What Does Chipmunk Poop Look Like? Identification Guide

What does chipmunk poop look like? The chipmunk’s poop is pellet-shaped and is less than one centimeter. It is quite similar to a rat’s dropping, but when you observe closely, you will notice that the rat’s poop is larger than the chipmunk’s. Also, the poop may vary between shades of black and brown, depending on their diet.

Since chipmunks are smart enough to create underground tunnels as shelter, most homeowners would not notice the pest’s feces. Chipmunks have chambers in their burrows used for waste collection, they do this to ensure predators do not trace them through the smell of their poop. In some instances, it is common to find chipmunk droppings on sheds, in patios, and garages but most people think of it to be mouse or rat poop.

A common reason for this misconception is because rodents produce pellet-shaped feces, identical to the size of a grain of rice and chipmunk droppings are not an exception.

What does chipmunk poop look like?

Chipmunk Poop - Chipmunk droppings (What does chipmunk poop look like? Identification guide)
Chipmunk Droppings – Chipmunk Poop

Chipmunk droppings look just like rat poop. They are as small as a rice grain and are similarly shaped.

It is only through careful observation that you can differentiate a rat’s poop from a chipmunk’s poop. When you look closely, you will observe that a rat’s poop is bigger and even thicker than a chipmunk’s poop.

Distribution can be a good way of identifying chipmunk poop. Chipmunks only poop in safe latrine sites or within their burrows. Their poop cannot be found just anywhere. 

Chipmunks do not poop – Myth Buster

There is a common myth that says chipmunks do not poop. This is widely believed because most people do not see chipmunks pooping, either do they find their droppings around.

This is merely a myth as chipmunks poop too. Their droppings are just hard to find. Chipmunks are vulnerable to predators as they are defenseless. As a result, they try to stay out of sight as much as possible.

They use the special chambers within their burrows to poop and avoid doing so anywhere else. Those who live in nests find a spot far from home to poop so predators do not trace them.

Learn to identify a chipmunk’s dropping from a rat’s droppings?

As mentioned earlier, chipmunks and rats have similar droppings, and identifying them appropriately can be a little difficult. But proper identification must be made if you want to tackle the infestation.

Let us now have a look at the best ways to identify a chipmunk’s poop.

Identification by color

Another effective way of identifying chipmunk poop is by its color. Chipmunks and mice are omnivores but chipmunks eat more fruits and nuts. As a result, their poop is usually paler than that of mice. 

Rats feed mostly on small insects, vegetables, and garbage; thus, their poop has a darker color. Their poop is so dark that they are mistaken to be black but the rat’s poop is not black.  

Identification by size and shape

At first glance, a chipmunk and a rat’s poop may appear the same size. Closer observation however will reveal that the chipmunk’s droppings are smaller than that of a rat.

A rat’s poop has an estimated measurement of 3/4th of an inch, while that of a chipmunk measures 3/8th of an inch.

Another major difference between a rat’s poop and a chipmunk’s poop is in the shape. A chipmunk’s poop is small and thin, resembling a grain of rice. A rat’s poop is oblong shaped and larger. 

Is chipmunk poop dangerous?

Chipmunk poop is dangerous, just like every other omnivore and carnivore. The omnivorous diet of the chipmunk increases the chances of its droppings to contain pathogens and viruses.

However, because chipmunks poop discreetly, it is rare for humans to have direct contact with chipmunk droppings.

Regardless, you must exercise caution if you own pets. Your pets can go out and contract diseases from the droppings of a chipmunk. Let us have a look at some common diseases that can be contracted from chipmunk poop.

The common diseases associated with chipmunk poop include:

  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Hantavirus

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by bacteria infection. The bacteria in question is of the Salmonella type, and it is largely associated with chipmunk poop. Though not fatal, symptoms and ailments may persist for almost for seven days.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting

The disease spreads through direct contact or ingesting food or water infested by chipmunk poop contaminants.

Leptospirosis is also a bacterial disease that is also associated with chipmunk poop. The primary source of transmission is airborne and this is due to which the likelihood of contracting the deadly leptospirosis are slim. You are only at risk if you inhale airborne dust of crumbled chipmunk poop.

Hantavirus is a highly contagious viral disease. Mode of contracted is by inhaling virus-laden particles from the urine of rodents droppings or saliva. As mentioned earlier, due to the discrete nature of chipmunks nature of pooping, it is rare to contract the disease.

How to safely remove chipmunk poop?

Usually, you do not have to be bothered with cleaning chipmunk poop because mostly, they poop in their burrows.

If however, you find a latrine site near your home, you will need to clear it. This is most important if you have kids.

Before attempting to clear chipmunk poop, ensure you embark on protective measures such as wearing rubber boots, gloves, and a facial mask.

Here are steps for the safe disposal of chipmunk poop.

  • Check if the poop is dried up or still fresh. If it has dried up, sprinkle some water on it to soften it. Dried poop can crumble easily and become airborne.
  • Next, use a shovel to gather the poop into a heap then set it ablaze. Poop should be set ablaze because they may become breeding grounds for flies.
  • Spray disinfectants on and around the latrine site after cleaning up the poop.

3 Good Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks?

It is quite tricky to get rid of chipmunks because their presence is hard to detect until it is almost too late. If you find them, it is important to get rid of them safely because you do not want to harm them. Here are some ways to get rid of chipmunks without harming them.

Plan ahead

As is popularly said, prevention is better than cure. Instead of waiting for chipmunks to show up on your property, you can take measures to prevent infestation. Here are some preventive measures for you. 

Trim your plants and bushes so you are not unknowingly providing cover to the chipmunks.

Set up L shape footers along the foundation of your building, retaining walls, or sidewalk when your house is still under construction. Though this may sound weird, it effective in keeping chipmunks from burrowing under your house.

Take away wood or rock piles as this gives them cover to burrow.

Use repellents

Chipmunks hate strong smells thus keeping naphthalene balls around your home, especially near the foundation is an effective deterrent.

  Squirrel repellents readily found in the market are effective against chipmunks as well and can be used against them.

If for one reason or the other you do not want to use commercial squirrel repellents, you can make homemade repellents with Lysol, Epsom salt, and water.

Trapping and releasing

On some occasions, chipmunks can return to your property after removing them. What you can do is trap them, then take them far away from your home and release them.

It is best to use humane ways to trap them especially No-Kill traps. You should also be aware of the laws regarding trapping and releasing chipmunks in your locality.

Get a trap and place it in areas with high chipmunk activity using nuts or small fruits as bait. Once a chipmunk has been trapped, pick it up and release it far away, being careful not to harm it.

You should avoid using repellents or traps on chipmunks that have babies. If you suspect that there are baby chipmunks on your property, wait till they are old enough before getting rid of them.