How do I stop Eastern Chipmunks?

Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus) are cute little rodents who are common visitors to our backyards and neighborhoods. Eastern Chipmunks are a tan brown rodent with black and white striped markings. They are omnivores and eat a wide variety of foods including: nuts, acorns, seeds, mushrooms, fruits, berries, corn, insects, bird eggs, snails and small mammals. While they are very cute, chipmunks can eat A LOT of bird food. Their cheeks have two long pouches which extend to their forearms and can hold a significant amount of food which they deposit in their burrows underground. Chipmunks can easily empty a bird feeder in a few hours making trips back and forth with their mouths full of food. The good news is that chipmunks cannot jump as far as squirrels and they hibernate in their underground burrows as soon as there is snow on the ground (they are back out as soon as the snow melts in the spring). Chipmunk bodies are designed for burrowing and mostly finding food on the ground. They can climb but typically stay closer to the ground. They are able to jump at least 3 feet and perhaps a bit further; however they legs are not designed in the same way as squirrels are and their bodies are not adapted for climbing to great heights or jumping far.

Chipmunks enjoy eating safflower seeds, are small enough to slip through most squirrel proof caging for feeders and light enough not to trigger squirrel proof bird feeders (they weigh the same amount as a bird).   So the typically squirrel proofing tricks don’t always work for chipmunks. That being said, never fear there are some ways you can keep chipmunks from accessing your feeders.

Please note that all of information provided on our website about our products is meant to be informative only. For more information regarding prices and shipping (within Canada only) please visit our store in Barrie (515 Bryne Drive, Barrie, ON), phone us (705) 726-7600 or send us an email [email protected].

 Eastern Chipmunk

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

 

Here are our 2 Rules for Keeping out Eastern Chipmunks:

1. Use Properly Sized, Metal Baffles on Tall Poles: The top of a pole baffle should be 5' above the ground to prevent jump-overs, and the pole itself must be 11' from anything sturdy enough (tree, fence, house, etc.) from which a squirrel or chipmunk could leap and gain access. If you want to prevent chipmunks from accessing squirrel proof bird feeders you can get away with a pole and baffle that is 7’ from any surrounding objects. The pole must also be tall enough so that all feeders stay above the top of the baffle. Most standard shepherd's crooks are not tall enough to achieve both of these rules. WBU's Advanced Pole System is and is an effective way to keep them away from feeders.

Our patented Advanced Pole System® (APS) is a revolutionary concept and the foundation for successfully attracting birds to your backyard. Comprised of interchangeable hardware pieces, the APS lets you select the setup that best suits the habitat in your own backyard and the birds you want to attract. To learn more about this product please visit the below links:

 

2. If a Feeder is Going to Hang in a Tree, a Large Overhead Baffle or Sky Café Feeder can do the trick; but only if it is broad enough to allow the feeder to tuck up under the edges, and is hung far enough out from the tree trunk or low limbs so as to prevent sideways jumps (at least 10 feet is recommended). Many times these baffles fail because too large of a feeder is placed under the baffle and squirrels learn to catch some part of the feeder as the fall/leap through the air. Feel free to bring your feeder to WBU Barrie so we can set you up with the proper baffle for your feeder.

 

APS Raccoon Baffle (3054)WBU APS Raccoon Baffle: Having trouble with rascal chipmunks, squirrels or raccoons getting into your bird feeders? The long, cylindrical design of our Raccoon Baffle specializes in deterring raccoons, squirrels and chipmunks from reaching your feeders. This baffle can be mounted to fit our Advanced Pole System® (APS) and is available in a durable black powder-coated finish. The baffle collar needed to pole mount this item is included. Our Advanced Pole System® (APS) Raccoon Baffle comes in two sizes:

  • Dimensions: 23" x 8" diameter
  • Dimensions: 23" x 10" diameter

 

 

 

 

 

APS Squirrel Baffle (1553)WBU APS Squirrel Baffle: Our Stackable Squirrel Baffles can make a good-looking Advanced Pole System® (APS) setup look great.Made of durable, powder-coated steel, these baffles feature a tapered design that is very effective in stopping squirrels and chipmunks before they reach your feeders. The baffle collar needed to pole mount this item is included. (Pole not included, but can be found here - Bird Feeder Pole Mounts).

