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Do Chipmunks Dig Tunnels & Burrow? Do They Live Underground?

We find chipmunks an adorable and affectionate animal. But we may not know their destructive nature. They are the common guests of a garden but if you’re a gardener you must be careful about them.

Do chipmunks dig tunnels?

Chipmunks dig tunnels in the yards. These tunnels are small in size, narrow in shape, and only have one entrance or an exit. Chipmunks use tunnels during hibernation as their shelter and food storage. They also hide from the above-ground predators by using these tunnels.

In yards, sometimes we can find some small tunnels that the chipmunks dig. These underground tunnels are so hard to find, as they are narrow in shape, only 2-3 inches wide in diameter in the entrance. 

There is only one entrance and exit of the tunnels and they extend downward to keep water away from their burrows.

These tunnels are built alongside the large tree roots but the chipmunks don’t let any dirt stuck in front of their tunnels. These tunnels that they build are for their shelter during hibernation and store their food. They hide from the above-ground predators by these tunnels.

Do chipmunks dig tunnels like moles? How long are chipmunk tunnels?

The tunnels that chipmunks dig are not like moles. Actually, chipmunks excavate the soil and make flat tunnels. But the moles aggressively dig their hole and make loose mounded piles of soil. The chipmunks don’t leave dirt, mounds, or other evidence around their tunnels. 

Where the moles’ holes are called molehills because they leave a volcano-like mound towards their holes.

One chipmunk’s tunnel is connected with another tunnel and together they make a burrow. One chipmunk tunnel can be about 2 feet long. But the whole tunnel system can reach up to 30 feet long. The entrances or exits are very small, only 2-3 inches in diameter.

How do I stop chipmunks from digging?

Chipmunks really do damage to the structure of your house and yards by digging and may upend all your plants. Try these ideas if you want to get rid of the chipmunks from your yard:

Use L-shaped footers:

L-shaped footers are specially designed to place them in the foundation of your house or garden that won’t let the structure damage easily. It’s an incredible way that will not let the chipmunks dig.

Chipmunks repellent trees:

You can plant some trees that chipmunks do not like. You can plant several garlic and daffodil plants that will turn chipmunks’ noses up and keep them away from your yard.

Electrical chipmunk repellent:

Electrical chipmunk repellent devices use special sounds which emit ultrasonic pulses and scare various types of animals.

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You can make chipmunks fall into traps without harming them; utilizing one door tactics and using peanut butter and sunflower seeds to attract them.

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Do chipmunks burrow?

Chipmunks burrow underneath the houses and other structures. They are the ground-dwelling creatures who burrow for their shelter, safety, and easier access to food. The burrows are built by connecting a few tunnels together. A burrow can be quite long and may have many entrances and exits.

Chipmunks are ground-dwelling creatures. If you have enough berries and other fruit plants in your garden there’s a high chance that there can be chipmunks in your yard. And, you might be unaware of the underworld of chipmunks. 

Chipmunks can build several 10 feet to 30 feet long burrows underground and can damage the whole structure of your home.

The entrance holes are only 2 inches in diameter and have a few entrances and exits. Chipmunks normally build these burrows to take shelter safely and to protect themselves from above-ground predators. They find it easier to get food by using these tunnels. 

Also, they excavate a few chambers to use for storing food, breeding, giving birth, defecting, or taking rest. They mostly spend their time in these burrows.

Why do chipmunks burrow?

The reasons why chipmunks burrow underneath:


There are many above-ground predators that eat chipmunks and so they want to stay safe. Also, they are afraid of humans or even of their smell. So, they tend to hide and dig underground burrows. 

They prefer to use the underneath paths to perform all their daily activities. Actually, they prefer to spend most of their time in burrows.

Easy access to food:

Chipmunks mostly prefer the place where they can easily get their food. They burrow because they are quite long with several entrances and exits and they can use them for getting their food easily. 

Breeding and giving birth:

Summer and spring are the time for their mating and breeding. They prefer burrows for breeding and staying with their partner. They find burrows a safer place for breeding and giving birth.

What do chipmunks burrows look like?

Chipmunks are natural diggers and the burrows they dig are likely 30 feet long and 2-3 feet wide and are like small caverns. They are mostly located beneath or underground or close to cover or alongside the root of trees. 

They dig burrows in two systems: shallow burrows for easy movement or rest and more complex burrows for other purposes like storing food, breeds, or taking shelter in winter.

The burrows are quite huge and very long in size. Also, there are several chambers that the chipmunks use for their several activities like shelter, nesting, and strong foods. Several tunnels are connected with one another to make a burrow and that’s why they look like caverns.

How many chipmunks live in A burrow?

Usually, 8 to 10 chipmunks can live together in the form of a small colony. In some underground chambers, only 1-4 chipmunks are found to live together. Chipmunks are not very much socially active animals. 

They prefer to live mostly alone inside their own chipmunk underground chamber.

Chipmunks mostly like to interact, especially during the spring season. Because it is their mating period. During that period, male and female chipmunks pair up with each other and they breed to increase their generation onward. 

However, the number of chipmunks that can live together in one underground chamber mostly depends on the availability of food and chamber size.

Do chipmunks live underground?

Chipmunks mostly prefer to live underground as they survive better there. They are very much concerned about their safety and feel comfortable living underground, so they dig tunnels and burrow beneath the ground to live. Moreover, they can move quickly and find their food easily underground.

Chipmunks are attracted to the place where they find enough food. They like fruits, seeds, nuts very much and if you have all the plants in your garden then they might be in your yard as well. They might have built an underneath world by then. 

But they do great damage to the foundation of your house and so, you must stay careful.

Actually, chipmunks choose underground as they feel safe and comfortable there. They are very much afraid of humans and predators and so they tend to hide and live peacefully underground.

They use several chambers for several works and can quickly move from one place to another. So, they live underground.

How far underground do chipmunks live?

The approximate distance from underground to the place where chipmunks live is about 3 feet deep and can extend 20 feet long horizontally as well depending on the length of the burrows. 

Chipmunks usually avoid marshy land areas and choose underground surfaces in open fields, gardens, and houses to live in.

Chipmunks normally dig burrows in two systems: shallow burrows that are for quick movements and rest and there the chipmunks stay close near the entrances. 

The other one is more complex burrows for storing food, giving birth, or taking shelter in winter and here chipmunks stay quite far from the entrance.

How do you get rid of chipmunks underground?

Chipmunks do great damage to your house structure and garden living underground. To get rid of the chipmunks underground:

Use your pets:

You can use your cats or dogs to catch chipmunks. They are perfect in size and letting them inside their holes can be an easy way to scare them and run away from your garden.


You can make a trap to catch the chipmunks underground without harming them. You can use one-door tactics and fall chipmunks into traps. Try peanut butter or sunflower seeds or any other favorite food to attract them.

Electrical chipmunk repellent device:

Using an electrical chipmunk repellent device is the most effective way to get rid of chipmunks underground. The device uses a special sound that emits ultrasonic pulses that scares not only chipmunks but also other harmful animals. 

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Final thoughts

Chipmunks dig tunnels, burrows and they live underground. They are the natural diggers who build underground shelters by digging. The tunnels and burrows are the underground shelters that they build for safety, storing food, and breeding. They spend their time mostly in these tunnels or burrow.