Do Chipmunks Live Underground?: The Answer

Chipmunks are small animals classified under the squirrel family. They may visit your farm or home in search of food or a place to live.

Chipmunks mostly appear during the day. It is not easier to spot these animals while moving. They run very fast and camouflage well with environment.

So, do Chipmunks live underground? The direct answer is YES! Chipmunks dig burrows underground with their paws and create underground rooms for breeding, storage of gathered food and sleeping.

Do Chipmunks Live Underground?

Details: Do Chipmunks Live Underground?

At times, chipmunks may live in channels, chambers, bushes, dig burrows on wood/rocks or even make their own nest. Chipmunks won’t live in marshy area. Some will climb trees in search of food.

YES! Chipmunks do live underground. Then, how do they live underground? Chipmunks dig shallow or deep burrows with their paws beneath the ground surface in open fields, buildings, structures, lawns, garden, sidewalks or rocks.

Shallows burrows acts as refuge/quick hideouts during the day when they are attacked while in food hunting mission.

Deep burrows, which may be more complex, are used for nesting, hibernation and food store. These burrows may go to a depth of 3 feet and extend 30 feet horizontally. The underground housing is also dug with several escape routes.

Chipmunks use these underground homes as refuge during winter too. During this cold season, they feed on food stored in summer time. Chipmunks can also hibernate during winter – they do not do it for the entire time.

Some of the underground compartments are reinforced with grass or leaves to create warmth to both the parents and young ones during cold weather.

You will find diversions leading to various compartments in case you follow a given channel. Chipmunks will enter your home through the wall and borrow your flowerbeds or even sidewalks.

Different Types of Chipmunks – Where They Live?

According to National Geographic, Chipmunks are the smallest members that are associated to the squirrel family.

There are about 25 known species of the Chipmunks family, which mostly live in northern America. However, one species call Siberian Chipmunks has been spotted in other places like Asia and Europe.

These are some species of chipmunks: Eastern Chipmunk, Yellow-pine Chipmunk, Hopi Chipmunk, Townsend’s Chipmunk, Least Chipmunk, California Chipmunk and Alpine Chipmunk among others.

The Specific shelter for a given species of Chipmunk is determined by the environment in which they are located and proximity to the food source. You will find that Alpine Chipmunks dwell in forest and bushes while Hopi Chipmunk live in burrows dug in open field.

How Many Chipmunks Live In A Burrow?

In a given underground shelter, you will find 1 to 50 Chipmunk or more. They breed and multiply thus increasing their population.

With increased number, Chipmunk will continue to dig further and enlarge the underground chambers.

These animals can even burrow beneath an acre of land to enable them accommodate the entire population and have enough space to store food.

Chipmunk don’t leave their shelter easily. They communally guard their territory keenly to maintain their survival without being spotted. Their underground burrows can even extent to 1 acre or more.

Do Chipmunks Live In Trees?

Yes! Chipmunks will make their way to forest, bush or woodland in search of food and hideouts on attack. Some sources of food for Chipmunk such as nuts, seeds, grass, plant matter or bird’s egg are found on/in trees/forest.

Chipmunks make nest in bushes or burrow wood to create their shelter in the forest. You may find sizable burrows on stems of large trees, which elongate upward – these, may belong to Chipmunks.

It is important to acknowledge that Chipmunk won’t hung like bat on trees. Therefore, they can’t sleep on a branch – they must make a shelter.

How does a Chipmunk Burrow Look Inside?

When you dig the ground radially with intentions to view the chipmunk’s underground shelter, you will see/find a long excavated narrow tunnel of varying width.

How deep are chipmunk holes? The central part of the burrow is slightly raised to avoid flooding in case water leaks. Moreover, the chamber might be reinforced with grass or leaves to create more warmth for the Chipmunks.

There are side pockets/hoards that may extend up to 2 feet. These are used to store food, collect empty shells or as a breeding ground. These are located slightly above the floor of the tunnel.

Two or more narrow channels are dug down way to help drain flooding water. Escape routes (two or more) are then extended further from the central chamber to exit Chipmunks in case of danger.

Chipmunks mainly dig burrows on the hard ground/soil (such as below the tree trunks, buildings/structures) to prevent them from collapsing or water leakage. In addition, they close most of escape routes and inlets to boost its internal security.

What Are Signs Of Chipmunks In Your Area?

The following are signs that shows presence of Chipmunks in your area.

  1. Holes in the compound, lawns, field or garden that have freshly dug soil alongside.
  2. Heaps of seed leftovers or nutshells.
  3. Uprooted garden flowers, bulbs or plants.
  4. Chipmunk’s tracks – fine four toes prints (front) and five for hind legs.
  5. Burrows on the wood or wall structure – from chipmunks.
  6. Underneath bird feeders.
  7. Round holes on your vegetable – feeding from chipmunks.

How Do I Stop Chipmunks From Digging?

Yes, Chipmunks burrow ground using their paws. They create a multi-chambers space beneath the earth surface or structure. They works as a group/team or individuals.

They create various chambers underneath and side pockets for storage, nesting, refuge and hibernation. These dug tunnels are interconnected and linked with escape routes.

Chipmunks usually block the entrance with soil they dug from inside – they dig while throwing soil behind.

To stop Chipmunks from digging your lawn, garden or field, you can use any of the ways highlighted below.

  1. Remove rock piles or woods and trim trees to eliminate Chipmunks’ hideouts and food sources.
  2. Surround your field with plant-free gravels.
  3. Set L-shaped footers along your garden, farm or compound to keep of Chipmunks.
  4. Have an outdoors cat for rodents.
  5. Spray fields with cloud ammonia – keeps of Chipmunks (expensive)
  6. Call an exterminator (the best option)
  7. Set Chipmunks traps.
  8. Don’t allow bush, trees or thicket grow in your farm, garden or compound – it may attract Chipmunk.
  9. Use statues that may scare away Chipmunks in your field.

Do Chipmunks Damage Homes?

Chipmunks are very destructive rodents. They eat bulbs, seeds, nuts and vegetable in your compound, garden or yard.

They burrow holes in your fields or compound that may be dangerous to you and your humans – one can break leg if they step into any.

Chipmunks dig borrows on the walls and wood structure causing failure and weaknesses on them. They destroy sidewalks and flower bed too.

During burrowing, Chipmunks remove soil beneath structures. This weakens their foundation, which may cause them to collapse.

Heaps of nutshells and piles of seed leftovers that are scattered all over create an unclean environment in your lawn or fields.


Chipmunks can live underground. They dig burrows using their paws to create along underneath tunnel that may extend up to 30 feet.

They make nested chambers with side pockets meant for food storage, food storage and breeding. The chamber also has several escape routes.

Chipmunks can cause serious damage in your home and need to be controlled using some the options recommended in this article.


  1. Chipmunks in the Garden – University of Vermont

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