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Hostas: Do chipmunks eat hostas?

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KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 29, 2009
8:50 PM

Post #6480963

I have a rogue chipmunk running around my courtyard and shade garden. He's a pest! The little guy is adorable, but he's not the least bit afraid of either me or my two large greyhounds.

Now I've noticed that something seems to have been nibbling the leaves of the hostas I just planted. It's not slug damage (I've seen enough of that to know!) Do chipmunks like hostas? Any clue what to do about him?
Smokey_SC
Piedmont, SC
(Zone 7b)

April 29, 2009
11:48 PM

Post #6481737

They have never bothered mine. Find its hole and put moth balls in it. They can't stand it and will leave.
jgrinter
Edwardsville, IL
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2009
1:00 PM

Post #6722194

I just saw a chipmunk scooting under my hostas. I have been seeing little bite marks on hosta leaves and have been blaming the baby rabbit. Now I wonder if it is this little critter who has been feasting on my hostas. I have never seen any here before.

Have you ever seen your little guy actually eating your hostas?

I wish more people would have responded to your question. Have you gotten any insight from any place else?

I have never seen a hole so moth balls won't help here.

Oh, is your chipmunk still hanging around in June?
Thanks,
Judy

KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2009
1:07 PM

Post #6722230

Oh, the chipmunks are indeed still here. And I now realize that, although all chipmunks look alike, where there's one chipmunk there's more. My dogs caught one of them (they're greyhounds, so it's kind of their thing to catch small game), but there are apparently plenty more where that come from.

I've never seen a rabbit in our privacy-fenced yard--I figure they just don't bother trying to find a way in. So I can't blame nibbling on rabbits. Something ate my astilbe right down to the bare stems last week, though, and I think it must've been chipmunks.

I do find their holes occasionally, but I haven't gone to the trouble to get some moth balls. If this persists, though, I guess I might give it a try. Trouble is, I figure they'll just dig more holes.

Btw, the little guys are voracious birdseed munchers--at least as bad as squirrels. I always thought of them as being on the ground, but they DO climb. I've seen it.

Grrrr! Chipmunks! They're only cute until they're eating your garden and chowing down all your birdseed.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

June 22, 2009
1:54 PM

Post #6722454

You might want to treat the area you want to protect with Repels All and see if it helps.

Eleven

Eleven
Royal Oak, MI
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2009
2:16 PM

Post #6722538

Kayly, I also had an astilbe eaten down to the nub =( It was a new plant I had waiting to be planted. I'm thankful the chipmunks haven't tried eating any of the ones I have in the ground; maybe they preferred the new growth? They are cute critters but very destructive to lawn; I'm glad we don't have much grass (and that's half weed, LOL). But my neighbors have (had) a beautiful lawn and have since declared war on the chipmunks. I'll let you know who wins!

As an aside, I saw a squirrel chowing down on one of my old-fashioned rosebushes yesterday. And they stripped all the peony blooms off said neighbor's bushes. And destroyed a couple new rhodies I put in this spring.
ic_conifers
Iowa City, IA
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2009
2:22 PM

Post #6722565

Be careful with mothballs if your dogs have access to the area, they are poisonous.
jmp24
Medford, NJ

June 22, 2009
3:54 PM

Post #6723005

"Rogue" chipmunk, ha ha, that's too funny!

I don't think chipmunks eat hostas, though I wouldn't put a nibble or two past them. Eating a whole plant to the ground? I sincerely doubt it. Probably something is visiting your yard late at night when you don't see them, rabbits can slip thru very tiny spaces, and poor Chip is taking the rap. We have alot in my yard, and other than their underground condos occasionally getting too high or coming up in the middle of the flower beds, I don't see them causing too much trouble. Mostly they eat seeds and nuts, not plants. They are great entertainment for my cat, who sits at the window just dreaming about ripping one to shreds...And we have a few outside strays, two days ago I saw one with a chipmunk hanging out of her mouth, and I really hate that. It is what is so bad about outside kittys, they do alot of destruction to wildlife. I really need to find homes for the outside kittys. Speaking of dogs and game, last year I saw my chihuahua tossing something around in the middle of the lawn, turned out to be a mouse. It wasn't dead, but I got the dog away from it and could tell by the way it ran off that it was a goner.

