeds can be an important source of food for other animals like birds and other mammals. Chipmunks mate twice a year and this is when they are the most active and can do the most damage to properties. This occurs once in the early spring and once in the early summer. The baby chipmunks are born in April to May or august to October. The usual life span for a chipmunk is 3 years.

If you are having a problem with a chipmunk invasion, there are things you can do to help with the situation. Chipmunks like to burrow under vegetable and flower gardens but you can bury mesh underground, next to the garden area. Use a wire mesh that is tightly woven. The chipmunk cannot burrow through this mesh and your garden will be left alone. For chipmunks that are above ground causing problems, you can purchase live traps at your local hardware store. Place these traps close to where the problems are occurring and if you capture a chipmunk, you do not have to kill it. A national park or forest is a great place to free the creatures. Make sure to wear protective gloves when you are handling a chipmunk in a live trap.