Chipmunks & Lost Plants | Cheap Options To Help Prevent The Little Beasts

Sorry, I seriously had this written up…I just never got to publishing it. Yikes!

If you saw my most updated post, then you would have read about my problems with chipmunks. Now before any of you kind animal lovers get worried, no chipmunks were seriously harmed (as far as I know). The only thing they may have experienced is a slight irritation or they got poked. If that bothers you, then you may wish to skip this post.

Note: I chose fairly cheap options to try out first.

Methods I used.
Spray designed to keep animals away. It is pretty odorous to keep humans away, honestly. It reminds me of puppy breath, anyone of you who has a puppy knows what I mean. Reading my Bible outside with puppy breath in the air took away from the cool morning. Did it work – no. The chipmunks might have avoided the area just a tad, but I wouldn’t say it stopped them. Plus, I can’t spray this into containers with plants that I’ll eat. Soooo…. The chipmunks avoided the area and went to places they could dig. *The spray causes a slight irritation, similar to the next method I tried.
Cayenne pepper – I have used this method before. This will cause a slight irritation to the chipmunks, which should stop them from digging. I thought it was working, but you have to reapply quite a bit, and I was the one left with the irritation, burning eyes, and runny nose (even WITH a mask on!)
Plastic snakes – You have to move these frequently to try to make them appear like they are moving. They kinda worked, but I also didn’t move them as frequently, so, pretty sure, the chipmunks are best buds now.
Growing marigolds– I wish I had known this ahead of time. But apparently chipmunks do not like the smell of the leaves. That being said, I had read forums of people having chipmunks eat their marigolds. Apparently, the marigold you really want is the lemon (I think.) Do some research before making a decision. I am growing marigolds now. (They didn’t eat mine.)
Pinwheels– I love pinwheels, so I already have them. My mother in law asked if they kept the chipmunks away because the ones I got her worked. The chipmunks did not like the sound, she said. Well, that does not stop mine, at all, unfortunately.
WINNERChicken wire– I had been eyeing chicken wire for a while, but before buying I wanted to know what I would do with it. I finally decided to make covers for ALL of my containers.

The reason, if you are wondering, why I did not cover the area of the container garden is because it’s a small balcony. I rent my apartment. There’s only so much I can do. And covering the whole area would have been much more expensive because it would have required a lot more chicken wire. I bought one roll at Walmart, and that’s all I used. Note: I did not, in the end, have enough to cover all of my containers. But I had enough to cover all of the plants that are growing food. I had enough scrap pieces to cover the tops of the containers .

Now, the issue I found myself in was that my containers already had plants in them, growing out of the container. I couldn’t make a cover (lid, essentially), and just plop it down on the container. I had to create openings, gaps, for the stems. I had to make the cover go around the plant.

Tools I Used:

-Chicken Wire- You want finally small holes.
-Wire Cutter
-Duck Tape
-Trash Bags (I was already using them prior, but they did help the cover stay on, you’ll see.)

How I Made The Chicken Wire Covers:

-I measured my big pots and small pots to get an idea of how big I needed to make the cover. Chicken wire, when unraveled (be careful when you do) is rectangular shape. It’s like wrapping paper, but it can hurt you, thus gloves helped.
– Once I had my shape ready for a container, I cut it into two pieces.
– Slowly I began to place one part of cover toward the center.
-The half cover eventually ran into some stems of plants.
-I took note, removed the cover from the container, and with my wire cutters began to cut out the wire in those locations. So the cover would be able to slide to the center, and the stems would have room.
-I did this for each stem in the container, on both parts of the cover.
-When the half covers finally met in the center, I used the wire cutters to cut away the extra wire on the edges, as the containers were circular shaped.
-Then I used ducked taped to cover the sharp edges of the chicken wire, and I taped it to the container.
-My fabric bags were in white trash bags (to help reduce the heat of the black bags from sunlight.) I ducked the chicken wire to the plastic bag and this helped.

I did over 12 covers. Each cover took about an hr to make at first. The bigger the pot, the bigger the cover. The more stems in the pot, the more time invested in getting the cover to fit.

As long as you have a few inches between the top of the pot and where your soil meets, the chipmunks won’t be able to touch any of the soil. However, as long as your soil is covered with chicken wire, and anchored a bit, they won’t be able to lift it. And being poked by chicken wire isn’t fun. I know, that’s why I got the gloves.

This method was the most successful. As soon as I began covering my containers with chicken wire, the chipmunk would go to the next free pot. But soon enough, the only remaining pots were the flower ones.

So, one last tip would be to use decoy containers, if you want. I have marigolds growing in pots with scrap chicken wire. If the chipmunks find any extra space that isn’t covered, they dig. So, I placed scraps around the base of the stem to try to prevent them from fully uprooting the flower. It’s helped.

The chipmunks dig only in the containers that do not have covers and only in the areas that scrap chicken wire does not cover.

This is a perfect example of what I did. Now, you can use wire cutter to cut out sections where you see your plants growing, or if your plants are already growing, you might have to split the cover in half, and cut out sections that give room to the stems. I put my other fabric bags in trash bags, so I could attach the plastic to the duck tape, to seal in the cover.

I hope this was helpful!

Scripture To Memorize/Meditate On – (ESV) Acts 3:15, “and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.”

*To learn more about what Jesus did on the cross and why His atonement sacrifice is so needed please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?) 
*If you do not know the Gospel, do not turn away. If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?

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