The eastern chipmunk is a very common and well-known rodent. It is a forest species, but is also very comfortable living around near people. The chipmunk is a fun to watch as it scampers about, however, if it moves into a house, it can cause considerable damage.
The chipmunk is a small, ground-dwelling member of the squirrel family. It has two tan and five blackish longitudinal stripes on its back, and two tan and two brownish stripes on each side of its face. The longitudinal stripes end at the reddish rump. The tail is 3 to 4 inches long and hairy, but it is not bushy. Adults may live up to 3 years.
Chipmunks are omnivores. Their diet consists primarily of grains, nuts, berries, seeds, mushrooms, insects, and salamanders. Chipmunks also prey on young birds and their eggs.
Chipmunks are a member of the rodent family and rodents of all types are often associated with the transmitting of diseases. For instance the Plague is typically transmitted by Wild rodents, including squirrels, prairie dogs, wood rats, fox squirrels and Chipmunks. This Disease is spread through the bite of an infected flea, or with direct contact with an infected animal.
The Eastern chipmunk is a small, brownish, ground-dwelling squirrel . It is typically 5-6 inches long and weighs about three ounces. Chipmunks are easy to distinguish. They have short, pointy heads marked with two white stripes, one above and one below the eye. They also have five black lines with white striping down the back. They sit upright and hold food with their front feet.
The Eastern chipmunk typically inhabits mature woodlands and woodlot edges, but they are also found in and around suburban and rural homes. The home range of a chipmunk may be up to 1/2 acre, but the adult only defends a territory of about 50 feet around the burrow entrance. Chipmunks are most active during the early morning and late afternoon. Chipmunks favor areas with stone walls or rotting logs and heavy ground cover. They burrow, but excavate the soil, so tunnel entrances are well concealed.
With the onset of cold winter, chipmunks enter a restless hibernation and are relatively inactive from late fall through the winter months. They do not enter a deep hibernation, but rely on the cache of food they have brought to their burrow. Most chipmunks emerge from their hibernation in early March. Eastern chipmunks mate twice a year, first during early spring and again during the summer or early fall. Two to five young are born in April to May and again in August to October. Adults may live up to three years.
Chipmunks are omnivores. Their diet consists primarily of grains, nuts, berries, seeds, mushrooms, insects, and salamanders. Chipmunks also prey on young birds and their eggs. They hoard food for the winter by carrying it in special cheek pouches. A valuable forest inhabitant, chipmunks move seeds around for tree regeneration, and they are an important food source for birds and other mammals.
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Winter has come! Now is the time when our desire for indoor warmth increases. Rodents, squirrels and raccoons also like to sit by the fire and warm their hands! Call us today if you hear scurrying or scratching in your home.