We’re sure you’re familiar with chipmunks, but how familiar are you with chipmunk poop? Let’s investigate!
Chipmunks are lovable petite creatures that are frequently spotted in spaces around human residences. People view chipmunks as something not further than tiny fuzzy forest friends. They are normally seen running in the backyards searching for nuts or small fruits, and while doing their search, they might also end up looking in the dustbins.
Not all chipmunks are bothersome, but it doesn’t take them long to become monstrous pests. Regardless of being very cute, they are known to cause serious destruction to the garden by pulling up small plants with their roots out. There have been reports of flooding in basements and damages causing the walls to collapse as a consequence of the digging of a deep network of burrows by chipmunks.
Apart from these major disasters, they are usually found chewing wires, garden furniture, or objects put in storage in the basement. This allows them to perfectly sharpen their teeth, also known as incisors. Due to this, it is essential to keep an eye on the chipmunk population before they become worrying. The evidence of their poop is the best way to confirm their presence and manifestation.
In this post, we will cover all you need to know about chipmunk poop. For a quick overview of the chipmunk lifestyle, check out this article.
What Does a Chipmunk Poop Look like?
The chipmunk poop or droppings are pellet-shaped with elongated and pointed ends. Each piece can measure less than 0,4 inches (one centimeter.) On first look, it is very common to confuse them with a rat’s dropping as they are very similar looking. But a closer look shows that chipmunk poop is smaller in size when compared to a rat’s poop.
The Biggest Myth Concerning Chipmunk Poop
When chipmunks are concerned, the most commonly known myth about them is that they never poop. People began believing this because they usually don’t get to see the chipmunks pooping or even can’t see their feces lying in their yards.
But we have come to learn that this is just a myth, and it is an established fact that chipmunks do actually poop, it is just that people cannot spot the poop or droppings easily. Chipmunks are extremely vulnerable to being attacked by predators. These tiny critters are practically helpless against bigger predators, and all that they can do to stay safe is to stay out of sight.
For that reason, chipmunks have particular compartments inside their tunnels to poop. They don’t poop anywhere apart from their dedicated toilet site. In the same way, the chipmunks living in nests and not in burrows have a habit of choosing a specific location for pooping, making sure that it is nowhere close to where they live. This is done to make sure that no predators can sense the chipmunk’s presence from their poop’s odor. Chipmunks fear being traced by the odor of their poop, leading the predators to their burrows.
How to Identify Chipmunk Droppings?
Chipmunk droppings are very similar looking to a rat’s poop. They are so small that they bear a resemblance to the shape of a rice grain. Rat’s poop measures 3/4th of an inch, whereas a chipmunk’s poop measures only 3/8th of an inch.
One would need to take a closer look to recognize and differentiate between the droppings of these two creatures. An expert can tell that a chipmunk’s poop is smaller and leaner in size than a rat’s poop. Chipmunk poop does not have a separate smell, so you may not differentiate droppings by smell alone.
Color Is a Key Identifier
Differentiating between the poops depending on their color is one more way to classify a chipmunk’s poop from that of a rat or mouse. All these creatures are omnivorous animals, but chipmunks seem to depend more on fruits and nuts for their nutrition. Because of this reason, chipmunks have a tendency to have paler poop.
As we know about rats, they are opportunistic hunters. They eat everything from small insects, roots of plants, and vegetables to waste. Typically their poop has a dusky color. Surprisingly, the rat’s poop is not black as one would think. It is just that the poop is so dark in color that it looks black.
Distribution or Scattering of Excretions
The easiest way to recognize a chipmunk poop is to look for its scattering. As previously stated, chipmunk hardly ever poop outside their burrows. Even if they have a need to excrete, they will not poop wherever they are. Rather, they would wait until they’ve found a non-dangerous toilet place.
More often than not, you don’t get to see the poop of a chipmunk. Chipmunks have dedicated latrine spots located within their burrows, and they mostly poop there. Once in a blue moon, they poop outside of their burrows. But this is not the case with rats who are not at all careful and quiet like chipmunks when it comes to pooping.
Rats get rid of their excretions wherever they are, and they would even poop while on the move. So it is a common sight to spot a rat’s poop lying sprinkled or spread out along the track as it poops while moving, leaving behind a trail.
What Happens If People Come in Contact with Chipmunk Poop?
Chipmunk poop is unsafe and harmful, as is the discarded material of every omnivore or carnivore. Because of their omnivorous diet and irregular hunting, there are great likelihoods that chipmunk poop holds harmful pathogens and viruses.
As discussed in detail before, chipmunks don’t poop in the open, so it is uncommon for humans to come into contact with their feces. But one needs to be particularly alert in case one has any pets at home because there are greater chances of them getting diseases from chipmunk poop.
Some of the common diseases transmitted from chipmunk poop are Salmonellosis, Leptospirosis, and Hantavirus. Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria of the Salmonella type, and these are normally found in chipmunk poop. Though not deadly, the signs and illnesses related to salmonellosis can remain for almost 7 days.
The usual warning signs include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. The disease gets transferred through direct interaction by consuming food or water polluted by chipmunk poop.
Leptospirosis is another bacterial disease that chipmunk poop can cause. The infection is primarily considered airborne (meaning the disease-causing agent is transferred through the air.) Because of the nature of the transmission of agents, the chances of contracting leptospirosis are less. It is chiefly caught by breathing in floating dust from powdered chipmunk poop.
Hantavirus is an extremely spreadable viral disease that is caught by inhaling virus-loaded particles from rodent urine, feces, or saliva. Due to the animals choosing to poop in quiet and secret places, the likelihood of getting this disease is not as high.
