How To Stop Animals From Digging Holes In Yard

It’s much harder to take care of your lawn or yard than you would imagine. You spend a lot of time and money setting up your yard properly, only to wake the next day and find animals burrowing all over your yard.

Rodents and animals can cause substantial harm to your property, and rodents are burrowing, such as groundhogs, raccoons and skunks, moles, and voles as they are searching for food.

However, some burrowing animals can be good for your ecosystem. Sadly, in most cases, they do a significant amount of damage, no matter the number of attempts you make to keep your lawn in prime condition.

Decorated yard with bird cage

In our guide, you find out which animals are digging holes and how you can quickly stop animals from digging holes in your yard. (Read Natural Deer Repellent Essential Oils)

What Animals Dig Holes in the Ground?

When trying to discover, what is digging holes in my yard, you want to stop animals from digging up your lawn. You need to know which they are before you tackle the issue.

Here’s how you can find out what animals are digging in your garden.

Location of Holes

The size of holes can be an indication, yet location gives you more of a clue. Holes across the lawn are typically small rodents, such as voles or moles.

Mole holes get covered by small mounds of earth, yet vole holes don’t. Birds can make holes in your sod while searching for food, and earthworms make small pencil-side holes, which are great as they help aerate your soil. (Learn How To Keep Dog From Digging Under Chain Link Fence)

If the problem isn’t holes in the lawn, but holes in soil or garden, then an animal digging holes in the yard is the likely answer. This isn’t to say such animals don’t go on your lawn; raccoons, skunks, and others go anywhere searching for a source of food.

Birds, squirrels, or other burrowing animals dig the soil to search for insects or a food source that they previously hid. Animals also burrow to nest underground, so you may have rats or chipmunks if you see these near tree roots. (Learn How to Keep Birds Away From Garden)

Larger holes can be groundhogs or animals like raccoons. Watch early morning or evening for signs of animals.

What Animal is Digging Holes in My Yard at Night?

Two of the most common animals digging in the yard at night are skunks and raccoons.

You can, however, tell which it is by the way they dig.


Skunks are precise diggers and serve as natural grub control if you have a grub problem.

In their search for food, they dig little holes and establish artificial aeration. Furthermore, it’s never a bad concept to spread grass seed over the site of skunk damage.


You will find Raccoons are not as polite or tidy as skunks. When they dig, they turn over large chunks of sod while looking for food.

If you spot damage early enough, you can put the sod back in position so the grass blades end up in the right place so it can recover.

How Do You Stop Raccoons from Digging in Your Yard?

Grubs are the main cause of the issue, and you can find you have large numbers of grubs. Hence the reasons so many holes in different areas.

Yard with a pug dog

Fallen fruit can lead to grubs in one area, yet you can find as many as five per square foot. Multiply this if you have an average size yard of 5,000 square feet and you have 25,000 grubs on your property. (Read What is Eating my Hostas)

Getting rid of skunks, raccoons, and other animals from digging after these grubs can be challenging. However, here are a few tips to help.

Regular Seeding

You can carry out regular seeding using Tall Fescue types of grass seed. You have lawns with deep roots, and it isn’t easy for animals to dig.


Some homeowners trap skunks, raccoons, and other critters, yet you need to deal with them. It can stop them, yet it doesn’t solve the issue of grubs.


Again, this doesn’t solve the issue with grubs; it just stops the problem of an animal or pests digging in your yard. Using these repellents can be ongoing, and it won’t take long for them to be ineffective.

Beneficial Nematodes

Using beneficial nematodes is a non-chemical way to deal with raccoons and skunks. Besides this, they are one solution to get rid of grubs from your garden.

The microscopic roundworms enter the soil and hunt and kill the grubs. From the application, they are effective for two years. While hard against grubs, they are safe for people, pets, and all-important earthworms.

You do need to make sure not to use insecticides, as you will kill your nematodes.

Apply your Beneficial Nematodes in March or April as the ground warms; you can, however, apply them until September, at which point they become ineffective. The best way to prevent animals around your garden is to remove food sources. (Read Scotts Grubex vs. Bayer Grub Control)

While these nematodes are effective, they need time to take hold so you can add other things to your garden.


Building a barrier can be an effective way to help keep animals from removing chunks of your lawn as they search for food sources. Such fences can keep any burrowing animals out, including moles.

However, you need to build a fence in a particular way to remove the chance of pests digging underneath. (Read Plants That Repel Fleas And Ticks)

A fence is labor-intensive, as you need to dig around three feet deep to add your chicken wire. It also needs to bend flat so it is held in place when you fill the trench. Make sure the wire has small holes because moles are small.

One other quick method is to lay plastic netting on the ground around your lawn area. It confuses an animal as it steps on it, and even moles can’t dig upward.

The downside is you are repeatedly removing this as you cut your grass.

How To Stop Animals From Digging Holes In Yard

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