How to live trap chipmunks in Massachusetts | Chipmunk

How to live trap chipmunks

Live trapping offending animals is one of the most practical solutions for homeowners. Use small cage traps — 5-inch x 5-inch x 16-inch with ½-inch x 1-inch mesh. Bait the traps with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or pieces of fruit. Place the traps along foundations where chipmunks have been seen, at den openings, or where damage is occurring. Make sure the trap is sitting flat and level so that it does not move when the chipmunk enters.

Prebaiting the trap will increase your likelihood of success. Place bait in the trap for 2-3 days with the doors wired open, so the chipmunk will get conditioned to this new food source. If the bait from the trap is disappearing regularly, set the trap.

Check frequently to remove captured animals, making sure to avoid direct contact.

Breeding seasons should be considered; trapping should be delayed until young are active and able to be trapped.

Note: Relocating wildlife is often prohibited; animals often die and it may result in spreading disease or transferring your problems to someone else. 

Laws and regulations to be aware of

Regulations for Massachusetts

Relocation of Wildlife

No person shall transport any fish or wildlife species in Massachusetts. 

Exceptions to transporting and liberating wildlife in Massachusetts include: (a) Permitted Massachusetts wildlife rehabilitators may transport within Massachusetts and liberate rehabilitated wildlife; (b) a permitted Massachusetts problem animal control agent may liberate problem animals at the site of capture, or may transport within Massachusetts such animals to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or for the purposes of euthanasia.

Killing of Wildlife by Owner or Tenant of Land

Under Mass.General Law 131, Section 37, a property owner or tenant of land may hunt or take by other means, except by poison or snare, any mammal which he finds damaging his property, provided that such killing is not contrary to any federal law or regulation.  Animals killed under this law, must be reported to authorities within 24 hours.

Trap Types Restricted in Massachusetts

A person shall not use, set, place, maintain, manufacture or possess any trap for the purpose of capturing furbearing mammals, except for common type mouse and rat traps, nets, and box or cage type traps, as otherwise permitted by law. A box or cage type trap is one that confines the whole animal without grasping any part of the animal, including Hancock or Bailey's type live trap for beavers. Other than nets and common type mouse or rat traps, traps designed to capture and hold a furbearing mammal by gripping the mammal's body, or body part are prohibited, including steel jaw leghold traps, padded leghold traps, and snares.

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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