Forget rabbits, I have a fence around the garden, my real pest problem is chipmunks. I've got a fence, with some below ground barriers, to keep larger pests out and to keep them from digging but the chipmunks still get in. Chicken wire doesn't keep them out and they end up digging holes in the garden, and eating roots of some of the plants...I lost a bunch of tulips last year due to their incessent root eating. I do have a live trap but that only gets them if they get in, I want to keep them out.

Does Coyote Urine work? What about the fox pheromones? The dried blood and chili powder spray, good for rabbits and such, is not working. I tried the fox stuff when they had been in the house but that didn't work as well as the live trap by their door, that got set with seeds and I eventually got them all out. Is there a good method that I can use? Rather than make my garden a small greenhouse I'd like to keep them out if I can with something sort of organic, if only there was an herb or something that would keep them out.

9 Answers 9


Get a statue of an owl and put it in your garden. It should keep most things that owls eat away.

  • 1
    I'm going the owl route, once I find the right model. Luckily I have a few places to move it to so the animals won't get used to it in one place.
    – MichaelF
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 15:04
  • @Michael we had an ugly plastic one that worked, finding one that is moderately attractive might be the real quest :)
    – mfg
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 15:08
  • We found a fairly ok looking one at Lowe's, it's hollow plastic but with some sand its stable. So far it seems to work and we keep moving it around daily so no one is getting used to it.
    – MichaelF
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 4:06

This is a somewhat different tactic, but getting a dog is an often-effective way to keep small birds and mammals away.

  • 14
    Cats are good at taking care of rodent problems as well.
    – baka
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 13:21
  • @baka indeed; however it's imperative the cat's first couple of months of life it lives outside. Which, for places where winter exists, means getting it at spring. Also if the area is rich in weasel or foxes, the cat will be killed. I love cats!
    – Vorac
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 1:05

For years we tried all sorts of things to deter unwanted interlopers entering our property. First it was stray cats. They used to get under the house in the middle of the night making loud noises right under where we slept. I used to bang on the floor, go outside in the dark and throw things at them. They still came back. So after some thought I bought an Audi Sub machine gun and loaded it. No not with bullets as it was a battery powered water gun, so loaded it with Cloudy Ammonia. Anyway after a few nights shooting at the cats it fixed the problem. I think the cloudy ammonia soaked into the bases of the house support beams and the ground. Most cats mark their territory with urine so in the dark the cats smelling the cloudy ammonia probrably though a lion had been wandering around.

Years after the property next door had many wild rabbits on it. During The night they used to invade our property and feast on fresh vegetables. The front lawn looked like a golf course with the many holes they had dug. So one day I simply sprayed the border of our property once again with cloudy ammonia. This must have soaked into the grass and ground, as since that day we have never had another rabbit on our property.

Another problem that I fixed up is we had many birds getting into our vegetable and herb garden. Knowing that a birds and some small animals worse nightmare is an Owl I bought a plastic one. However the birds soon woke up that it wasn't real, as it did not move its head.

So with this in mind I scanned a picture of an owls face, making sure it was one with huge yellow eye's (These are the most predatory owls) and frightens even squirrels and other small animals. Then with my laser printer I printed the owls face onto a CD or DVD stick on label. This I affixed to an old CD or DVD disk on the label side. With a diamond drill bored a small hole near the top edge.

As the laser printing of the owls face was in black and white or greyscale colour I then proceeded to paint in the Eye's with the yellow as per the coloured picture of the owl from the original in the bird book.

When it had dried then suspended it with a short length of fishing line just above the vegetables in our garden. The least bit of breeze it spins around first one shiny disk side then suddenly swinging around with the fearsome staring face of the owl.

I asked a friend what she thought. First I displayed the shiny side of the CD disk and just like in Achmed the Dead Terrorist


I asked her, are you afraid? She replied Not really! Then I flipped the disk round to the glaring owl's face and asked her, How about now? She replied "A bit" so if it works on her I thought it surely would on the birds, and it did.

