Paver Walkway Burrowing Pest...

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Project by Mark posted 09-04-2011 11:40 AM 8265 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I realize this might be only marginally gardening-related – but it’s kind of funny and I’d love to hear about anyone’s similar experiences or advice!

A couple of days ago, my wife pointed out that a small sliver of paver stone was missing from our front walkway. Kind of odd. As I took a close look at it, I realized there was a hole underneath where the stone had been. I didn’t want to reach down to see if the stone had somehow dropped, thinking maybe there was a chance something might bite me.

So, yesterday (Saturday) – I lifted a few of the stones and sure enough something had been burrowing down there. Where the missing stone piece was? Absolutely no idea. Now, I always keep extra material from pretty much every job we do – and I have extra pavers for this walkway, but I don’t have a wet saw on hand for heavy stone like this. So, I though I would improvise…

I simply filled in the burrow with some gravel, tamped it down a bit, reset the stones – and then filled everything (including the small hole) with colored polymer-fortified paver sand. Figured that would do the trick, as it was a small hole anyway. Plus, I wasn’t even sure this little animal (mole? chipmunk?) was still around. You can see the progress via the pictures above – this all took about 25 minutes. Fun & easy.

This AM – I went outside to clean up the area after the sand had cured to discover the little guy (and he SURELY must be small as you can see in the last picture) just burrowed right through everything again!

So… I guess I’m going to have to cut another piece of stone (at some point), and perhaps concrete it in into place. Any thoughts on this? As nice as it is to have chipmunks, I don’t want my walkway undermined. And where the heck might he have put that missing piece of stone?! ;-)

-- Mark, Jersey Shore,

View Mark's profile


28 posts in 2481 days
hardiness zone 7a

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12 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 09-04-2011 12:07 PM

that is strange!!
and you can’t find the piece of stone? It wasn’t just pushed out and tossed… bizarre.

I have “diggers from above” – throwing everything here and there. Have never had something carried away before.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile


4312 posts in 3143 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 09-04-2011 02:54 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t a chipmunk. They will carry the sand, rocks and other debris from their tunnels to one of their entrances. Chipmunks are very good at digging in the sand layers under rocks and tiles. If you have many, they can be quite destructive. My limited advice is to get a good barn cat to keep the chipmunks away and avoid future damage after you fix your walkway. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile


5121 posts in 3510 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 09-04-2011 05:06 PM

I had chipmunks which burrowed UNDER my pond, right through the pump cord. Of course, there was a massive spark, and no more burrowing under the pond. Alas, I had to buy a new pump.

Fortunately, we have a lot of neighbourhood cats which keep the chipmunks in check and take home surprises for “mommy”.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of neighbourhood cats which leave “surprises” for ME in my garden. They compost however, but the smell is not appreciated.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View ChuckV's profile


27 posts in 3142 days

posted 09-04-2011 06:21 PM

I suspect the rare and ingenious ChipSpider:

Good luck!

-- "...and the flowers bloom like madness in the spring."

View sharad's profile


1671 posts in 3097 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 09-05-2011 02:06 AM link is very interesting reading on chipmunks with plenty of pictures. It says ” It(chipmunk) inhabits forests, scrub, and suburban areas; makes elaborate burrows; and hibernates in winter.”


-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Mark's profile


28 posts in 2481 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 09-05-2011 07:11 AM

Yeah, the chipmunks it must surely be – thanks for all the feedback! We’ve always had many on my property. They’re cute, of course, and haven’t damaged anything to date – but the pump cord electrocution story is a bit of an eye-opener. We don’t have any cats in my neighborhood at all – that would surely change things up. We sometimes refer to the backers on our fence as the chipmunk highways as they’re running across these all the time.

Will see if I can find the entrance to that burrow where all the rocks might be stockpiled!

And hey, those “ChipSpiders” do look pretty smart. Can they use tools, you think?? ;-)

-- Mark, Jersey Shore,

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 09-05-2011 07:28 AM

I read that “double bubble” bubblegum stuck down in the tunnels of voles/moles will put an end to the burrowing .. i wonder if it would have an effect on chipmunks. Hmm.

I had some tunnels in my tipi area this spring. I put some old (rotting) onions into the holes. Not sure if it worked but the nibbling on my plants ended around the same time.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile


7374 posts in 3660 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 09-05-2011 07:33 AM

Interesting story Mark.I hope you find your stones.
Love your chipspider Chuck. (LOL)

-- Bon,Hastings, 5a....Always room for one more

View Paul's profile


16 posts in 2865 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 09-06-2011 04:19 PM

I would tend to blame aliens, they aren’t just in Nevada anymore. They come in all sizes and shapes and are avid diggers.

-- Paul, La Center Washington

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


192 posts in 3183 days
hardiness zone 7b

posted 09-07-2011 03:58 AM

If it is a mole, you will see their mounds else where. Moles drill through soil so rocky, you can’t did it with a pick axe!! Trust me, I got ‘em. They went under our paved driveway and dig in the parking area I made with rocks form the garden spot I made 30 years ago!!

View Andrea's profile


35 posts in 2514 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 09-08-2011 06:49 PM

I vote for a mouse since the hole is so small. And I have seen mice around the front of my house too. Although the last time I saw it it was around the pond under the rocks.

View justjoel's profile


1063 posts in 3260 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 09-13-2011 01:16 PM

You might think of putting a flatter, wider paver or sheet of steel or something under this spot, so the stone has something to rest on and the critter can continue to do whatever the critter does (unless, of course, it’s eating roots from below or plants from above, then I’d suggest a dead-fall trap or a scatter gun).

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

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