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Do Chipmunks Eat Acorns? (Read This First!)

Chipmunks are rodents. Chipmunks are considered by some as a nuisance as they destroy gardens and bird feeders. On the other hand, some people adore the little creature for its adorable appearance and whimsical attitude.

Chipmunks have many names in the animal community. From the adorable nut hoarder to tireless tunnel builder or ferocious snake terminator. They are neurotic multitasking rodent who excels at many things.

These cheeky cute animals are hard to spot as they unlike the squirrels spend most of their life underground in burrows. They are also very good at hiding their burrows too. We will know more about their lifestyle and the things they eat and the things they do not eat as we keep reading.

Do chipmunks eat acorns?

Chipmunks eat acorns. They are notorious for collecting around a hundred and sixty-five acorns each day. They usually spend their time in hibernation in their den and thus they collect them all the time. If it is a red oak acorn, they store it and if it is a white oak one, they eat them.

Chipmunks in general love to eat many of the berries, nuts, fruits, and seeds. They just happen to always go after the ones that are easiest to find. Chipmunks sometimes will go for pet food they might find just lying around.

They always look for exploitable ways to get food. Garbage is also on their menu if they find something good. Especially the bird feeders are an easy source of free food for them.

Big Chipmunks:

Chipmunks that reached their adulthood of life, rely on nuts such as acorns as well as peanuts and seeds. Even though chipmunks are adorable they can be aggressive when kept captive. The big chipmunks especially have a painful bite.

If we have a bird feeder in our backyard. The bigger chipmunks will go for them. They might be small and cuddly but they are quite intelligent creatures. They will seize no opportunity of free food.

Baby Chipmunks:

Seeds and nuts are the best food type to feed baby chipmunks. They especially adore the crunch of an acorn and its shell. Acorn also provides a ton of nutritive merit to the baby chipmunk.

Usually, baby chipmunks will be afraid of us as they are instinctively scared of humans. However, there are ways to make them friendly towards us even though the process is slow.

Can chipmunks eat acorns? Do chipmunks like acorns?

Chipmunks enjoy anything related to seeds and nuts. Acorn is one of their favorites. They enjoy acorns more than most of the other nuts. However, they do not always eat the acorns right away.

This depends on the type of acorn they acquire. Most of the time the acorns they eat are the white oak tree acorns. Then the ones that they store are the ones that fall from the red oak tree.

This behavior happens because the chipmunks know that the red oak tree acorns will not go bad over the winter and last till spring. While the white oak tree acorns go bad over time. This is why they store the red oak tree acorns and eat the white oak tree acorns.

Why do squirrels eat acorns?

Squirrels normally eat a variety of different kinds of food materials. Seeds and a mixture of nuts are their favorites while they also enjoy leaves, bark, and sometimes fungi.

Squirrels have a special vision that allows them to know which fruits are ripe and which ones are not. This is not the only thing they are capable of. Squirrels also know that acorn is a package of energy that they need.

Acorn is easily breakable and eaten in less time than the other harder nuts and food materials. This allows the squirrels to be active and get more done while they are outside their safe places.

It can be dangerous for the squirrels to come out of their resting layers. Thus getting a few acorns and making it a run for the home is always ideal for them. This is why squirrels love acorns.

How many acorns do chipmunks eat? How many acorns can fit in a Chipmunk’s mouth?

Chipmunks can gather around 160 acorns per day. There is a special trait in chipmunks that can be seen in other animals of different species too but in a different form or function. However, the chipmunks have cheek pouches that are able to stuff and transport food from one place to another.

This pouch is a lifesaver for these small creatures, as they are very vulnerable to birds of prey and other predators or sometimes even dogs. The cheek pouches of the chipmunks can stretch to almost match their body size.

Chipmunk’s cheek pouch can fit around 70 sunflower seeds, 31 corn kernels, or 12 acorns. That is a lot of food for the little creatures, that they can carry in one go. Thus, making their pouches become an outstanding functional body part.

What kind of acorns do chipmunks eat?

Squirrels and chipmunks alike will just eat all types of variety of acorns they can get their hands on. However, they often love to eat a particular list of acorns, which are listed below.

Emory Oak Acorn:

This is an oak common in Arizona New Mexico.

Coast Live Oak Acorn:

It is a beautiful evergreen oak that grows far north as Mendocino County.

Black Oak Acorn:

Black oak tree’s acorns are large acorns that are a native food that was a staple food source of Native Americans as well the chipmunks.

White Oak Acorn:

Chipmunks eat these acorns as soon as they find on the ground fallen as they go bad very easily.

Red Oak Acorn:

This is a type of acorn that’s unlike the white oak acorns and thus chipmunks love to stock on them.

How to prevent chipmunks from eating acorns?

If we find ourselves in a chipmunk infestation, there are a multitude of things we could do to stop them from taking all the acorns. Below we will discuss some of the best ways to stop these little acorn thieves.

Use acorn caps:

This will keep the chipmunks from eating the acorns. We can scatter crocus flowers or other fragrant flowers mostly on top of the straw in fall. This will give a pleasant scent barrier that chipmunks don’t like.

Barrier of gravel:

If we place a barrier of gravel around the seedlings or already planted trees, the chipmunks will avoid the tree if they’re not able to get to the acorns.

DIY repellent:

When we use cayenne pepper around the location of the seeds and seedlings in fall the chipmunks will see it as a ring of invisible fire.

Natural things like the Saltwork can be used as a deterrent for chipmunks. We can make a mixture of 1 part cayenne pepper and 3 parts salt then just sprinkle them all over.

Relocate compost pile:

If we happen to have a compost pile close to the garden then rodents like chipmunks will come looking for food there instead of elsewhere.

Live traps:

If the natural ways do not seem to help us in deterring chipmunks, we can opt to use live traps. These traps can be very simple to use, just add bait with their favorites and wait for them to enter.

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Do chipmunks eat acorn caps? How do chipmunks eat acorns?

No, chipmunks do not eat acorn’s caps. They are quite picky when it comes to the acorns they want to eat or store. They carefully examine every acorn they find and get rid of the caps first.

After the removal of the caps, the chipmunks proceed to put the acorns in their cheek pouch. They do this until their pouch is full and make a run for their shelters, which are usually underground. There either will store the ones that can last or proceed to eat them then and there.

If they feel like the space is safe when picking up acorns, they will proceed to eat them where they fell too. They will bite from the outer shell and eat the inner kernels of the acorn and leave the rest.

Final Thoughts

Chipmunks do not just eat acorns; they are hoarders of acorns. They scurry around and pick up as many good acorns as they can find. They will put those in their mouth pouches and carry up to 12 at a time. They usually store acorns in their resting place to prepare for their hibernation.