Chipmunks can seem harmless at first glance. But these animals can cause a multitude of problems if their population continues to grow on your property.

Can Chipmunks Damage My Property?

Chipmunk burrows can pose a major threat to any structures on your property. These burrows can be up to 30 feet long and several feet deep.

With a series of tunnel systems underground, these burrows can cause damage to decks, patios, sheds, and foundations. Burrows that create open spaces under structures may affect the integrity of the structure above it as the dirt settles over time. The larger the infestation, the more potential for extensive foundational damage.

Beyond their burrows, chipmunks themselves are known to chew wooden structures of all kinds. That includes any wooden item on your property. Chewing can leave tooth marks and scratches all over your property.

Do Chipmunks Carry Diseases?

Yes, chipmunks can carry diseases. The most common diseases chipmunks are most commonly known to spread include plague, salmonella, and hantavirus.

Plague is a bacterial infection that attacks the immune system. You can be infected with this bacteria via the bites of fleas carried by infected rodents.

Chipmunks spread salmonella the same way, which can lead to severe gastrointestinal discomfort and joint pain.

Finally, hantavirus affects the lungs. People contract hantavirus through close contact with rodent urine or feces. If left untreated, all three illnesses can result in death.

Do Chipmunks Bite?

Chipmunks are not known to be aggressive. In general, they will scurry away if they have the chance to bite you. But if the chipmunk feels threatened or trapped, then it may bite.

If not treated correctly, these wounds become infected and lead to tissue damage. Swelling, redness, oozing, and fever are symptoms of infection. The good news is that these pests rarely carry rabies, but it is still a possibility.

Another rare outcome from a chipmunk bite is tetanus. However, this is preventable through vaccination. If you are bit by a chipmunk, wash the bite with soap and water. You may need to visit a doctor if the wound gets infected.

In order to avoid this painful outcome, avoid picking up or attempting to pick up a chipmunk. Even if injured, a chipmunk can bite you. Instead, call in the help of professionals to remove the animal from your property.

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