  • Dimensions: 14" x 7" diameter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squirrel-Away BaffleSquirrel-Away Baffle: The Squirrel-Away Baffle is as durable as it is beautiful.  The Clear Squirrel-Away Baffle can attach to any hanging bird feeder to provide the high quality protection and waterproofing. It is made from 100% recycled Plexiglas and is 17" diameter.

 

 

 


WBU Squirrel BaffleWBU Squirrel Baffle: Our WBU Squirrel Baffle is 18” in diameter and protects a wide variety of bird feeders from squirrels. It also helps to shelter birds feeding from any inclement weather such as rain or snow It comes with a lifetime guarantee.

 

 

 

SkycafeSky Café Bird Feeder: The Sky Café Bird Feeder is a squirrel-proof bird feeder, referenced very highly in Bird Watcher's Digest and Bill Adler, Jr.'s book.  Squirrels slide off the dome every time they try, and they do keep trying, again and again. Cardinals, chickadees, tufted titmice, woodpeckers and many other songbirds gather on this circular, full-view patio. Cardinals, who are a bit shy about landing on narrow spots, are eager to land on this popular platform. It is made from 100% recycled Plexiglas with a large 17" diameter squirrel-proof dome protects seed from rain and snow as well.  With its generous 24 cup capacity bucket, you'll spend less time filling and more time watching. Clear-view, easy-flow seed dispensing means bird’s peck at a seed and it falls out in front of them onto the tray for easy dining. The durable Plexiglas lasts for years and years. The Sky Café Bird Feeder comes with a lifetime warranty against squirrel damage. 

 

 

A Few Other Options

Hot Pepper Products. In certain circumstances, where other methods aren't effective, WBU Hot Pepper Products may be the best option for deterring squirrels and other mammals. When feeders and food are placed in certain trees, on decks, or near windowsills, it may be difficult to keep away mammals including squirrels, raccoons, deer and rodents. In these situations, seed, suets, No-Melt Dough, Bark Butter, cylinders or Stackables™ with hot pepper may be a good solution. Only use products where the hot pepper is bound tightly in the product, such as our WBU Hot Pepper Products.

Approximately 90% of Eastern Gray Squirrels and Red Squirrels do not eat WBU Hot Pepper Products. There is also evidence to suggest that WBU Hot Pepper Products are effective at deterring a variety of mammals including but not limited to: Fox Squirrels, Eastern Gray Squirrels, Red Squirrels, rabbits, rats, mice, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, raccoons, opossums and skunks. There is also strong evidence to suggest they are also effective against bears, however if you live in bear country please read our section on Problem Solving Bears. WBU Hot Pepper Products may not be as effective when it comes to Eastern Chipmunks as they have fur-lined cheek pouches and this fur seems to act as a barrier to the effectiveness of the products.

For all the information on Feeding WBU Hot Pepper Products please visit our Problem Solving with Hot Pepper page. Our Problem Solving with Hot Pepper page details everything you need to know about WBU Hot Pepper Products, including frequently asked questions (FAQ) such as, does it work to discourage squirrels, is it safe for birds to eat hot pepper, and is it safe for hobbyists to offer hot pepper foods. Here are a few helpful tips:

How to Feed WBU Hot Pepper Products?

When offering WBU Hot Pepper Products they must be the only thing in a feeder. In other words, you can’t mix WBU Hot Pepper Products with other non-hot pepper options. For example, you wouldn’t want to mix regular Bark Butter with Hot Pepper Bark Butter as animals will just eat around the spicy option. WBU Hot Pepper Products must be fed on their own to be effective.

