How to Control Rodents in Your Drip Irrigation
Rodents like chipmunk and squirrels can cause damage to drip irrigation lines. During dry weather is when it is most prevalent. There are a few things that you can do that will discourage them, but you should run your drip zones when you can observe them. Most of the time when an zone comes on you will hear it make a noise if it is leaking. You will also see water most of the time or the ground will be very wet in a particular area.
I have found that if the drip line is buried under leaves or mulch there is less likely to be a leak. Chipmunks go for the emitter opening and will chew around it. One solution is to provide other opportunities for the animals to get water. I have used the black microwave trays that have meals like Lean Cuisine in them. After cleaning several of them, I will place them on the ground underneath several of the emitters. This way when the drip zone runs, the water goes directly into the tray. As it overfills the plant gets watered. This seems to work relatively well, but not perfect.
I have found that dumping the water and debris from the tray is important. Remember that mosquitos can breed in very shallow water. Later in the season the Tiger mosquito which has a severe bite can lay eggs in water as small as soft drink bottle cap.
I probably will publish more on this or other related subjects later as the need arises.