on the chipmunks.
Yes, yes, I know...they're really cute.
Cute, that is, until they become not cute.
Let me explain.
At the beginning of spring, they were adorable. Bright-eyed, furry little faces would peek out at me from between the rocks, scurrying every now and then across the ground to snatch the seeds that the birds had let drop from the feeder.
A month or so later, we noticed an increase of the bright-eyed, furry little faces. It was no longer an occasional scurry across the ground to the dropped seed ...it was now a pretty constant back and forth from rocky hiding place to feeder and back. They were still cute, but the population explosion was a bit unnerving.
Then I began to notice things...unpleasant things...
No longer fearing being out in the open, they brazenly began climbing the feeders - literally sticking their faces into the feeder holes:
to gorge themselves on as many sunflower seeds as they could stuff in their chubby faces before I'd shoo them away:
Pounds and pounds of black sunflower seeds disappeared. The birds, too, disappeared because they couldn't get to their food before the chipmunks did. So we bought a funny little dome-thingy like this to keep the chipmunks from climbing the feeders (sorry, bad sun glare in photo):
This fazed them for about a minute. Then they quickly expanded their menu plan to include my suet. They clearly had no issues with being greasy: hanging by their feet to reach into the suet cages to pull out fistfuls of the seed-filled fat was just plain cool. Needless to say, my suet feeders now hang empty:
Therefore, it shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did, when I went out to cut the heads off my sunflowers to hang for the birds, that the chipmunks had beaten me to it:
I've learned first-hand that the cuteness of chipmunks loses its appeal after a while.
The worst of it is, now the little dudes have become destructive.
Repeatedly, I have found many of my potted outdoor plants to have large holes dug in them. Plants have been damaged and potting soil is scattered everywhere:
My barn has become a favored nesting spot and they are pulling and pushing the insulation out of the walls:
Oh, and regarding the insulation? They don't seem to have a preference between the pink or the yellow:
There are so many chipmunks around here now, that all their various hideouts are causing erosion within the retaining rock walls:
And...sigh...now they're burrowing along the foundation of the house...bad, bad, bad:
So, we bought some traps. The non-hurting kind, of course. Quicker than you can possibly imagine, we caught our first one:
Roxy was enthralled - these guys have been taunting her for months. She had a thing or two to say to him!:
Then we caught another:
Within a couple hours, we had three:
Cheeky little buggers:
No matter how cute they are, these chipmunks have, sadly, become nuisances who are destroying our yard and damaging our property. So, while this does not solve the mystery of who is eating my tomatoes, it's still time for them to live someplace else. I never realized that pest control was going to be such big a part of my farm life! Now: on to the MOLES!!
FINAL NOTE: No chipmunks in this blog post were harmed in any way. :-)