Hot Pepper Safety

As pointed out by Jim Carpenter in The Joy of Bird Feeding, capsaicin coated seeds can bother people when it comes into contact with our eyes, nose, mouth and lips. It’s important to take care when using our WBU Hot Pepper Products. Rubber dish gloves would be a good accessory to have on hand when using these foods or washing feeders.  

Can’t I just Make My Own Hot Pepper Products?

Items with hot pepper (capsaicin) cause a reaction in humans. If eyes, noses or lips are rubbed, then a reaction to hot pepper could range from mild to severe. Choosing products where the hot pepper is bound to the products (such as our WBU Hot Pepper Products), and taking caution when filling or washing feeders, is an important part of using these products safely. Do not attempt to make hot pepper products at home. Our WBU Hot Pepper Products have been specially formulated and tested to ensure they are safe for the birds. They are made in a facility where staff wear the proper safety equipment to ensure they don’t experience a reaction to the capsaicin. If you try making hot pepper deterrents at home it may not be safe for the birds or you!

SunFire Chips

 

SunFire™ Chips: Our SunFire™ Chips allow you to feed your birds while discouraging squirrels and other critters! These hulled sunflower chips are treated with hot-pepper. Birds will flock to it and leave no messy shell waste behind. The bag features a special pour spout for easy feeder filling without having to scoop or touch this hot pepper food.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips and pepper (red).

Bag Size: 8 lbs. (3.63 kg)

 

 

Fiery FeastFiery Feast: Feed your birds while discouraging squirrels and other critters! Fiery Feast is a hot-pepper treated version of our best-selling No-Mess blend and contains a mix of sunflower chips, chopped tree nuts, and shelled peanuts to attract a variety of birds, and is 100% edible. Birds flock to it and leave no messy shell waste behind. The bag features a special pour spout for easy feeder filling without having to scoop or touch this hot pepper food.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips, peanuts and pepper (red).

Bag Size: 8 lbs. (3.63 kg)

 

 

Jim's Birdacious® Hot Pepper Bark Butter®

Hot Pepper Bark Butter®: A formula representing years of research and development, we’ve finally done it, introducing Hot Pepper Bark Butter®. Our ever-popular Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® now truly can be used anywhere to attract the widest variety of birds without worrying about squirrels and other critters cleaning it out. With 146 (and counting!) bird species reported eating Bark Butter, it’s a great way to attract a variety of birds to your yard. With Hot Pepper Bark Butter® everything from branches to tree trunks becomes a bird feeder.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, pepper (red), calcium

Tub Size: 1.31 lbs.  (595 g)

 

 

Bark Butter Bits - Hot PepperHot Pepper Bark Butter® Bits: Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® Bits are now available in a Hot Pepper version! These bite-sized nuggets are made of rendered beef suet, peanut oil, roasted peanuts, corn, oats and calcium carbonate and are loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike allowing you to easily offer Bark Butter to attract a variety of birds, including many that do not normally visit feeders. They are particularly popular among birds during the nesting season when a Bark Butter® Bit can be carried by parent birds to feed to their young. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients:  Rendered beef suet, soy oil, roasted peanuts, corn, oats and calcium carbonate

Bag Size: 3.5 lbs. (1.58 kg) 

  

 

 

SuperSuet Hot Pepper CakeHot Pepper SuperSuet: Take your suet feeding to the next level! We’ve reached our highest level of fats and protein by blending rendered beef fat, mealworms, roasted peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts and calcium. Added hot pepper deters critters from stealing from your birds. Birds can’t get enough of this ultimate suet blend.

Ingredients: Rendered beef suet, roasted peanuts, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red), calcium carbonate.

