Chipmunk Trap Comparison Test
The Havahart VS the Chipmunkinator - Which Works Best?
Let's get serious about capturing chipmunks. You're feeling desperate about clearing out an over-abundance of these little critters. Maybe you've searched all over the internet for something that really works.
This page matches the Havahart Chipmunk Trap against the Chipmunkinator. Which one will win? Which trap works the best?
Read on to see my test of these two pest control items. I did a comparison test for a whole month.
(photo by Virginia Allain)
Searching for Solutions
For Too Many Chipmunks
At first I thought I had one very active chipmunk. He zipped about eating strawberries from the garden, digging up flower bulbs and making a nuisance of himself.
Finally in desperation I borrowed a single door Havahart trap from a neighbor. He said it worked great for him. He was right. Quickly I caught my pesky chipmunk, but wait... there's another one, then after that, another one.
Unfortunately chipmunks are fairly prolific. It is unlikely that you just have one.
Eventually I bought my own trap, a double door Havahart, so I could return my neighbor's cage. The double door was a little trickier to set, but also worked fine for catching a chipmunk one-at-a-time.
The Two Chipmunk Traps Side-By-Side
Chipmunks and Their Hiding Holes - Photos by Virginia AllainClick thumbnail to view full-size
Springtime & the Chipmunks Are Out & About
Seems like winter would last forever, didn't it. Now with milder weather, the chipmunks are active again. Time to get out the traps before the critters get settled in and cause problems.
The Havahart Trap for Chipmunks - This is the single door version
This is the cage I've been recommending to everyone who asks me for a solution to their chipmunk problems. I've used both the one-door version (borrowed) and the two-door version (owned) over the past 4 years. It is quite sturdy and easy to pick up with the handle on top. Now we'll see how it stands up to some competition. Which cage will catch the most in a side-by-side comparison?
This Is the One Door Havahart C
The Chipmunkinator - A New Trap for Chipmunks
Here's a new option for catching chipmunks. I was given one of these by the manufacturer to review. When it arrived, I was quite excited to see how it was laid out. It has 2 entrances, plus a door in the top that you can open to release the chipmunks elsewhere.
The mailman who delivered the trap, said to let him know if it worked as he really needed something for his chipmunk problem.
There's a handle on one side of the cage for picking it up. There are doors that can be fastened closed for moving it or fastened open when the trap is set for capture.
I gave this trap and the Havahart a 4 week trial. Both traps were placed in the same area to see which would capture the most chipmunks. The results of the trial are below.
What the Chipmunkinator Trap Looks Like - Photos by Virginia AllainClick thumbnail to view full-size
Week 1 and 2
What Happened in My Test of the Two Traps - The First Two Weeks
- I set the two traps side-by-side adjacent to a wood pile where the chipmunks like to hang out. The Haveahart was baited with chunky peanut butter on the center lever that activates the doors when the chipmunk is inside eating.
The Chipmunkinator was baited with sunflower seeds and some trail mix I had on hand. I sprinkled a good amount in the center of the cage and a bit at each entrance to entice the chipmunk to enter. This was the recommendation from the box.
The first evening that I put them out, it was just a few hours before dark, so I closed the traps with no chipmunks caught. One year, I caught a young skunk in the Havahart trap, so I no longer leave it open overnight when skunks are active.
- The 2nd day, I set both traps. A few hours later, there was a chipmunk in the Havahart.
- The 3rd day, only the Chipmunkinator was set as the other trap was still occupied by the chipmunk from yesterday. Within a few hours, I had a chippie in that trap. Since the entrance is narrow and I doubt a skunk could enter it, I left it out overnight. When I checked it the next morning, it still only contained the one caught yesterday.
- The 4th day, I set only the Havahart. Within a few hours, another chipmunk was trapped inside it. The score so far was 2 for the Havahart and 1 for the Chipmunkinator.
- On the 5th day, there was a red squirrel in the Chipmunkinator which I'd left open overnight. The Havahart was not set. I'd wondered if squirrels would enter the new trap or if their tail would leave the door open enough for them to retreat. Now I know... it works for squirrels too. This evens up the competition with each trap having caught 2 pests.
Just a few hours later, the Havahart caught another chipmunk. That puts it ahead of its competitor (at least for the moment)
- On the 6th day, I checked the Chipmunkinator which was left open all night. Yep, it had another chipmunk inside. The other trap was closed during the night to prevent larger animals like a cat or a skunk from getting into it. It's back to an even tie again.
- On the 7th day, the critters must have been taking a rest. Both traps were set, but with no luck catching anything. I caught a glimpse of a chippie skittering under the shed, so we haven't run out of little pests to catch yet.
On the 8th day, I again captured nothing. That evening I forgot to close the Havahart cage.
On the morning of the 9th day, there was a chipmunk in the Havahart.
Also that morning I saw a neighborhood cat going purposefully across the yard. Hanging limply from her jaws was a chipmunk. I'd seen the cat wander past several days, but figured it looked too elderly and overfed to be chasing away any critters. Obviously I underestimated the hunting instincts of the domestic cat.