Happy gardening


  • Some great ideas here...thank you very much. Never thought about the ammonia, but that might be useful for the garden and maybe around the house since we seem to get chipmunks running around the foundation.
    – MichaelF
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 13:27
  • 1
    Quite insightful ideas I might add. But what do chipmunks really do? I've never had a problem with them in my gardens.
    – stormy
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 23:37
  • @stormy they dig out and eat tulip bulbs, for one thing, and dig holes everywhere. Not as bad as grey squirrels, here at least.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 23:55
  • Thank you for the extensive response, but the question was about chipmunks. Sure, this response gives ideas for what to do about other creatures that we can try with respect to chipmunks, but in the future, responses that answer the question more directly might be more helpful. Thank you.
    – Gabe
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 13:10

There are safe and effective ways to help deter wildlife. For example peppermint oil (soaked clothes wrapped in aluminum foil with little holes so smell can escape) works well with rodents. They can't stand it and you won't see any near it. You have to freshen it now and then - put it in containers that protect from rain but have open sides. Blood meal deters squirrels and is good for gardens. Take a little time to use prevention rather than harming animals that share our earth.


We used a product called U Scram to keep chipmunks from digging up our potted plants. It is made out of these cork shaped triangles soaked with some smelly oils. Actually I sorta liked the smell. Anyway we stuck one in each of our huge planters and guess what, the chipmunks not only left our plants alone they left the back yard. Lasts through rain too. uscram.com. Also sold on Amazon


Try taping foil pie-pans to garden stakes throughout the garden to make some noise. I haven't tried it, but Shake-Away powder Makes the chipmunks think a fox is around.

  • I tried the powder and never got it to work, the Chipmunks seemed to ignore it. Owls worked for a couple of months but now they seem immune to it...I'll check on the pie pans, although I have a windchime there as well and that seemed to not handle it.
    – MichaelF
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 11:59
  • I heard you can use a battery powered radio, but then you'd have to recharge it.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 1:19
  • The pie pans thing sounds very interesting. Have you done that yourself? I refuse to kill, or even annoy, my chipmunks. They're only doing what they're meant to do, and watching them gives me great pleasure. If this has really worked for you, though, I'm going to recommend it to some friends who don't love chips as much as we do! It sounds like a safe way to protect your plants while letting the chips have the run of rest of the yard. Loud noises scare birds, which I don't like, but they usually come back. Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 20:59

Bucket of Death, it's really horrible but works so well. Fill a 5 gallon bucket halfway full with water then sprinkle the top layer with birdseed till you can't tell there is water there. Place a ramp up to the top of the bucket with a little seed trail, place the bucket near good cover so the chipmunks feel safe investigating. Then you'll find out just how many are actually around. I've easily had 4 in one day. You feel bad but nothing is worst than having 500 strawberries disappear in 2 days! In two weeks I had 11.

  • I've used this to get rid of mice in my house, never thought to try it outside though. Could be an interesting option.
    – MichaelF
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 11:43

I've never had a problem with our 'resident' chipmunk getting into the flower garden. Iv'e been feeding him and his descendants' peanuts for years! The only rodent problem I've had is with the moles.I bought some repellant and got them to head down in the back yard. I would try some moth balls though. I can't kill anything.


I'm using traps made of plastic pipes as tunnels for voles. The traps have bait that is attractive to voles, rats, and mice. I got the traps and bait from: volecontrol.com. Their bait is safe for most animals that might eat the voles after they eat the bait; that "poison" is Warfarin, a blood thinner for humans. However, the voles just kept eating the bait, so i bought something more poisonous,but still granular: MOTOMCO Eraze Mouse and Rat AG Rodent Pellets, 5-Pound.

My backyard is sealed off to larger animals, so I don;t expect that poison will be a problem. And, in just a couple days, the voles have stopped eating, where it has been over a month with the Warfarin. I don't know if either bait will work for chipmunks, but there probably is one that will work in those traps, and I think the traps will be attractive to chipmunks as a possible lair.

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