Suet Cake Size: 11 Oz. (311 g)

 

 

 

SuperSuet Hot Pepper No-Melt Cake

Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ (No-Melt): Take your suet feeding to the next level! We’ve reached our highest level of fats and protein by blending rendered beef fat, mealworms, roasted peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts and calcium. Added hot pepper deters critters from stealing from your birds, and this suet won’t melt in high outdoor temperatures. Birds can’t get enough of this ultimate suet blend.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, oats, calcium carbonate, pepper (red).

Suet Cake Size: 11.75 Oz. (333 g)

 

 

SuperSuet Hot Pepper No-Melt CylinderWBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder: Our WBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder is the hot pepper version of our WBU SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder. Suet Dough Cylinders are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder in the WBU Suet Cylinder FeederWBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, calcium carbonate, pepper (red).

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907 g)

 

Cylinder - Hot Pepper - Stackable DoughWBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable: Our WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable™ is the hot pepper version of our WBU Naturally Nuts™ No-Melt Suet Dough in stackable form. Suet Dough Stackables™ are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable™ in the WBU Suet Cylinder FeederWBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Corn, roasted peanuts, rendered beef suet, oats, pepper (red), soy oil. 

Stackable ™ Size: 14.5 Oz. (411 g) 

  

Cylinder - Hot PepperWBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder:  Made of tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the Hot Pepper No-Melt Seed Cylinder in the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.  

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red and gelatin).

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907g) and 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg)

 

   

 

Cylinder - Hot Pepper - Stackable WBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable: Our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable™ is the stackable version of our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder and features tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red) and gelatin.

Cylinder Size: 8.6 Oz. (243 g) 

 

  

Cylinder - Hot Pepper Cranberry - BothHot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder: Our WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder is the spicy  version of our top selling WBU Cranberry Seed Cylinder. Our WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder is packed with pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower and cranberries – everything you need to get lots of birds to visit your backyard, but with hot pepper to discourage squirrels. Our seed cylinders include a hole down the center of the food that slides onto our seed cylinder feeders. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder onto the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted. Seed cylinders are the easiest, longest-lasting way to feed your birds.

Ingredients: Pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black sunflower, cranberries, pepper (red), gelatin. 

Cylinder Sizes: 1.75 lbs. and 4.5 lbs.

 

 

Cylinder - Hot Pepper Cranberry CylinderHot Pepper Cranberry Stackable: Our Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ is the spicy  version of our top selling WBU Cranberry Seed Cylinder and Stackable™. Our Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ is packed with pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower and cranberries – everything you need to get lots of birds to visit your backyard, but with hot pepper to discourage squirrels. Our seed Stackables™ include a hole down the center of the food that slides onto our seed cylinder feeders. Simply slide the Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ onto the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted. Seed cylinders and Stackables™ are the easiest, longest-lasting way to feed your birds.

Ingredients: Pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower, cranberries, pepper (red), gelatin

Size: 0.69 lbs. 

 

 

WBU Finch Feeders: Because of their small feeding holes, WBU Finch Feeders can help to deter chipmunks. Our WBU Finch Feeders have reinforced metal feed ports to discourage chipmunks chewing to make the holes on the feeder bigger. These feeders are not chipmunk or squirrel proof but many chipmunks don’t bother with Finch Feeders because of the difficulty accessing the food. If you observe a chipmunk chewing the holes of this feeder it will need to be moved away to a chipmunk proof place (pole and baffle).

EcoClean® Medium Finch Tube FeederWBU EcoClean® and Quick-Clean® Finch Feeders­­, also called Nyjer® Feeders, are feeders designed specifically for finches and for finch food.  Finch Tube Feeders differ from seed tube feeders in that the holes are small enough to accommodate finch beaks, preventing other birds, chipmunks and squirrels from feeding.  Our WBU Finch Feeders accommodate Nyjer® seed and our finch blends. Many birds enjoy using WBU Finch Feeders including: American Goldfinches, House Finches, Purple Finches, Indigo Buntings, Pine Siskins, Redpolls and Black-capped Chickadees. The small holes on our WBU EcoClean® and Quick-Clean® Finch Feeders­­ prevent squirrels from accessing the food.

