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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,830
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Something new to me and my gardens

After all the years we have been mulching this year the chipmunks decided to start tunneling.  We have had problems in previous years with voles but only in the lawn.  Almost entire perimeter of my house has mulched flower beds.  Thus far I haven't noticed any untoward issues with  the plants, but I am worried for future years.

 

I've been googling.  Anyone else experience this problem and have suggestions?

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Super Contributor
Posts: 388
Registered: ‎05-12-2010

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

Chipmunks haven't harmed any of my plants.  They're pretty harmless so I just let them stay.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,716
Registered: ‎03-15-2014

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

I haven't had this problem - well, I don't use mulch - but could your mulch be layered too thick?  I think 2" to 3" is best.

 

Also, they say mulch volcanoes shouldn't be built around trees.  Chipmunks and voles will tunnel in them and even strip bark off the buried parts of the trees' trunks, possibly killing them.  Yet landscaping companies around here continue to build these "attractive" volcanoes..

 

Good luck with the chipmink problem.  It's so annoying when new garden pests appear.  You could even put bait traps outside.  I had mice last winter and a pest control company placed a few bait stations outside the basement wall.  They said the bait would not only kill mice but also voles and chipmunks.  Not ideal, certainly.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,830
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

@ValuSkr @Glittergal 

I've seen chipmunks around our property for years.  This is the first time they got into the mulch.  We did have these beds re-mulched this spring Since it hadn't been done in two years they did lay it about 4 inches.  So perhaps that is the reason.  After the landscapers leave I do go around and redistribute the mulch where it appears too heavy around trees and shrubs.

 

I don't want to kill the chipmunks, just deter or re-route them away from the perimeter of the house.  I am going to look for some natural applications to give them the hint they need to move elsewhere.  Am also going to redistribute the mulch.  Due to heavy rains the mulch has redistributed.  Some areas it is more dense than others.

 

Thanks!

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,527
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Something new to me and my gardens


@ValuSkr wrote:

I haven't had this problem - well, I don't use mulch - but could your mulch be layered too thick?  I think 2" to 3" is best.

 

Also, they say mulch volcanoes shouldn't be built around trees.  Chipmunks and voles will tunnel in them and even strip bark off the buried parts of the trees' trunks, possibly killing them.  Yet landscaping companies around here continue to build these "attractive" volcanoes..

 

Good luck with the chipmink problem.  It's so annoying when new garden pests appear.  You could even put bait traps outside.  I had mice last winter and a pest control company placed a few bait stations outside the basement wall.  They said the bait would not only kill mice but also voles and chipmunks.  Not ideal, certainly.


@ValuSkr  Isn't that crazy?  You'd think the paid pros would know better.

*********************
Keepin' it real.
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,804
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

Lots of chipmunks in maine ,harmless,and so cute.They keep one of my goldens entertained outside!!

When you lose some one you L~O~V~E, that Memory of them, becomes a TREASURE.
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,477
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

@Allegheny , I have them along my rock wall all the time.  They tunnel and this causes plants to collapse in.  I have not done anything to stop this.  A big issue is that my neighbor feeds them.  She told me yesterday that domestic cats have put a big dent in the population.  LM

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,830
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

@Lilysmom 

Good to hear from you.

In my case, since I haven't had the problem in the beds before, I think the reapplication of mulch contributed to it.  I am worried about my plants.  It appears that many of the tunnels lead to the base of the plants (mostly hostas).  I have to do more research.  Sometimes I wonder if nature is trying to tell me something.  Like "you're getting too old to deal with all this."

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,477
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

@Allegheny , you can go to the Dollar Store and buy some rolls of wire mesh (like chicken wire) to surround the base of plants (lay it flat on the ground).  It will discourage animals/rodents from going for your plants.  Some people use cayenne powder but you have to reapply after every rain.

 

Here’s a funny one for you.  We have beavers at the lake.  They have a dam built in one of the feeders into the lake about a kilometre up from us.  Every time I go down to the lake it is littered with stick cleaned of bark.  A lot of times, the sticks are left in the shallow water at our lake frontage.  My Lab loves it because we use them for her to retrieve.

 

the beavers can take out a huge tree no problem.  They will forage and remove to their liking.  For the most part, we just let them be.  If there is a tree we want to save or a shrub, we use the small metal fencing to encircle the tree.  They leave them alone although they could easily remove them.

 

I learned the hard way to protect what I want to save after they felled a beautiful Japanese red maple I planted by the deck lakeside.

 

Good luck with your issue.  LM

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,220
Registered: ‎03-20-2012

Re: Something new to me and my gardens

I've had some luck with the sonic pest devices. They just chase them back into the woods that surround our place.