Mild Winter Leads to Chipmunk Invasion

Pat Hale’s West Hartford yard looks like a detonated minefield all thanks to chipmunks and expects said the mild winter is the reason for the chipmunk population boom.

"And here's one that looks like they're digging a tunnel to China or something," Hale said.

Wildlife biologist Paul Rego said the mild winter has allowed chipmunks to reproduce at a high level and allowed their population to grow.

There's also been an abundance of maple seeds and acorns which are the small mammal’s favorite snack and so much food has allowed the chipmunks to breed vigorously, he said.

"Easily10 to-20 per acre" when population is abundant, Rego said.

Hale said her biggest concern isn't the holes turning her lawn into a mini putt-putt course, but that the holes are reaching close to home.

"I am worried they are destroying my foundation," Hale said.

"There's a potential to undermine some structures. A large structure maybe not so much," said Rego.

To get rid of the new chipmunks, wildlife experts said natural predators and trapping are the answers.

For some, this chipmunk invasion is not only changing their landscape but also their outlook on the tiny troublemakers.

"I've never seen these many chipmunks, before I'd see a chipmunk and think 'Aww it's cute isn't it, there's a chipmunk. Now I see a chipmunk and think, get ‘em out of yard!" Hale said.

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