Our WBU Finch Feeder Models which discourage squirrels and chipmunks include:

 

 

WBU EcoTough® Tail Prop Suet FeederWBU EcoTough® Upside Down Suet Feeder: There are quite a few books and magazines that claim Starlings can't hang up-side down like the woodpeckers. Well, the starlings didn't read those articles and we'll be the first to say the WBU EcoTough® Upside Down Suet Feeder is not foolproof. However, the challenge of accessing food from only the bottom of this feeder may be enough to keep starlings and chipmunks from eating an entire suet cake in one sitting. So, if you don't care for the look of the cage style protectors, this feeder may be helpful.

Dimensions: 10½” x 8” x 9”

 

 


Recycled Bark Butter Block FeederRecycled Bark Butter Feeder Block: The Recycled Bark Butter Feeder Block is designed to fit into any standard sized suet feeder. It offers the option to feed our spreadable Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter®; in an existing suet feeder. Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® won’t melt and can be kept our year round for woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees as well as 146 different species of birds and counting. Simply smear Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® using a fork in the Recycled Bark Butter Feeder Block’s eight compartments and watch as the birds enjoy this tasty treat! Using the Starling Stumper you could also feed Bark Butter upside down to avoid chipmunks and pesky birds such as European Starlings and Common Grackles. Read this article about upside down suet feeding in the Nature Notes Blog for more inspiration: http://naturenotesblog.blogspot.ca/2014/05/diy-upsidedown-suet-feeder.html

Dimensions: 4½” L x 1¼” W x 4½” H

 

 

 

Starling StumperStarling Stumper: The Starling Stumper is an easy way to help keep chipmunks, starlings and blackbirds out of your suet feeder. The Starling Stumper features a center hanger attached to three 6" chains. Snaps on the ends of the chains secure the Starling Stumper to your feeder. The two small snaps attach to corners of a WBU Suet Feeder and a third swivel snap keeps the door closed and provides access to the food for easy refilling. Leave plastic container from your WBU Suet Cakes on the food and place it in cage with suet facing down. The woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and other suet eating birds can cling from the bottom and feed upside down; but the larger blackbirds and starlings are more uncomfortable feeding this way. The Starling Stumper will work with most sizes and shapes of suet cages. Read this article about upside down suet feeding in the Nature Notes Blog for more inspiration: http://naturenotesblog.blogspot.ca/2014/05/diy-upsidedown-suet-feeder.html

 

 

 

 

Large Tray HangerLarge Tray Hanger: The Large Tray Hanger is a chain hanger that can be attached to wooden trays using eye-screws (not included) or a WBU Suet Feeder to flip upside down as a chipmunk and blackbird deterrent. The hanger comes complete with 4 chains 13” long. The Large Tray Hanger comes complete with a center hanger and snaps on for easy assembly to trays. Leave plastic container from your WBU Suet Cakes on the food and place it in the feeder with suet facing down. The woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and other suet eating birds can cling from the bottom and feed upside down; but the larger blackbirds and starlings are more uncomfortable feeding this way. The Large Tray Hanger will work with most sizes and shapes of suet cages. Read this article about upside down suet feeding in the Nature Notes Blog for more inspiration: http://naturenotesblog.blogspot.ca/2014/05/diy-upsidedown-suet-feeder.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: In the Province of Ontario, chipmunks can be trapped and relocated 1 kilometer from where you trapped them. They can easily travel that 1 kilometer distance back to your house. Moving your chipmunks also makes room for more chipmunks to enter the habitat, with one gone its neighbour will move in. So the most effective way to deal with chipmunks is to accept that they are a part of your yard and invest in a good pole system and baffle. Putting a feeder out just for chipmunks will not do much to distract them from your other bird feeders it may simply attract more to your home.