Chipmunks most frequently use a high-pitched chirping noise. Their ‘chuck-chuck’ call is often mistaken for birdsong. But when responding to threats, you may hear a high-pitched ‘wee.’
Chipmunks usually live in underground burrows, but it is not unheard of for them to find their way into human homes. As far as home-invading rodents are concerned, chipmunks are far less destructive than rats and mice. That being said, chipmunks can still bring odious creatures like ticks, fleas, mites, and other parasites into your home.
Knowing chipmunk vocalizations is a good way to determine if you’ve got chipmunks, or something else. Chipmunks don’t make that much noise, so many people might not be familiar with the sounds they make. But animals need to communicate, and chipmunks are no exception.
Chipmunks have two known “warning” sounds, and these are the sounds that you are most likely to hear coming from them. Both of these sounds are intended to alert others to impending danger, generally in the form of a predator. The first is the “chip chip” sound. It is quite high-pitched, and to the uninformed, it might sound like a bird’s chirp. It is the call to alert fellow chipmunks to ground predators, such as coyotes, cats, or raccoons. The second warning call sounds like “chuck chuck” and is a deeper, more robust sound. It is used when there is a threat from the air, like a hawk.
Trills are used when chipmunks are not merely threatened, but actually on the run from a predator. They are made only when chipmunks are running, and unlike the previous warning calls, which may last for minutes, trills are very brief in duration. Upon hearing a trill, other chipmunks in the vicinity will scamper into their burrows and avoid coming out until they’re sure the threat is no longer present.
Chipmunks also have sounds they make when pursuing potential mates. These calls—which can be heard in late spring, when their mating season starts—sound like croaks and chirps.
Chipmunk Noises in Your House
Unlike many of their rodent relatives, chipmunks typically don’t enter homes for harborage; they usually live in underground burrows in your yard. You’re more likely to find small holes in your yard then find a chipmunk in your attic.
So if you hear scurrying noises in your home, and none of the above vocalizations, it’s more likely to be mice, rats, or squirrels. If a chipmunk does enter your house, it doesn’t want to be there any more than you want it to. Open up some doors to give the little guy a way out.
Squirrel Sounds vs Chipmunk Noises
Chipmunks and squirrels make very similar noises if they’ve infiltrated a house. Both are quite active creatures, so they usually make scratching or scurrying noises. The best way to differentiate between a squirrel and a chipmunk, therefore, is to pay attention to where the sound is coming from.
Squirrels are avid climbers, often entering houses through the roof or attic, while chipmunks are burrowing animals that like to stay close to the ground. If the sounds are coming from below, or in your walls, there’s a slight chance it could be a chipmunk. But if you hear the noise from up above, it’s almost certainly something else.
If you’re hearing animal sounds in your house, give Trutech Wildlife a call. Our team acts with humanity and expediency, so you can get back to enjoying your home. With that, it is unlikely for chipmunks to be in your home. But it is not impossible. With that, you may find chipmunks in a few spots around the house. Like other rodents, chipmunks will stick to areas of the home not occupied by people like attics and wall cavities. They sound similar to squirrels or rats in your house.