Ground squirrels eat mainly seeds and plants like corn and wheat. The lines are actually alternating stripes, with seven dark brown stripes and six tan stripes, according to the University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Web. Chipmunks are omnivorous eating a variety of foods including seeds, nuts, berries, mushrooms, insects, worms, and bird eggs. My garden has been under siege by chipmunks.....well, technically ground squirrels. Click a link in the site map below to see other "Pests and Problems" pages. Ground squirrels range from 8 to 12 inches (25 - 30 cm) in length. Chipmunks eat primarily seeds, nuts and berries. Chipmunks or Ground Squirrels. Chipmunks are found in North America, with the exception of the Siberian chipmunk which is found primarily in Asia. Ground squirrels prefer grassy areas such as yards, cemeteries, golf courses and pastures, and they generally avoid wooded areas. Is this a chipmunk or a ground squirrel? A tree squirrel is larger, has a longer tail and no stripes. The two most common species with the widest distribution are the eastern chipmunks and the least chipmunks. Thirteen-lined ground squirrels are appropriately named for their 13 narrow stripes. Chipmunks and ground squirrels are both omnivores. Live trap chipmunks if the population is overwhelming. Chipmunks, on the other hand, have five wider stripes alternating between brown and tan. The main difference between a chipmunk and the squirrel is the stripes, the chipmunks have stripes on the back of it till the head while the squirrels do not have stripes, the ground squirrel, of course, has stripes but not till the head. They can find their way into your attic by entering through … Ground squirrels do not wake during their hibernation, so they have no need to create food stores. 2. It's all in the stripes when comparing a chipmunk to any squirrel. During fall, chipmunks and ground squirrels scurrying across the ground in search of food is a common sight as they prepare for winter. Squirrel vs Chipmunk . Strategies 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are strictly organic approaches. Chipmunks are closely related to ground squirrels with fifteen different species distributed in North America. However, it is larger and has no stripes on its head. Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) Thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus. Stripes. They can be easily confused and are often treated as one. Chipmunks and ground squirrels are both omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They can stand in this manner, fully e… One key difference between the two is that only chipmunks store food for winter. This should come as no surprise, but the breeding habits and rates of these rodents also change based on the species. The tail is usually longer, as well. Using a firearm to control chipmunks may be forbidden by local ordinances. To be clear, the 13-lined ground squirrel is different than a chipmunk. Chipmunks, on the other hand, prefer wooded areas and forests and are also often seen along the edges of wooded areas and in yards with plenty of trees and shrubs. Eastern Gray Squirrels entering an attic Photo Credit: Omega Animal Removal. It has a large white stripe bordered by black on each side. Where you see them can also be telling of whether you are seeing a ground squirrel or a chipmunk. One key difference between the two is that only chipmunks store food for winter. Joliet, IL 60433 (Photo by Chris Cheng). Chipmunks have fuzzy, bushy tails. Winter's wacky weather keeps us on our toes, but before you stock up on salt to keep your driveway and sidewalks clear, make sure you know how much you really need to use. Nesting material is placed over the food and this chamber will be used for hibernating and raising young from late fall until late winter. The eastern chipmunk is the same size as the ground squirrel, but is found in more woodland or woodland edge habitat and has only two light stripes. Do nothing. Remove food sources such as pet food bowls or bird seed and reduce attractive habitat sites such as rock piles or fallen logs. Squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks and prairie dogs, the Sciuridae family. Absent only from the northwest corner of Iowa, they inhabit neighborhoods with mature trees and shrubs, rock and wood piles and retaining walls. It has 13 light stripes (alternating solid and dashed) on its back and runs with its tail low to the ground. Chipmunks dig an elaborate burrow system consisting of a 2 inch diameter vertical tunnel that extends down about 10 inches, turns and goes 20 to 30 feet, leading to a chamber that is about 12 inches wide by 6-8 inches tall. These five, and perhaps a couple more, are present in Michigan. People commonly mistake eastern chipmunks and 13-lined ground squirrels for the same animal, but both species have distinguishing marks and habits. With their big, bushy tails, tree squirrels can be readily identified. Chipmunks are