How to Securely Remove Chipmunk Poop?
In the majority of cases, you won’t have to feel the uneasiness about clearing chipmunk poop because of their established habit of pooping inside their burrows. But if by chance one comes across a big latrine site or pooping station in the backyard of one’s garden, clear it in a careful manner.
This should be done with care and swiftness in case there are any kids at home. It is important to ensure that one takes proper preventive measures by using rubber boots, gloves, a face mask, or a face shield.
Listed below are some steps to follow for the safe discarding of chipmunk poop:
- Examine and check the poop to assess if it has become dry or not. If it is dry, try making it soft by showering little water on it to make sure that it doesn’t crumble. This could lead to airborne dust-causing diseases discussed above being spread.
- If at all possible, poop should be burnt using the fire because otherwise, it can be a breeding ground for flies. Make sure to use a shovel instead of bare hands to clear the poop and burn the pile.
- It is recommended to spray disinfectants like sanitizers, bleaches, and decontaminators to the latrine site after removing the poop.
- At all times, wash your hands after dealing with chipmunk feces and clean any surfaces the poop might have come into contact with. In situations where children are involved, it is also important to repeat again and again to them to wash their hands after playing in the area. It is necessary to know about the possible diseases that can be transferred from chipmunk feces.
How To Keep Chipmunk Poop In Check
Chipmunk poop can prove to be an annoyance, but it doesn’t need to be a chief difficulty. The suggested way is to make sure you don’t appeal and invite chipmunks in the first place. To do this, it is important to remove any leftover pet food or keep it away safely in storage and to throw away rubbish appropriately.
Seal any holes in your home or garden and trim vegetation around the house. Another great technique to deter chipmunks from inhabiting the area is by using a motion-activated sprinkler.
If you already have chipmunk poop in your yard, it’s vital to clear it up as soon as possible and dispose of it in a sealed plastic bag.
How to Avoid Chipmunks Inhabiting Your Garden
In order to make one’s house or backyard free from the chipmunks can be, to some extent, tricky because you would only know of them being present if it is too late.
In situations when one learns that chipmunks are present, it is very important to make sure that you remove them safely. At all times, be mindful of the fact that every single creature on this planet has its fair right to live.
Bearing that in mind, it is important to follow the below-stated scheme of events to ensure that it’s more helpful and less threatening.
Make sure to plan ahead of time with clear details of when and how you will do things. This also involves carefully considering what things you need to carry out the job properly and efficiently.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Instead of waiting for the chipmunks to crowd and invade your property, one should take steps to prevent their initial infestation. There are many ways to do this.
Trim the plants and bushes in such a way that it doesn’t give adequate shelter to the chipmunks.
Place L-shaped footers along the foundation of your house, retaining walls, or sidewalk when constructing the house. Though this may seem very complex, it can prove to be an effective preventive technique against chipmunks digging under your house.
Remove wood or rock piles placed against walls or foundations as they may give the chipmunks shelter to burrow hidden away from sight.
The use of repellents is highly effective and practical, as chipmunks have a disliking towards strong smells. Such tricks like keeping naphthalene balls in the garden, near walls, and near the foundation can prove to be a good preventive agent. Other than these, the market-grade repellents that are available are extremely effective against chipmunks as well.
If one chooses not to opt for commercial repellents, one can always make homemade repellents. They can be made out of Lysol, Epsom salt and water.
In some situations, regardless of how many times you get rid of the chipmunks, they can be stubborn and keep coming back. In such cases, trapping them and releasing them in a different place can prove the best thing to do.
At all times, choose the options that are kind and caring, without ever considering any form of killing trap. Also, it is important to be aware of the local laws about the trapping and releasing of chipmunks.
When using a small-sized trap and setting a bait using nuts or small fruits, it is advisable to keep the trap in parts of active chipmunk movement. Once trapped, free them someplace far away from your property. Make sure that you don’t injure or harm the chipmunk in any way.
Also, the most important factor to consider at all times is that whatever method you use to get rid of chipmunks, be mindful of the fact that they may have babies in the nest or burrows. If you are doubtful of the babies being there, you should wait until they are old enough before taking them away.
|The chipmunk poop or droppings are pellet-shaped with elongated and pointed ends, where each piece can measure less than 0,4 inches (one centimeter.)|
|The use of repellents is considered highly effective and practical, as chipmunks have a disliking of strong smells.|
|Chipmunk poop is unsafe and harmful, there are great likelihoods that chipmunk poop holds deadly pathogens and viruses.|
|Chipmunks have particular compartments inside their tunnels to poop, they don’t poop anywhere apart from their dedicated toilet site.|
|Some of the common diseases that can possibly be transmitted from chipmunk poop are Salmonellosis, Leptospirosis, and Hantavirus.|
|One effective practice would involve being mindful of removing wood or rock piles that are placed against walls or foundations as they may give the chipmunks shelter to burrow hidden away from sight.|
Each and every organism living on this earth have some necessary bodily functions, including eating and passing the digested food out of their bodies in the form of excretions, i.e., urine and poop. It may or may not interfere with the living quality of other people sharing the same habitat and environment.
The detailed writing which has been compiled above is an understanding of how and why chipmunks poop the way they do, their reasons for doing their business at designated sites, and the dangerous effects of their excretions after coming in contact with humans or their pets.
Thank you for reading this article! It’s easy to forget about the needs and habits of the members of the animal kingdom, let’s find out more! For example, let’s uncover What Moths Eat.
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