We have two critter dilemmas at our house, and I could sure use your help. The first challenge is chipmunks, and not the kind who sing and bring in money (aka Alvin, Theodore, and Simon). The other is moles, or gophers...though which of the two for certain, I cannot say.
Two summers ago my oldest son was getting married. Just before we set to take our family of five in the SUV to his place, a couple of states away, the air conditioner stopped working. It'd been giving us signs that it was ailing for awhile, but they were unusual signs...like a fine white spray of powder, almost like tiny pieces of shredded paper coming out of the vents when you turned on the fan, so we did exactly what you're not supposed to do (ignored them).
I called the mechanic and he quoted me $600 to get the air running, and they were booked so the car would be gone two days. Fine... we got a rental to go to the wedding, and gave him our vehicle when our trip was over. When the car was ready, the manager of the shop called because he wanted to talk to me personally. It turned out the cute little chipmunk I'd seen numerous times running across my porch or out from under my car was really a sneaky varmint. He'd been storing up nuts in the air conditioning box of the car. A whole box (a nice-sized box too) of acorn nuts later, and a pass on labor fees (because it was amusing to everyone in the car shop), and our a/c was up and running good as new.
We were told the likelihood of the chipmunk using our vehicles for storage again was minimal at best. The advice was that if you take away their storage they're smart enough to know not to put things in there anymore and they'll search for a new place to take their nuts. Not our chipmunk...I have been finding the telltale signs lately; an acorn half eaten on my floor mat, that fine white papery substance again (not in the vents, but in the car from time to time), and the worst sign of all, that little sneak running out from under my car when I open the front door of the house.
We have beautiful backyard that I love. Unfortunately the pocket gophers or moles (I'm not sure which one) have also found our yard to be appealing and they're digging holes back there that catch you unaware (I swear I'm going to break an ankle from the falls they cause me if we don't find an effective solution soon). It makes playtime in the yard less than fun (it's hard to have fun when you constantly have to watch where you step).
The Biggest Dilemma?
I suppose the biggest dilemma is not the animals themselves, but rather me. I don't want to kill them. I know...I know...I know...I've heard it all before from anyone who's heard the tales, there are countless ways to kill them, and I'm a 'wimp' or whatever other name you want to throw in there. It's okay, hurl away (but don't be too harsh, please, lol), even the ones I love have sent the 'don't be so lame!' lines my way. I've also heard the definitive, 'Well, if you don't want to kill them (have you seen the things used to kill moles?!??! That's not my only moral obstruction with killing them, but really?!?! *Shudders*), then you'll just have to suffer with them,' advice.
But that can't be...
There are so many different solutions to every kind of challenge imaginable. There has to be a foolproof way to repel those two beasts...I mean critters, so that they aren't dead, but they aren't messing up my stuff. I am looking for creative critter compromises to help me with my dilemma.
I've done the research online, asked friends, and tried some of the solutions, but nothing has worked so far for either situation. So, if you have, or know of anything that has worked for either type of dilemma, please feel free to share. The only stipulation (besides not killing them), is that I can't have any kind of substance to repel them that is going to cause harm to our toddler.
It's not an easy order to fill, I know, but this is the Internet...surely someone knows something that I don't. If so, please share (and thank you!)!