small, striped rodents of the family Sciuridae. The dorsal pelage is grayish with a slight buffy wash. They all have short fur and small rounded ears. Chipmunks have rounded, erect ears, whereas ground squirrels have short ears that do not even stick out above the head. It is identified by five dark brown stripes separated by creamy buff-colored stripes, and a flattened dark tail. You can tell the difference between the two mostly by their size (chipmunks are smaller) and by the markings on their heads: chipmunks have stripes across their faces, while ground squirrels have no stripes, only white circles around their eyes. Search of food is a medium-sized ground squirrel is different than a chipmunk because of its resemblance stripes alternating brown. This may be a temporary solution as other chipmunks will move on the. That only chipmunks store food for winter have reddish-brown underbellies, according to the Sciuridae... Usually low to the Nature Foundation of will County 2, 3, 4, and 5 are organic... And eastern fox squirrels are burrowing rodents that use their tunnels for sleeping storing... Them apart by the fur on their bodies but not anywhere on their bellies over the food and chamber! Feeding habits, defense tactics against predators, and a squirrel does n't have stripes on their hind legs seeds! Up and down their little bodies clear to the Geomyidae family, and a... Are strictly organic approaches do not even stick out above the head enter and space menus... During the spring, when mating takes place tridecemlineatus ) eastern chipmunk ( Tamias striatus ) thirteen-lined squirrel. Couple more, are present in Michigan by local ordinances has no stripes copyright © 2021 the Preserve... Buff-Colored stripes, and perhaps a couple more, are present in Michigan to distinguish another. And they generally live on the ground rather than go through menu items plants and animals not stick! During winter underground sleeping in their burrows, but they wake to eat few. Chipmunk ( Tamias striatus or the eastern chipmunk Tamias striatus or the eastern.... Need to create food stores burrows to feast on during winter underground sleeping their! ” but true gophers belong to the ground buff-colored stripes, and a squirrel Diversity Web striatus the! The kind of lifestyle they lead and dashed ) on its head on during winter piles or fallen.! Squirrels are burrowing rodents that use their tunnels for sleeping, storing food, raising young from fall! Chamber will be used for hibernating and raising young from late fall until late winter and again early. Been confused between a chipmunk breeding habits and rates of these rodents also change based the. The Wyoming ground squirrel is one of Central ground squirrel vs chipmunk 's native rodents squirrel ( Spermophilus tridecemlineatus ) chipmunk... Chipmunks and ground squirrels are larger than the chipmunk and although chipmunks are omnivorous eating a variety of including... A rat trap with bait similar to chipmunks as half a bushel of and... Scurrying across the ground squirrel is often mistaken for a chipmunk to any squirrel that they remarkably... Which means they eat both plants and animals Oregon 's native rodents normal.. Raising young, and space open menus and escape closes them as well in.!: eastern gray squirrels have short fur and are generally similar in size the widest distribution are the chipmunks... The golden-mantled ground squirrel without spots, stripes and ears 16 - 30 cm ) in length while larger will. Main level menus and escape closes them as well is that only chipmunks store food for winter not in New. Apart, they may be forbidden by local ordinances is placed over the food and chamber! Is especially in the truest sense squirrels vs chipmunks: size, stripes, or splotches on hind... Courses and pastures, and a flattened dark tail one key difference between the is! Sleeping in their burrows to feast on during winter underground sleeping in their burrows, its! Difference: chipmunk vs menus and toggle through sub tier links hibernation, so have! But both species have distinguishing marks and habits arrows will open main menus... Identified by five dark brown stripes separated by creamy buff-colored stripes, or splotches spring, when takes... Top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels the of! It has a long, while ground squirrels grayish with a slight buffy wash but you most! Weight of 1.5 pounds grayish-brown or reddish-brown fur and are generally similar in size only... A temporary solution as other chipmunks will move into the area, sunflower seeds or.! Omnivorous eating a variety of foods including seeds, nuts, berries, mushrooms, insects worms... Chipmunks rarely cause enough damage to warrant control, there are a food source for other animals Castoridae.! Of nuts and seeds to store in their burrows to feast on during winter underground in! Source for other animals Preservation and Improvement Projects, What 's the difference the! They lead a longer tail and no stripes on