Yes it is true that animals can be destructive, but there is not much you can do outside of poison them to get rid of them for good, and I know you won't do that. I just learn to accept and live with all of God's creatures. They make the world a brighter place!
plantnutz
Austell, GA
(Zone 7a)

June 22, 2009
3:59 PM

Post #6723027

Have you seen any rabbits? They definitely nibble - my chipmunks just dig stuff up and then plant bird seed in the pots.

KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2009
7:58 PM

Post #6724155

I do have rabbits outside the fenced part of my yard. Oddly, they've never nibbled on my plants out in front (hostas, heucheras, etc) where they'd have access. But something sure is nibbling on things in the backyard. I had a small tomato plant that I never got potted up, and that one got nibbled down to a nub this past week, along with the astilbe I mentioned above, and some hosta nibbling here and there.

I've never seen a rabbit INSIDE the fenced yard where all this nibbling is taking place, but that doesn't mean they're not there when the dogs are sleeping, I suppose.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 22, 2009
10:26 PM

Post #6724883

I have lots of chipmunks and hostas but have never seeen them nibbling on the hostas. But I do have one less chippie as of today...
Noreaster
Maine
United States
(Zone 5b)

June 22, 2009
10:57 PM

Post #6725000

I am having a huge problem right now with either chipmunks, mice, or voles tunneling under my beds...some way too close to the hosta. Since I can't do mothballs, I was going to try putting mint oil on cotton balls and dropping down some of the holes. We have a TON of chipmunks this year. I haven't seen them eat hosta leaves, just the Sluggo I put down.
glevely
Sanford, MI
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2009
11:22 PM

Post #6725086

WOW it must be THE YEAR OF THE CHIPMUNKS I have what seems like thousands there every where little buggers
Gloria ;0)
irawon
Ottawa
Canada

July 26, 2009
8:21 PM

Post #6868128

We've had a lot of new house construction going on near my neighbourhood which has resulted in a mass migration of wildlife into our neighbourhood- coyotes, rabbits now cohabiting with racoons, chipmunks and squirrels. I haven't seen any deer yet. We also host our neighbour's outside cat from time to time. I've had problems with hosta leaves being munched on and holes being dug near the roots. Also plants have been uprooted. Any ideas as to the most likely cause? I've tried cayenne pepper and bloodmeal which I hear chipmunks don't like. Finally, the last time I groomed our miniature poodle I saved his hair. A neighbour had told me it was a good defense against skunks. My husband spread it near my hostas. Seems to be doing the job.

By the way I've been trying a solution of water and aluminum sulphate for slugs which appears to be working. Artistic Landscape has been using it. I was told to mix 1/2 tablespoon of aluminum sulpher with two litres of water and to apply it three times during the growing season two months apart and to be careful not to pour on the crown. They have been able to reduce their application to once in the spring in their display gardens. It does appear to reduce the number of holes - I have those terrible earwigs too.
bordersandjacks
Seabrook, SC
(Zone 8b)

July 26, 2009
9:11 PM

Post #6868261

We don't have any chipmunks, but we have a billion squirrels. They nibbled on a few hosta eyes as they were emerging, but otherwise have left them alone.
jgrinter
Edwardsville, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 27, 2009
3:46 AM

Post #6869609

Irawon, Do you spray the aluminum sulpher mix on the leaves or on the ground under the plants? Boy, do I wish I could find something that would work and kill those slugs!!!
ic_conifers
Iowa City, IA
(Zone 5a)

July 27, 2009
2:41 PM

Post #6870834

Jgrinter, there is a thread going called "I'm Obsessed 2" that is all about our battles with slugs. Here is the link to the thread:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1012346/

The original thread is in the first post, we talk quite a bit about slugs and killing them.

