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How to Tame Chipmunks

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Comfortable outdoor chair

The chipmunk is loved almost universally for its cuteness, including its bright button eyes and its endearing habit of stuffing its cheeks with food. This little rodent is native to Asia, North America and Canada, except for prairie or subtropical regions, and includes more than 20 subspecies. It feeds primarily on nuts and seeds and lives in underground burrows, which it accesses through several strategically located holes. It will vigorously defend its territory against other chipmunks by standing on its hind legs, to a towering height of eight or so inches, and chirping much louder than seems possible for such a small animal. While naturally cautious, the chipmunk can be coaxed to take food from your hand.

Locate a chipmunk hole. Chipmunks often live in the woods but also favor suburban areas. If you see what you suspect is a chipmunk hole, sprinkle some sunflower seeds around it and then watch from a distance to see if a chipmunk takes the bait. If you already have seen chipmunks, watch them to determine where they spend most of their time; scatter seeds around this area. Continue laying out food for several days or until you see that the chipmunks anticipate it.

Set up a comfortable chair 10 feet or so from the chipmunk territory and sprinkle a trail of seeds between the two. Repeat for several days until the chipmunks become accustomed to the chair.

Sit in the chair and scatter a handful of seeds. Remain still for as long as you can. Repeat until the chipmunks will eat in your presence.

Sit in the chair with your arm comfortably placed so that you can remain still for a long time. Scatter a few seeds on the ground, then fill your palm with seeds and be patient. You may have to repeat this step over several days, but in time the chipmunks should be climbing on you to get to the seeds.


  • Take your time as you move from step to step, and go back to a previous step if you cannot get the chipmunks to approach. They must be convinced that you are not a threat.