We live in a very suburban area, within the beltway around Cincinnati. Everybody has there lawn and trees, no real fences between backyards that I’ve noticed, not sure if it is a covenant thing. But people are friendly in a slightly distant sort of way.

Anyway, we have a small yard with some trees, bush, etc, nothing special. But there are rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, a multitude of birds, etc., that like to live in our backyard. My wife even (claims) she saw a fox the other night as we got home from dinner with friends. I told her if she did it’s because of the other yummy critters back there. In addition to the normal flora in the yard we also have some flowers in front and a few tomato plants scattered around. My wife commented how the chipmunks like to eat the flowers. I said that’s the price of having chipmunks, but I like to watch them and so do the Olethlings[sup]TM[/sup]. For me it’s nice to have some nature still around. I’m particularly fond of the rabbits and chipmunks.

While discussing the chipmunk situation with Mrs. ShibbOleth, she casually mentioned that our next door neighbor put out traps for them. I was a little shocked. I asked if they were no kill traps and she said no, the other kind. I couldn’t think of who would want to kill Chip and Dale, even if they do eat the flowers. She replied that they really tear up the flowers.

So, do you kill the animals that come in your yard? Would it be different for moles or other more pesty and less fubsy critters? If this bothered you, would you confront your neighbor about it? Are chipmunks really pests and am I being overly sensitive about them?

Would you kill a Gopher? :smiley:

Instead of traps, I think a better choice would be planting animal resistant flowers. I’m sure if you ask someone at the store they can tell you a couple that work fine. Yucky tasting plants will shoo those critters away fast. Your neighbor has no need to kill the things just because he/she wants to have something pretty to look at in the backyard. How about decomposing chipmunk bodies?

I don’t think you have to confront your neighbor about it…they can have the fact that they killed a bunch of animals on their conscience. tsktsk

I’ve pretty much given up on the squirrels - except when they come inside; then it’s warfare. Possums are worth the effort of eradicating - they will nest in your house and bring huge flea populations with them.

I leave the cats alone. It’s always open season on rats and mice, and the cats help out. I don’t like the pigeons, but I don’t waste my time fighting them. The racoons are not really a problem since we all got these heavy duty city garbage cans, so we leave them alone. We like the owls. Snakes are generally removed when noted.

Opossums will eat your slugs and snails though - They provide a service :). Snakes ( well, some of them ) will help with the rodent problem and unless poisonous are harmless and hygenic neighbors.

  • Tamerlane

I can live with slugs and snails far better than I can lots and lots of fleas. If I can identify a snake and it’s harmless, it gets left alone. But if I have any doubt, away it goes. We usually only see the bad boys after floods.

Ringo, I take it you don’t live in downtown Houston. Either that or it’s a lot more bucolic there than I’d have suspected.

(FTR, there’s not really any place that possums could nest in our house, unless they had a key to let themselves in)

I live next to a pasture. There’s plenty of wildlife and I let them be as long as I they leave me alone. In fact, when I had some fieldmice in my house I bought live traps (which worked very well) and released the mice several miles from my home. In fact, I have a few large spiders in several areas around my yard. I like to watch them and their webs are beautiful when dew or rain hits them. I’m pretty much live and let live.


You will probably have to settle for the same thing we have to out in the sticks. Some folks have more tolerance for nature than others.

While I am an avid wildlife supporter to a large degree, I suspect that my neighbors down the road would probably take exception to my confronting them about their tolerance, to the degree of adding me to the extinction list.

Unless your neighbors are breaking some law, which I doubt, you’ll probably have to content yourself with posting small signs in chimpmunkese welcoming the surviving vandals to yard.

Shibb, I live in central Houston. The 'burbs start about 25 miles farther away from the center than I am. When I worked downtown my rush hour drive time was 4-5 minutes. And the downtown Houston skyline looms over my neighborhood like some chrome and glass mountain range.

But it is a residential neighborhood. Backyards and trees and the like. But also très urban. All of the aforementioned critters have learned to live amongst the stoplights, busses, wailing ambulances, concrete prairies and masses of ever-moving people.

At my parent’s house, we have deer. Lots of deer. Herds of deer. They eat everything, even the stuff that they say deer will not eat this. If they do, they will keel over and die. Our deer scoff at these warnings while eating the plants with a playfull white wine sauce. I really think they would eat the house if we didn’t have the pesky metal siding. It’s not a pretty picture.

Anyway–the city is trying to thin the herd a bit, using bow hunters. Mom and Dad were probibly first on the list to get in the program. It’s been a few years, and I havn’t seen much difference. Of course, now we have Japanese Beetles to deal with, so…if it ain’t one thing, it’s 50 things.

I wouldn’t mind if my neighbors took out the chipmunks with bows and arrows. Although they’d probably hit some dogs and small children instead.

Ringo, sounds like their are probably bison and mountain lions wandering about the Houston suburbs, then. The 'Nati is a much smaller city. I’d guess its about 25 miles in diameter.


Is chipmunk-killing illegal in your community? If so, that would be the best angle to press, but I’m pretty sure you would have done that by now.

What’s your relationship with your chipmunk-killing neighbor like?
If you know this guy pretty well and he seems pretty reasonable, you might want to talk to him about it. Even if he doesn’t change his ways, there probably won’t be any long-term damage done to the relationship with the neighbor.

Otherwise, I’d feel bad for the dead chipmunks but I’d not say anything to the neighbor. You’re not likely to persuade a stranger to change his chipmunk eradication methods and you may piss him off. Nothing like a pissed-off neighbor, no thanks.

I have no idea what the chipmunkicide statues are in our area. I don’t really know the neighbors taht well but my wife does. They do some cooking together. And it’s a her, not a him, doing the killing. Actually it’s traps, and I’m not sure who sets them. Probably a family activity. I’ll check on those though, any ideas whose jurisdiction chipmunks fall under?

About Live Trapping…

Many wild critters are quite territorial. If you take a raccoon, 'possum, or chipmunk 10 miles away and release her, she’ll probably either starve or be killed by the resident creature whose territory you dropped her in. You might as well dispatch her at your place, for mercy’s sake.

In Minnesota it’s the Department of Natural Resources, but I don’t know what the Ohio version is called.

Why is it that I wouldn’t mind if your neighbor found out a way to give squirrels a long, slow, drawn-out, horrible death, but it bugs me they’re messing with Alvin?