There are several different animals or critters that like to show up on your lawn and cause a lot of issues while they look for food.
Moles will show up and create tunnels under the ground in the spring, and raccoons and skunks show up at the end of summer in the early fall months and start digging to try and fatten up before the snow comes.
So, how do you stop these animals from digging in your yard?
The first thing you have to do to stop animals from digging in your yard is to figure out why they’re digging in the first place and which animal is the culprit.
Once you do, this will give you a good idea of the best avenue for you to take to stop them.
Common ways to stop the digging include getting rid of grubs, repellents, live traps, regularly seeding, erecting physical barriers, and more.
If you’re battling with the critters to take back your yard, and it seems like they’re winning, this handy guide can help you turn the tide and get your yard back in pristine condition.
We’ll outline how to identify which animal is wreaking havoc and how to stop them from digging below.
How to Identify Which Animal is Digging Up Your Yard
The first thing you have to do is figure out which animal is causing the damage to your yard.
You can do this by looking at the dig marks and seeing if you can spot any distinctive patterns as they burrow to find insects, grubs, plants, or whatever food they’re after.
Skunks – Skunks spray and release a very powerful odor when they feel threatened, and they’re also known to carry rabies. Any skunk will dig a relatively small hole in your yard because they burrow with your front claws and noses. You’ll see very shallow holes with loose soil around the edges if it is a skunk, and they love eating grubs.
Raccoons –Raccoons are very difficult to remove because they’re so intelligent, and they’ll return to a place that had an abundance of food before because they have excellent memories. They use their hands to tear up and flip over surprisingly large mounds of soil, grass, and sand to pick out the food. It’s best to consult a professional if you think it’s raccoons since they can also carry rabies.
Moles –Moles are very destructive diggers, and they dig from the ground up instead of the other way around. Instead of seeing holes in your yard, you’ll see small mounds of dirt that lead to a maze of interconnected tunnels under your lawn. They also live underground, so they can dig constantly.
Voles –Voles or field mice are extremely active and will burrow under your yard all day and night. You’ll typically see tunnels or pathways dug through parts of your yard that have the thickest vegetation because they like to hide there to stay safe from predators. They do love eating plants and grass, so it’s common to see damage on any surrounding green spaces too.
Chipmunks – These rodents are known as burrowers that like to dig because the soil gives them a cooler living environment. However, they tend to dig very neatly in your yard. You’ll know that you have a chipmunk digging if you spot clean, small, round holes in your yard that are shaped like a silver coin.
Snakes – Since snakes don’t have hands or appendages to dig with, it surprises people to know that some species of snakes can burrow. They like to stay in dark cool areas, and you can ward them away by sealing up the hole. They won’t return if they have to dig it out again.
Rats – Rats burrow under the ground to help reach their food sources, and you’ll typically find their burrows under bushes or near very dense vegetation. They can leave a greasy residue as they move, and they typically tamp down the grass because they like to travel in the same paths.
Rabbits – Rabbits are an extremely frustrating pest to have around your yard, and having them dig a huge array of warren holes can quickly destroy your lawn. They’re extremely messy, and they could attract predators to your yard.
Seven Ways to Stop Animals From Digging in Your Yard
Generally speaking, animals will come and dig in your yard if they find attractive things to eat or a perfect shelter.
The key to avoiding having them tearing up your yard is to make your garden or home unappealing to them.
1. Reduce or Remove the Grubs
Almost any animal that digs or burrows in your yard will eat grubs, and they’ll do whatever they have to do to reach them.
The first thing you should do is grub control, and June is the perfect time to start because this is when the grubs will start to feed on your garden.
You can help control or get rid of the population by applying nematodes. The more you have in your garden, the fewer grubs you’ll have, and it’s one great way to reduce most digging animals’ food sources.
2. Seed Regularly
If you routinely overseed your lawn, you can end up with a very lush and full look without any bare patches.
However, overseeding can also deter digging animals because all of the grass will grow very thick roots to make it harder to rip the grass up or dig through it quickly when they’re on the hunt for food.
The thicker your lawn is, the better off it is for protecting against these pests and the damage they can bring.
3. Live Traps
If you think that your digging pest is something larger like a rabbit, raccoon, rat, or skunk, you can set out live traps to catch them and physically remove them from your yard.
If you’re not confident enough in your abilities to remove these pests on your own or if you find out that you have too many to remove by yourself, it’s a good idea to call in a professional company.
They can come in, set the traps, and remove anything they catch without you having to step foot outside.
Animal repellents are another way you can get rid of digging pests in your yard, and some offer up to an impressive 2,000 square feet of coverage in a single device.
It can emit a high-pitched frequency that you can’t hear, and it can deter skunks, raccoons, deer, cats, bears, ducks, foxes, dogs, and many other animals.
It does come with a higher price tag attached to it, and you may not want to use it if you have a dog or cat in the house.
5. Physical Barrier
A physical barrier will work well for some digging animals like rabbits, rats, and raccoons, depending on the type of barrier you put up.
Placing a chicken wire or chain link fence around your yard can make it inconvenient for some critters to get in, especially if you dig out and also bury it several feet below the ground level.
Make sure your fence is between five and six feet tall to deter bigger digging critters and make sure it stays in good repair.
6. Apply Cayenne Pepper
A lot of pests are very sensitive to smell, and this includes digging pests like raccoons, skunks, and moles.
Sprinkling cayenne pepper around your yard is usually enough to deter most pests for a period of time, but you will have to reapply it after rain comes through because it’ll wash it away. Apply it around problem areas in your yard to stop the digging straight away.
7. Apply Soap Water
Soap water won’t do much in the way of smell, but it can help get rid of grubs because it can smother them on contact.
Since most of the pests in your yard dig for the grubs to eat, removing them can cause the pests to move on in search of easier food sources.
Spray a good amount of soapy water with some liquid Dawn in it on the soil and grass to kill the grubs and keep others from moving in.
If the pests are digging up your yard, this can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming trying to get rid of them.
However, we’ve told you how to narrow down which one is wreaking havoc and gave you seven ways to rid your yard of them. We encourage you to try a few and take back your yard this season.