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Are Chipmunks Nocturnal?

Last Updated: 17.06.24


If you’ve been visited by chipmunks lately and you’re on the lookout for more information on their habits, how to trap chipmunks, or what to do to prevent them from reaching your home, you’ve come to the right place.

Today’s post will cover a few facts about chipmunks, so check it out to get the information you need to keep your house and family safe from the damages these rodents can lead to. We’ll focus on various aspects ranging from the time of the day preferred by chipmunks to be active to what to do to get a chipmunk-proof house.


When are chipmunks most active?

If you’ve seen chipmunks, you’ve most probably done so during the day. These little rodents are day-dwellers and you will rarely see them at night. They prefer early mornings and late afternoons to get food since their eyes work best when the sun is out.

However, even if they are at a great disadvantage when they come out in the dark, they are not totally blind. So, you must be prepared for nocturnal visits as well, although that happens very rarely.

What makes them diurnal

One simple way to divide animals is by considering their physical capacities, more precisely, what their eyes are capable of. Nocturnal animals have large eyes that are developed in a way to help them filter out the light. Such animals have a tapetum which is a light-boosting system.

Then there are diurnal animals and, as we said before, chipmunks fall into this category. The eyes of a chipmunk are smaller and have rounded pupils. Plus, they have a wider viewing range than humans do.


How are their eyes made up?

The differences in the anatomy of a chipmunk’s eyes explain why they see better when the sun is out. The structure of their eyes is similar to the one most animals have. The pupil and the iris are designed to gather up the light outside which then passes through the lens to the back of the eye where the retina is.

The retina contains rods and cones that will help the animal perceive color and see in the dark more or less. Rods help one see in the dark whereas cones work better in bright light. While rods will transmit basic visual information to the brain and will catch detection, the cones will transmit finer details of the visuals captured.

Chipmunks have more cones than rods and this is what makes them diurnal creatures. However, this characteristic doesn’t mean that they can’t get out in low light. They can yet their vision is weaker then.


Are chipmunks dangerous?

More often than not, people overlook the dangers chipmunks can expose them to because of their cuteness. It’s the way they look that makes them seem harmless. Here is the tricky thing. Their looks and size might make it difficult to associate these rodents with any serious danger but keep in mind that they are rodents usually visiting your place in search of food and they will burrow and damage on their way to lunch.

The physical damages chipmunks cause are not limited to damaged gardens, plants, water pipes, and other such things. Chipmunks are also disease carriers and if they scratch or bite you, your health is in jeopardy. If they have been bitten by an infected tick or flea or they are the host of some pest, they become a danger as far as health is concerned.

Some of the diseases they can transmit to humans include rabies, plague, Colorado tick fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Even if they rarely bite or scratch, aggressive behavior is not fully excluded. Therefore, there are some measures you need to take in order to avoid that.

Plus, try not to touch an injured or dead chipmunk. If somehow that happened and you had no gloves, it is best to see your doctor.

How to keep chipmunks away

To avoid getting your place damaged by chipmunks on the lookout for food, there are several things you can do to transform your house into a chipmunk-proof home. Since they usually target bird feeders where seeds can spill, you should place such feeders away from the exterior of your home or other buildings.

Also, make sure there is no food that could attract them. Chipmunks find berries, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, corn, plant roots, and bulbs quite appealing. Therefore, making sure such feasts are not exposed is another thing to take care of.

In order for them not to reach bulbs and plant roots, you might want to use galvanized wire mesh to stop them from accessing your garden and thus cover all the places that could be an entrance. You can lay the mesh along the ground where chipmunks could dig and cover it with grass or mulch.

Keep your garden clean and remove all the things that could provide them with shelter. Make sure that there are no piles of debris, wood, or rocks where chipmunks could easily hide.


Chipmunk repellents

It is best to use several methods when it comes to deterring chipmunks as one method may not be enough to provide complete protection. Besides taking the above-mentioned steps, you might want to try some chipmunk repellents.

You will find the classic ones including granules that affect taste. Such repellents are popular for a reason and that is their effectiveness. The market now offers liquid repellents as well. They can easily be sprayed on the surfaces of interest.

To further stop chipmunks from visiting your place, you might want to add electronic repellents as well. What’s great about them is that they come with no chemicals. They detect motion and once they do so, the will sprinkle water and thus discourage pesky rodents from advancing.

Chipmunk traps are also popular as they are easy to use and free of chemicals. Still, if you decide to use them, make sure you don’t keep the trapped chipmunk inside for too long. Release the animal once you’ve taken all the safety measures needed to avoid any accidents.




1) Chipmunks hibernate, but not continuously

2) Facts You May Not Know about the Chipmunks

3) When are they most active?

4) Interesting Facts about Chipmunks



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