There's no denying that rabbits and chipmunks are cute, but they can also be a nuisance and if you've noticed them burrowing into the ground near your home, you may be wondering if they can ruin your foundation. Well, you've come to the right place. We've researched the topic and have an answer for you.
Chipmunks may cause damage to the foundation of your house if you have a large number of them nearby, but it is unlikely they will "ruin" it. Rabbits are less likely to damage the foundation of your house but can dig under structures like garden sheds. The two are more likely to be a nuisance if there is an abundance of them digging burrows close to your home.
Now you know that your house's foundation might be at risk from your yard's furry inhabitants, but keep reading as we discuss this further. We'll elaborate on the risks and likelihood of chipmunks and rabbits affecting your foundation. Additionally, we'll answer some other questions you might have about rabbits, chipmunks, and protecting your home's foundation.
Chipmunks, Rabbits, And Your Home's Foundation
If your home was built well and you have a good foundation, you're less likely to notice any damage to your foundation from rabbits or chipmunks. Neither will dig into concrete, but there is a chance they might dig under it and you may be wondering if this might compromise the foundation.
What do rabbits do to your foundation?
Rabbits can burrow under the ground which means they might find their way under your house. If they burrow under a structure enough, they may cause instability in the ground, causing it to collapse in that area. Rabbits are more likely to cause damage to structures that do not have concrete foundations, such as sheds and barns.
You're more likely to find rabbits under your home if your home has a crawlspace. Rabbits will often use holes and dens already built by other animals, or in this case, humans, to nest in. So the rabbits will happily build a nest inside, especially if your garden is a good source of food. However, rabbits will always prefer to live in natural habitats such as grassy fields.
What do chipmunks do to your foundation?
Like rabbits, if you have a chipmunk problem, as in, a lot of them, enough burrowing underneath your home might cause some damage to the foundation. However, chipmunks are more likely to cause damage to other parts of your home and even your vehicles.
Chipmunks like to chew. And they will chew, chew, and chew some more. They can chew through wires which can become a fire hazard. So, if you see signs of a chipmunk living in your home somewhere, you should take steps to remove it as soon as possible.
How do I keep animals from digging under my foundation?
Chipmunks and rabbits aren't the only animals that might try to dig under your home. Skunks, porcupines, gophers, moles, and several others might also take a shot at burrowing underneath.
To stop animals from digging under your foundation, you need to make the area unappealing to them. There are some preventative measures you can take to help keep animals away.
There are several products advertised to repel burrowing animals such as moles, rabbits, and voles. The products range from solar sonic stakes you can stick in the ground to sprays you can apply to the areas around your home.
There are also lots of natural repellents you can try, including essential oils, garlic, cayenne peppers, and even coffee grounds.
Reinforcing The Foundation
Another method is to reinforce the area around your foundation against burrowing critters. They won't be able to dig under your foundation if they are physically unable to.
Consider installing hardware cloth around the perimeter of your home. One wildlife control company suggests installing two different sizes of hardware cloth to ensure you can keep out both large and small burrowing animals. This will be labor-intensive as it will involve digging a trench around your foundation but may be worth it if you have the potential for a serious invasion of burrowing animals.
Stay On Top Of It
Lastly, keeping an eye out for any possible animal activity around your foundation can help you get control of the situation quickly before it becomes a major problem. Take periodic walks around the outside of your house to look for any signs of digging, especially displaced earth near the foundation. If you do see any holes, be sure to fill them securely.
Can chipmunks cause sinkholes?
If you've noticed your yard has a chipmunk problem, you might've noticed the ground doesn't seem as firm as it should. So, should you be worried the chipmunks might cause sinkholes in your yard?
Sinkholes are caused by much bigger problems than chipmunks. Sinkholes can form because of changing water levels, excavation, water/sewer pipe leaks, and anything else that might result in the earth being compromised.
Though chipmunks burrow, they do not create enough instability to cause a sinkhole. However, there is a case where chipmunks exasperated the problem. Typically, sinkholes occur because of a change in water levels in the soil whether it is an increase or a decrease.
How do I get rid of chipmunks under my porch?
Getting rid of chipmunks can be a challenge. They are fast and shy, which can make them difficult to capture. Many people would prefer humane methods that involve relocating or deterring the animals. Fortunately, there are several humane methods you can try before turning to extermination.
Before you begin trying preventative methods, you will need to get rid of the chipmunks already occupying the space under your porch. You can set up some live animal traps which will allow you to relocate the animal humanely. These traps allow you to bait the animal into the cage. Once inside, the door shuts, trapping the animal.
Once you've lured the chipmunks out, it's time to apply some preventative methods to stop them from coming back. We shared several methods above to help prevent animals from digging under your foundation, and these can also be used to help prevent chipmunks from getting under your porch.
Sprays, dry repellents, and hardware cloth can all be used to keep chipmunks out. Additionally, regular household ammonia on a rag can make the chipmunks think a predator is nearby.
Cut Off Food Supply
Chipmunks are drawn to yards with bird feeders and vegetable gardens as these also supply them with a consistent food source. If you have a bird feeder in your yard, make sure it isn't close to any fences or trees that will make it easily accessible to the chipmunks.
Consider installing hardware cloth around your vegetable gardens to stop the chipmunks from snacking on your veggies.
Call A Professional
If you've exhausted all the methods for getting rid of the chipmunks yourself, it might be time to call a professional. Most pest control professionals will be able to recommend the best method for ridding your porch of chipmunks and offer some deterrents as well. It may be a more pricey solution, but might be worth it knowing your porch is chipmunk-free.
Does Irish Spring keep rabbits away?
Irish Spring, yes, that's right, the soap, can help repel rabbits. It can also help repel other mammals such as mice and deer. This is an inexpensive method to try and can help protect your vegetable garden.
All you have to do is cut the soap into small pieces, place them in mesh bags, and secure them in even increments around your garden. You can secure the mesh bags to wooden stakes for easy installation.
Though chipmunks and rabbits can wreak havoc on your yard, it's unlikely they will ruin the foundation of your house. Even so, if you have a rabbit or chipmunk problem, hopefully our article has provided some methods for you to try in order to protect your foundation from unwanted burrowing!
For more reading on the topic of your home's foundation, check out some of our other posts here: