Chipmunk standing on grass

Natural Scents That Repel Chipmunks

Chipmunks are undeniably cute with their tiny size and adorable striped fur. However, they can quickly become a nuisance in your garden, causing damage and eating certain plants.

If left untreated, a chipmunk infestation can wreak havoc on your beloved flowers and vegetables, leaving you in dismay. Fortunately, there are natural remedies you can use to keep these critters away. Below are some of the most effective natural scents to repel chipmunks.

Key Pest Points:

• Strong scents like ammonia, garlic, vinegar, and peppermint are great options to keep chipmunks away from your garden. 

• Chipmunks are attracted to your yard for food and shelter, so it’s essential to make sure there are no potential hiding spots for them.

• Signs of chipmunks include droppings, burrows, and discarded nuts or seeds in your garden.

Essential Oils

Keep chipmunks away naturally with essential oils. Peppermint and citronella oil make excellent repellents for small critters like these. Mix either in a spray bottle filled with water, then spritz the base of your property – creating an invisible barrier they won’t dare to cross.

Not only will it ward off any pests wandering into your yard, but you’ll also enjoy the pleasant scent. The scent of the oils does not last long, however, so make sure to reapply every couple of days.

Essential oils will not completely eliminate chipmunks but may help keep them away. So, if you need an easy and natural solution for your chipmunk problem, try it.


Chipmunks detest the smell of garlic, so spreading crushed garlic cloves around the edges of your garden or yard can help keep them away.

If you want to avoid crushing your own cloves, there are garlic-based sprays available online. This can be a more convenient option since it’s already been pre-mixed and ready to use. Just remember to apply the spray every few days for the best results.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper can be your chipmunk’s worst enemy. Sprinkle it around the garden and yard to create an unpleasant environment for them. However, be cautious not to use too much, as overspill could become a fire hazard and ruin some plants. This is not the best solution if you have children or pets, as it can irritate their eyes and noses.

Coffee Grounds

In addition to the above, coffee grounds are a great natural scent to repel chipmunks. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your garden and yard, as they will keep pests away and act as a fertilizer for your plants.

The pungent aroma of the coffee grounds can be pretty unpleasant for these critters, so it’s an excellent way to keep them away. Just remember to replenish the grounds for the best results.


Vinegar has a sharp scent that chipmunks don’t like, so spraying it around the perimeter of your property can help keep them away. You can purchase vinegar, mix it with water in a spray bottle, and apply it to areas where chipmunks are likely to enter or travel. It’s also an effective scent deterrent for squirrels and other small critters like rats, mice, and rabbits.


Gardeners have long used ammonia to ward off pesky critters like chipmunks. Mix a few drops of it in a spray bottle filled with water and apply directly onto areas where they are likely to enter or wander into. The ammonia smell will be quite off-putting and should keep them from returning.

Predator Urine

There’s an old adage that says, “Where there’s a predator, there won’t be prey,” – and this holds true even when it comes to pesky chipmunks. If you have a problem with these critters, consider investing in predator urine, such as coyote or fox urine. Spray the product around the perimeter of your property, and the chipmunks will think twice before entering.

These natural solutions should keep chipmunks away from your property, but if the problem persists, it might be time to look into more permanent pest control measures. Professional exterminators can provide helpful advice and methods for getting rid of these pests once and for all.

Chipmunk hiding behind green grass.

What Attracts Chipmunks To Your Yard?

Although chipmunks and squirrels are different from one another, they are a part of the same family, so certain things can attract them to your yard.

It’s essential to understand what drives them to your property so you can take steps to prevent them from coming back. Let’s take a look at some of the common factors:

• Unprotected food sources include pet food, bird seed, and fallen fruit.

• Overgrown vegetation that provides shelter and places to hide.

• Dense shrubbery and piles of leaves that could act as a nesting area for chipmunks.

• A damp environment that offers plenty of drinking water.

• Open trash cans or compost containers offering easy access to food scraps.

Keeping pests away is essential to maintaining a healthy environment in your backyard. To prevent chipmunks from taking up residence, it’s crucial to understand what attracts them and take action accordingly.

Signs of a Chipmunk Infestation

Chipmunks can cause plenty of damage in your garden or yard by digging tunnels, destroying crops, and eating through stored food items. To keep them away, it’s helpful to know what signs to look out for:

• Unusual noises coming from the ground, such as scratching or chirping sounds.

• Chewed vegetation or plants, especially around the roots.

• Visible burrows or tunnels in the soil that could be entrances to their nests and where you may find chipmunks hibernating in the colder months.

• Tracks in the dirt that indicate chipmunk activity.

• Waste or droppings near food sources.

• Large piles of nuts and seeds gathered near burrow entrances.

Your home is your safe haven, so take action to keep it in tip-top shape. It’s wise to address any signs of pest infestation quickly. Consider trying some natural solutions or seeking out a professional exterminator for assistance.

Chipmunk standing on concrete outside.


What smells do chipmunks hate?

Chipmunks are particularly sensitive to sulfur, ammonia, and predator urine – all of which can be used as a natural repellent. They are also repelled by strong scents such as mint, garlic, and citrus.

Does Irish Spring soap repel chipmunks?

Yes, Irish Spring soap can act as a natural repellent for chipmunks. Grate the soap and sprinkle it around your garden or yard, and they should stay away. The strong scent of the soap will be off-putting to them.

Does vinegar repel chipmunks?

Yes, vinegar is an effective natural repellent for chipmunks. Soak rags in vinegar and water, and place them around areas where chipmunks may enter or wander through. You can also spray vinegar directly onto plants and vegetation to keep chipmunks away. The strong scent of the acetic acid in vinegar will deter them. 

Will coffee grounds keep chipmunks away?

Yes, the strong smell of coffee grounds can act as a natural repellent for chipmunks. Spread the grounds around your garden and yard, or mix them into the soil to keep these critters away. 

Will loud noises scare chipmunks away?

Yes, loud noises can be effective at scaring away chipmunks. This includes playing recorded sounds of their natural predators or banging on pots and pans. The noise may startle them, causing them to flee the area. However, this only provides temporary relief as they will return when they feel safe again.


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