How Do I Get the Chipmunks to Stop Eating My Birdseed?

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Things You'll Need

  • Squirrel baffle

  • Monofilament fishing wire

  • Sunflower, thistle or safflower seed

  • Powdered cayenne pepper

  • Seed tray

  • Squirrel-proof bird feeder

Chipmunks enjoy feasting on bird seed.

Chipmunks are small striped animals with bushy tails and large, round eyes. At first glance they seem cute and harmless, but can quickly become a real nuisance around wild bird feeders. They not only forage on spilled seed, but also climb onto the feeder if they can gain access. The presence of chipmunks at the feeder depletes seed quickly and also discourages wild birds from visiting, as the rodents sometimes feed upon birds and their eggs. Restricting access to the feeder and preventing seed spillage are the most effective ways to discourage the animals.


Step 1

Position bird feeders hanging on branches at least 4 feet from the ground and approximately 12 feet from tree trunks.

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Step 2

Place pole-mounted feeders on poles that are a minimum of 5 1/2 feet tall. Place a squirrel baffle at the base of the pole to prevent chipmunks from climbing up.


Step 3

Suspend wire-hung feeders from a piece of monofilament fishing wire at least 8 feet long. Hang the feeder at least 4 feet from the ground.

Step 4

Fill the feeder with a single type of seed, such as sunflower, thistle or safflower seed. This prevents the spillage that occurs when the birds toss unwanted seed aside.


Step 5

Mix powdered cayenne pepper with the birdseed, as it irritates and deters chipmunks without harming the birds.

Step 6

Position a seed tray beneath the feeder to catch fallen seeds. Empty the tray as needed so that it doesn't overflow.


Step 7

Invest in a squirrel-proof bird feeder that automatically closes when a heavy animal jumps onto the feeder, if the chipmunks are persistent.


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