CHIPMUNKS ARE CUTE, SURE. BUT THEY TRANSPORT TICKS – WHICH CAN CARRY DISEASE. AND CHIPMUNKS ARE OUT IN BIG NUMBERS THIS SUMMER


Eastern chipmunk with acorn (image credit: Roads End Naturalist)

ohDEER, the leader in all natural deer, mosquito, and tick control today talks about chipmunks … and ticks.

Ah, chipmunks – cute little rodents. Cute little striped rodents.  Ticks – tiny arachnids that aren’t so cute.

Consider the chipmunk,

Chipmunks are of the genus Tamias – Greek for “treasurer” or “steward” or “housekeeper.”

Chipmunks are all of that – all of treasurers, stewards, and housekeepers – in their practice of collecting and moving and storing food for winter consumption.

The chipmunk that lives in these parts is the eastern chipmunk.

As explained in the Wikipedia entry on chipmunks, at the start of autumn, “many species of chipmunk [including the eastern chipmunk] begin to stockpile nonperishable foods for winter.  They mostly cache their foods in a larder in their burrows and remain in their nests until spring, unlike other species which make many small caches of food. Cheek pouches allow chipmunks to carry food items to their burrows for either storage or consumption.”

Acorns – aka the seeds of oak trees – are a favorite menu item for chipmunks, and this past fall was a bonanza for acorns (September through early November is when the seeds mature and fall from the trees).

Eastern chipmunks create and live in underground tunnels which can be 30 feet long and have several entrances.  Chipmunk tunnels have been discovered containing eight pounds of food.

Well, it is warm now – and chipmunks are out and about, eating acorns and other grub, for sure, but not focused on storing food.   They are also mating.

A mild climate over the past few years has been hospitable for providing food and for mating.  Chipmunk populations have boomed.  They are out and about in big numbers.

And, here’s the thing, chipmunks are go-to source of sustenance – in the form of blood –for ticks.   That means ticks latch on to chipmunks and go where chipmunks go.

Chipmunks are cute – but ticks are just about all bad … especially because of the ticks they transport.  Ticks can carry disease … notably Lyme disease … which they can transmit to humans, pets, and livestock.

About a year ago, posted in this space was an option for controlling ticks that chipmunks and other rodents transport to your property.  That solution … well, partial solution … is the tick tube.  Please click here to be taken to the post.

Of course, for comprehensive, highly effective, and all-natural deer, mosquito, and tick control, please think ohDEER.

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