Chipmunk-Treachery: Battling Invaders in Your Garden

Some things you should know about me.

I am a person with a hat. Trust me, it’s a big deal.

Today I found a surprise stash of crazy straws when I was cleaning my apartment! My beverage game is unmatched right now.

And I have a garden that I talk about a lot.

…Oh my gosh! I’m so glad you asked! You see, my garden is going through something.

I seem to have unintentionally crafted a nature preserve on my 8 foot by 5 foot patio patch of cement.

Real things the neighbors get to hear:

  • “I only want the best for both of us!”- I yelled at a bee. To my credit, the bee was getting all up in my business.
  • “BIRDS! THERE ARE OTHER PATIOS!”- I yelled at a pair of birds who were either getting amorous or discussing the new Game of Thrones trailer on my patio as I was trying to eat breakfast.
  • “Nobody wants you here, cat!” – I yelled at a cat who was trying to climb on my patio.

But the most nefarious interloper is easily the chipmunk. For three years, I have been tormented by the Wisconsin chipmunk population.

The damage. Question: when someone is starting an Inigo-Montoya-style revenge trip, is there a particular place one should buy a sword? Preferably in chipmunk size? Asking for a friend.

Update! Since I started writing this, the situation has changed! The chipmunks have found allies in the sky, and the birds are attacking my hanging plants too!

Things I’ve tried:

Solution 1: Homemade natural sprays. Review? Stinky. And it washes off, so you have to continually be a purveyor of stinky.

Solution 2: Herbert


This is Herbert.

Herbert entered my life two and a half years ago as a gift to stand guard against invaders.

Two and a half years later, I can tell you, while Herbert and I have a certain rapport- I do things and he stares at me – he has proven himself useless in the fight against chipmunks.

But we forgive him because he has other strengths. Like knowing facts about Jupiter, clogging, and never forgetting a face.

Solution 3: Hanging Plants – Chipmunks can’t fly! Except in Rescuers Down Under.

Until I noticed my traumatized chard, having the plants take to the sky was going great. I only hit my head on plants most of the time, and am only a little bit worried about my creeper plants cutting me off from the outside world.


Garden Netting


I don’t think I’m allowed to line my patio with garden netting, so I focused it on the pots most under attack. And guys? It was working.

That is, it was working until some construction workers moved the plants back to do some re-shingling, and knocked one of the posts down, leaving a gap in the netting that the chipmunks jumped on.

I’ve googled “Home Alone booby traps for patios” at least 7 times to prevent further plant shuffling, but at the end of the day, my snap peas are demolished.



This is Melvin.

Much like Herbert, Melvin was a gift from a family member who thinks they’re funny just wants to help.

So I guess this is my snake now. And I’m going to be honest with you, when I pictured my patio garden back in April, I pictured more charming and less…Voldemorty?

Fortunately for me, he came with instructions.

  • Re-inflate when necessary
  • Make sure the birds can see him
  • Move him around every few days to convince the animals he’s real.

Inflatable-snake-moving is a thing in my life now!


No, he’s not subtle.


But color the animals convinced! This is definitely a real snake!

They’re not convinced. I saw a chipmunk climb on top of him to have better access to a plant.

I guess Herbert has someone to talk to now?


Today I was in the kitchen, saw a bird eating my chard, and threw the first thing I could grab at the window.

Weapon of choice? A radish.

So has anything really worked? No.

Ideas I am workshopping:

  • Putting out a sign that says “DEFINITELY POISON! NO PEAS HERE. ONLY POISON.”
  • Popping my head out of the door and yelling every hour on the hour like a cuckoo clock. But I’d be called normal-clock. Because these are normal things.
  • Barbed wire, but I don’t have a barbed wire guy
  • A moat. I do have a moat guy. His name is Percy.
  • Herbert suggested we kill them with kindness
  • Become one with the animals, and let them eat my plants. It seems like I get to keep my flowers, and I can always go to the illustrious neighborhood Pick & Save for food. They don’t carry snap peas right now and I think they switch around their produce section weekly just to mess with me, but based on their celebratory flags, everything is really great.


Anyone out there with brilliant ideas?


And for your viewing pleasure, pictures from my garden from a simpler time….

3 weeks ago….



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