We are in the midst of a baby boom. There has been an explosion in the population of chipmunks in Harper’s Valley. They are as cute as a bug’s ear but they have become a nuisance in the neighborhood.
The University of Arizona Extension Service advises that there are five species of chipmunks native to Arizona. All belong to the genus Eutamias for those that care about such things.
The UES further advises; ” A number of species of squirrels and chipmunks occasionally become pests in and around buildings. When ground squirrels or chipmunks are present in large numbers they can cause structural damage by burrowing under patios, stairs, retention walls, or foundations. They may also invade garages, walls and attics. They will also consume flower bulbs, seeds, or seedlings as well as bird seed, grass seed, and pet food that is not stored in rodent-proof storage containers.”
Harper’s food is not stored outside so the crafty minions of Satan would have to come into the house to find it. Of course, that’s what the burglar did to find my wallet so; who knows?
The UES continues; “The identification of ground squirrel or chipmunk damage is most often made by direct observation and the presence of burrow entrances.” I can personally acknowledge both.
I often see them when I am driving. They try to scurry across the street. Because they are small, and the same color as their surroundings, it is difficult to see them until they are quite close. All one can do it hit the brakes, swerve a little, and hope they didn’t change direction.
“The presence of burrow entrances” is an understatement. There are hundreds of them in the neighborhood. All these photos were taken last night while I was walking Harper without ever leaving the sidewalk.
Harper is fascinated by them. They are much quicker than rabbits so she often missed them but when she sees one disappear into a hole she sticks her muzzle down as far into the hole as possible. She doesn’t dig, but she can stand with her nose stuck in a hole for, what seems like, a long time waiting for something to happen.
I have not seen any on our property yet, we don’t have much exposed ground but I suspect we are living on borrowed time.
They are cuter when they are animated.