How to Identify Squirrels & Chipmunks

They are two of the most common yard pests in North America, so what's the difference between squirrels and chipmunks? Squirrels are the larger of the two, weighing over a pound and standing approximately seven to nine inches tall. Most commonly gray in color, they are easily identified by their substantial, bushy tails, which are roughly as long as their bodies. A squirrel can also be black or rust-colored.

Diminutive chipmunks are only five inches long, from the nose to the tip of tail, and weigh just two to four ounces. They have brown bodies with tan, white, and black striping on their faces and backs. Although they can climb trees like squirrels, chipmunks spend much more time on the ground. They dig holes in yards and live underground, while squirrels live in multiple nests constructed in tree trunks and branches.

Squirrel Damage vs Chipmunk Damage

When comparing squirrels vs. chipmunks, it’s important to consider the types of damage caused by each pest. Even though chipmunks are hole-diggers, squirrel infestations generally cause more problems for property owners. Squirrels are the ones raiding bird feeders for food and are more likely to enter attics in search of shelter and food storage spaces. They also fall into chimneys more often than chipmunks, creating a situation that is time-consuming to remedy.

Chipmunks will sometimes dig holes around a home's foundation, but they rarely come inside. However, if enough of the pests use the hole for a home and expand the size of the burrow, it can weaken the structural integrity of the house. This can also occur under patios and sidewalks, leading to costly repairs. Additionally, due to their small size, chipmunks are sometimes able to breach fenced-in gardens to eat seeds and bulbs. Regardless of the difference between the squirrel and chipmunk , each poses their own set of problems. To make sure yards are protected, homeowners should call the wildlife removal experts at Critter Control.

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