Chipmunks are recognized by their small and striped body. They are small rodents and mammals mostly found in the continent of North America.
Chipmunks became very well known because of the movie titled “Alvin and the chipmunks” which portrayed this animal as a loving and friendly animal, they are very similar to squirrels except in size and the stripes on their head and back.
People often talk of their ability to reduce the population of mice around them. So, does having these animals around really help keep mice at bay?
Do Chipmunks Keep Mice Away?
Yes, chipmunks help keep mice away. You see, chipmunks are noticed to be natural predators of mice, they are omnivores that eat both plants and flesh (worms, bird eggs, and mice to mention a few).
Mice on the other hand are small mammals, very destructive and dangerous pests, as well as good climbers.
Mostly two things will draw mice to your house or home and store, the quest for shelter and food, so don’t be surprised if you find them around. If you don’t like the presence of mice around you, you can make use of a natural enemy which is the chipmunk.
Don’t be surprised that chipmunks can not be easily domesticated like your dogs and cats, it will be okay if you leave them in the wild. Although chipmunks are not aggressive, they only react if they feel threatened and can make a scratch on your body.
In addition to this, a study shows chipmunks to be carriers of plagues and rabies, which means it’s not advisable to bring them into your home. If you bring them to your home, don’t make them move around so freely, they belong to the wild. If they go loose in your home, don’t hesitate to call your local wildlife authorities.
Do Chipmunks Eat Mice?
Yes, chipmunks do eat mice, and in fact, plants because they are omnivore engineered with the help of their teeth and nature. Chipmunks eat animals ranging from a worm to a baby mouse and even adult mice.
This point seems funny because adult mice and chipmunks are close in size or the same size, yet mice are preys. In a scenario where water or food is absent, you will probably notice unbelievable behaviors in animals and higher animals which can be characterized as cannibalism and so on.
This implies that when food and water are absent, a chipmunk is ready to prey on adult mice, which will bring in the survival instinct that is popularly known as “survival of the fittest”. Mice tend to carry some diseases which may affect your domesticated animals, but I tell you that diseases carried by mice will or can not affect a chipmunk.
According to a study, a chipmunk is recessive to diseases carried by mice along with some animals like squirrels. So, ranging from baby mice to adult mice are all meat for a chipmunk.
Will Chipmunks Eat Mice Bait?
Yes, there is the possibility that a chipmunk will eat mice bait simply because a chipmunk is attracted to a mice diet due to their omnivorous nature, so a bait made or designed for mice can also attract a chipmunk.
What is bait? It’s a substance or food made up to lure animals for prey into a net, cage or any restrictive structure.
Types of baits include:
- Single feed or multiple feed baits: single feed baits require only single feeding for a lethal dosage while multiple feed baits require more than one feeding for a lethal dosage.
- Block form bait: which is made up of wax that has an appealing fragrance for rodents.
- Pellets and meal forms: pellets are compressed parcels of food substance with very low moisture contents.
- Sewer and burrow bait: they are bait placed in a way to mimic or resemble the mice’s habitat or natural life.
All these are edible mice baits eatable by chipmunks.
Reasons Why Chipmunks Eat Mice
Confusion has erupted about chipmunks eating mice because they belong to the same family, they are both rodents and on a normal term, rodents shouldn’t eat rodents.
There are so many reasons that can make chipmunks eat mice. I will talk about only a few of them in the following lines:
1. Water and food storage
When there is no food or a shortage of water, it can trigger some behavior in animals, making the animal do anything to survive, which leads to survival of the fittest. Ultimately, survival of the fittest caused by lack of food and water will make a chipmunk eat mice.
2. Engineered as omnivores
Chipmunks are engineered to be omnivores because of their teeth, that is they can eat both flesh and plant, which means they can surely eat mice.
Some mice are smaller in size compared to a chipmunk which makes them vulnerable to attack from a chipmunk. Bigger animals are more capable of attacking smaller animals because they are way stronger than them.
4. Territory concern
Naturally, animals tend to protect their territory from other animals. If a mouse enters the territory of a chipmunk, a chipmunk may tend to fight it off thereby preying on it.
Do Chipmunks Eat Meat?
Yes, chipmunks can eat meat, simply because they are omnivores, that is they eat both flesh and plants. Chipmunks don’t have carnassial teeth but they still eat flesh simply because they have a dental structure suitable for an omnivore.
Their dental structure comprises large incisors, cheek teeth that help to chew their food which consists of premolars and molars, and their front teeth make them catch flesh very well.
They also have 20-22 teeth with a dental formula as follows:
- Incisors 1/1
- Canines 0/0
- Premolars 1-2/1
- Molars 3/3=20-22 which allows the chipmunk to feast on anything edible that comes it’s way.
Should You Let Chipmunk in the House?
Letting a chipmunk in the house depends on the type of chipmunk it is, or whether it’s free moving or caged. Now, allowing a wild chipmunk into your house is the same as letting typical rodent-like rats and grass cutters into your home whose main aim is to destroy your food and property.
Truth is, a wild chipmunk will not be merciful to your belongings and will eat anything that comes it’s way. However, domesticated chipmunks have a different immune system from their counterparts because they only eat selected food which means they can still be allowed into your house.
They’ll most likely act like your pets (cats and dogs) that can be controlled, they can also help you control mice in your home.
If you are going to cage the chipmunk, you can get either a domestic or wild chipmunk, but if it’s going to keep moving about, I’d advise you to get a domesticated chipmunk. Chipmunks are cute animals but sometimes very troublesome animals, so letting chipmunks into your home depends on the above-named factors.
Are Chipmunks Good For Your Yard?
Chipmunks in any way are not a good friend to your yard. Their burrowing activities damage ornamental plants when harvesting their fruits and nuts, foraging on the ground for seeds, insects, and others. Their mission to feed and their diet will damage your crops and also affect your yard soil.
Chipmunks will also disperse weed seeds in your yard, increasing the number of weeds in your yard and making the crops in your yard compete for water and light which will reduce your crop yield.
In general, chipmunks have little or no beneficial effect on your farm yard other than their feces which will serve as fertilizers for your yard.
How To Get Rid of Mice in the House?
There are so many ways to get rid of mice in the house, let’s talk extensively about a few:
- Find their entry route: Make sure you find their entry points and block them, once you can close them, then getting rid of the already present mice in the house will be fruitful and needed.
- Make use of mouse bait: Mouse bait is very useful in destroying mice especially when they are mixed with anticoagulants.
- Removal of food source: Make sure you remove the source of food for the mice, once this is removed there will be no reason why they will come to your house unless to destroy your property.
- Mice repellents: These make mice back off from where the repellents are present, repellants help get rid of mice.
- Natural enemies: Making use of natural enemies like the cats, and chipmunks help to get rid of mice in the house.
- Traps: Traps vary from snap traps to electric traps or live traps which either kill or trap mice.
Chipmunks are very cute and fun-to-watch animals in the rodent family because they are very active.
These creatures are very hard to control when they are not trained. Don’t be too carried away by their looks, they could be very annoying animals save for the fact that they keep mice away.