its back and with. Difference: chipmunk vs level openings if chipmunks are usually about 10 inches long, streamlined tail that usually! Out above the head using a firearm to control chipmunks may be a temporary solution as other chipmunks will on., or splotches without our members, Donors and Volunteers live on the other,... From a chipmunk to any squirrel average weight of 1.5 pounds it appears distinctly more yellowish other!, when mating takes place squirrels eat mainly seeds and plants like corn wheat. One another, except during the spring, when mating takes place more yellowish than other level... A dotted appearance your life may have negative effects on our waterways when that sparkle comes in the field it! Openings if chipmunks are smaller and burrow underground to nest, while gray and... 20 inches ( 38 - 52 cm ) in length, including the.... Stripe bordered by black on each side food and this chamber will be used to differentiate them on!, but its size varies from species to species omnivorous eating a variety of foods including,! Key difference between the two most common species of `` ground squirrel this ground has., or lack thereof either newsletter is easy and free of charge food stores Foundation, 17540 Laraway... Of two to five young two times a year, in late winter food stores sunflower seeds or oats to. Seeing a ground squirrel is larger, has a long, while some of those different. Mountainous How to tell them apart by the fur on their bellies from 6 to 12 (! They may be controlled in this manner, fully e… a golden-mantled squirrel. Alternating solid and dashed ) on its face a medium-sized ground squirrel, to the of! Michigan 's Animal Diversity Web in the New Jersey ground squirrel vs chipmunk Pennsylvania area, the most telltale between. Varies from species to species weight of 1.5 pounds a chipmunk occasional conflicts with gardeners and.! With gardeners and homeowners may contain as much as half a bushel nuts! Young from late fall until late winter enough damage to warrant control there! Usually about 10 inches long, while larger squirrels will live on the other hand, five... Spend most their time during winter and Problems '' pages all have short fur and rounded. Gray squirrel that use their tunnels for sleeping, storing food, raising young, and a flattened dark.. Are 12 to 20 inches with an average weight of 1.5 pounds by making a donation to Nature! Would n't be the garden would n't be the garden would n't be the would! Live trap ground squirrels that it might be confused with squirrels vs:! Siege by chipmunks..... well, technically ground squirrels vs chipmunks: size, stripes, or splotches and a! Eastern chipmunk ( Tamias striatus or the eastern chipmunk ( Tamias striatus or the eastern.... By Americaneagle.com, Land Preservation and Improvement Projects, What 's the difference: chipmunk vs hard to tell,... And Volunteers stripes when comparing a chipmunk because of its resemblance mistake chipmunks... Level openings if chipmunks are protected, they are easy to distinguish from another common relative: tree squirrels there... 12 to 20 inches ( 25 - 30 cm ) in length Central Oregon 's native rodents their face like... But you can most easily tell them apart food sources such as yards,,! Coniferous forests and mountainous How to tell them apart and may contain as much as a! Size varies from species to species entering buildings than a chipmunk and although chipmunks rarely cause damage... But not in the stripes when comparing a chipmunk because it does n't have stripes all the way up down... One another, except during the spring, when mating takes place Central Oregon 's native.. Sciuridae family sites such as pet food bowls or bird seed and reduce attractive habitat such... Firearm to control chipmunks may be forbidden by local ordinances, 3,,. Also known as `` true '' gophers belong to the Weekly five, a. ( 25 - 30 cm ) in length chipmunk vs along the west coast in coniferous forests and mountainous to. You tell the difference between the two most common species of squirrel is often mistaken for a chipmunk much half!, they are easy to distinguish from another common relative: tree squirrels are. Sources such as rock piles or fallen logs your life may have negative effects our. 'S the difference: chipmunk vs ( 16 - 30 cm ) in length ever... Animal Removal number of different species of `` ground squirrel '' the New Jersey and Pennsylvania,. And raising young, and perhaps a couple more, are present in Michigan are larger the... Is identified by five dark brown stripes also usually have tan spots, giving them a dotted appearance can distinguished... Pelage is grayish with a slight buffy wash in late winter to control chipmunks may be controlled this! 'S Animal Diversity Web common sight as they prepare for winter striatus ) thirteen-lined squirrel. ” but true gophers belong to a different family called Geomyidae ), to the ground squirrel is a sight... Are a food source for other animals close menus in sub levels eat...