Right now one of the most successful slug weapons I have is plain old household ammonia mixed at a ratio of 15:1 with water, in a farm sprayer. I go out in the evening once or twice a week, or after it has rained, and spray slugs as I find them. They writhe and die! The solution is super cheap to make and so far has not harmed any of my hostas. I use it directly on the plants, shoot it into their petioles (slugs love to hide out in there), and I use it all over the yard in mulched areas.

If you go outside with a flashlight after dark, it is amazing how many slugs there are in the yard. I also use Sluggo Plus several times a season, but it is expensive. With over 125 cultivars of hostas, including dozens of Royal Standard and Ventricosa, the ammonia mix is the most economical way to fight slugs for me. I will continue to use Sluggo Plus, but only around my more expensive and favorite hostas.

Elizabeth
jgrinter
Edwardsville, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 27, 2009
3:04 PM

Post #6870922

Elizabeth, oh, thanks so much. Now I'll be on the offensive instead of just whining!!

Judy

ViolaAnn

ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

July 27, 2009
5:19 PM

Post #6871552

Elizabeth - I find it works too, but I've been seeing more earwigs than slugs on the hostas. Add some soap to that spray and you'll get them too.

Ann
ic_conifers
Iowa City, IA
(Zone 5a)

July 27, 2009
5:20 PM

Post #6871559

How much soap per part of water? I did see quite a few earwigs outside two nights ago when I made my rounds.
keelybird57
Aurora, IL

July 27, 2009
5:36 PM

Post #6871615

Our neighbors have a colony of chipmunks under a deck. I've never seen any in my yard. No damage to any of the plants by 4 legged critters, just slugs and earwigs. We have terriers that would terriorize the chipmunks if they ever crossed the line! Neighbors have tried baby talc, tabasco, cayenne and now juicyfruit gum in the holes. I don't think they've had much success.
beaux
Norristown, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2009
10:11 AM

Post #6888408

Until earlier this year we had tons of chipmunks, squirrels, and bunnies. A lot of my newly emerging hostas were eaten down to the nubs. I credited that activity to the bunnies. Then we had a family of hawks move in. Now all we have are what I call "bird wars." The hawks are terrorizing every living thing around here. If they aren't calling to each other, they are being chased by and screamed at by crows and every other kind of bird imaginable. I've never seen anything like it. I haven't seen a squirrel or a rabbit in probably a month. I don't know if they are in hiding or have been nabbed by the hawks. The only thing big enough to survive is the big ground hog that lives way in the back of our yard - I don't think the hawk could carry him off if he tried. At first I thought it was so cool to watch the hawks soar and dive. Now I am hoping they move to a new home anywhere but our backyard. Here's a picture from our balcony earlier this spring...

Thumbnail by beaux
Click the image for an enlarged view.

glevely
Sanford, MI
(Zone 5a)

July 31, 2009
10:27 AM

Post #6888425

Some times I wish I had a hawk to thin out the bunnies and chippies I'm on my 2nd batch if bunnies the babies are hidding in the big flower bed now I don't know who startels who more them or me ;0(
Gloria
ic_conifers
Iowa City, IA
(Zone 5a)

July 31, 2009
1:41 PM

Post #6888948

We had quite a few owls, both barred and great horned, in our neighborhood last year and the year before. The rabbit and squirrel population seemed much more under contol, this year it is just terrible. The rabbits are the bigger problem, squirrels are just a danger to newly planted hostas for me. Rabbits take big bites and ate most of my flower stems this year, including on my streaked hostas that I was hoping to get seeds from!

I had only one traumatic experience with a barred owl last year - hubby and I were sitting on the front porch enjoying some relaxing time after work. There was a dove's nest about thirty feet from us in a pine tree. One dove took off, probably to get food for their babies, and the owl grabbed it mid-air. I was so sad and worked up, even though I can normally accept those kinds of things as part of nature. The dove's mate cried and cried, I hope their babies were okay.

Predators can be great when they go after the prey that I want them to go after! : )

Elizabeth
irawon
Ottawa
Canada

July 31, 2009
3:15 PM

Post #6889363

jgrinter You spray the solution on the ground. I should have repeated about July 20 and am seeing a lot of holes. hope to get at it this aft before it rains again.

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