- OK, it is the 10th day of the trial. Checked this morning and already a chipmunk was in the new trap. A red squirrel was just approaching the trap but scampered away under the shed when he saw me. Darn.
Brought out some sunflower seeds to sprinkle near the entrance, OOPS, I scared away the squirrel again. Opened the Havahart and sprinkled some sunflowers in it. Checked a little later and the red squirrel was now inside rattling the cage in annoyance.
Shortly after that I heard some squeeky squabbling going on. Checked and found a 2nd chipmunk had joined the first one in the Chipmunkinator. The first one was chasing the 2nd one around the cage. I imagine he was saying "Dolt, I told you not to come in here." According to the box, one can catch multiple critters without having to reset the trap. Certainly an advantage. It didn't mention that they wouldn't get along once they were in there together.
- It's the 11th day of the competition. Rainy, but I heard the metallic sound of the Havahart doors falling shut. When I peeked through the side bars, I saw a chipmunk even though I hadn't refreshed the peanut butter since yesterday.
- On the 12th and 13th day, no new captures. I decided to move the traps close to the shed, away from the woodpile. That evening I saw a young chippie looking around the Chipmunkinator and even climbing around on top of it. He wasn't finding the entrance. Perhaps I hadn't sprinkled enough seeds around leading into the cage or someone ate them.
On the morning of the 14th day, I found another red squirrel in the Chipmunkinator. He obviously had no trouble figuring out how to push his way into the wire enclosure. The score is tied again.
Later that day while we were having dinner on the deck, I heard the light clang of the Havahart trap closing its doors capturing another chipmunk.
SCORE for First 2 Weeks
Havahart = 7
Chipmunkinator = 6
Cat = 1
Do Not Leave Either Trap Open at Night
Week 3 and 4
Week 3 and 4 of the Comparison Test
- Day 15 - Both traps were set out and this time I baited both of them with kernels of sweet corn cut off of leftover corn on the cob. In the middle of the afternoon, a young chipmunk sat in the middle of the Chipmunkinator. Later that afternoon, there was one in the Havahart.
- Days 16 through 21 - No captures. Is it possible that we've caught all the pesky red squirrels and chipmunks in our yard? I'll keep the traps set, just in case.
- Day 22 - Put the Chipmunkinator next to the woodpile again and caught a chipmunk (with strawberries for bait). The Havahart is near the carport where we saw a red squirrel yesterday. It is baited with sunflower seeds.
- Day 23 - No action.
- Day 24 - Caught a red squirrel in the Havahart. Used sunflower seeds for bait.
- Day 25 - We were outside doing yard work much of the day. This probably kept the little critters from being active. No captures today.
- Day 26 - Oops, there's been an escape. I set the Havahart with fresh peanut butter this morning near the front of our lot. Shortly after that, I heard the doors fall shut. At a glance, I could see the trap was empty though the doors were closed. Halfway up the tree next to it, a squirrel scolded and chattered angrily.
I'm guessing he was only part way in so the door couldn't close and managed to get out with only his tail being nipped. The other possibility was he put his paw through the mesh of the cage to reach for the peanut butter without going inside. He bumped the trigger bar that runs down the side or tipped the bait lever inside causing the doors to close and scare him up the tree.
However it happened, he is probably pretty leery of the whole thing now. I reset it in case he was determined to get that peanut butter. We'll see.
Update (about 4 hours later): There's a red squirrel in the Havahart. I'd left the Chipmunkinator in the back by the woodpile but maybe we've run out of chipmunks there. Tomorrow I'll move it around front where the squirrel tree is. That will give it a chance to catch up in the numbers, plus I don't have to close it at night.
Score for Week 3 & 4
Chipmunkinator - 2
Havahart - 3
(haven't seen the cat lately)
- Didn't catch (or see) any more chipmunks or squirrels in the final days of the 4 week trial. I'd say the two traps both performed well and my pest problem solved for the moment.
I'll keep the traps ready to use in case new critters move into my yard this summer.
Which of These Have You Tried? - The Havahart or the Chipmunkinator?
Vote in the poll
A Red Squirrel in the Chipmunkinator Trap
Critters become more active in the fall
After almost of month of no captures, I've caught three red squirrels and one chipmunk in the last four days. This is the time of year that people start having trouble with them getting into their houses.
Summer 2015 Results
The study shown above was from the summer of 2014. This summer, I again set my traps daily. As of September 20, 2015, we've caught 31 chipmunks on our quarter-acre wooded lot.
For most of the summer, I used the Havahart traps as I find those easier to set and easier to empty. I did use my Chipmunkinator a few weeks, but my preference is the Havahart.
I also found that it wasn't that important to keep applying the peanut butter to the lever. It seems that even when the peanut butter gets eaten by the trapped chipmunk or if the ants clear it off, the smell left behind must attract the chipmunks. Even when there is no visible traces of the bait, the little critters enter the cage.
Questions & Answers
Can the animal's tails keep a chipmunk trap door's open?
With a chipmunk, that's never been a problem for me. Sometimes squirrels, with their larger, bushier tails might be able to. Almost always when the trap gets triggered, there's a chipmunk or squirrel caught inside. It is very rare for the trap to snap shut and for it to be empty.
© 2013 Virginia Allain