How to Stop Animals From Digging Holes in the Yard

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a small West Siberian husky puppy digs a hole in the sand. cute pet playing in the street.

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Waking up to see a lush green yard outside your home is one of the best ways to start the day!

But what if there are unsightly holes all across the yard? All that love and effort you put into the yard daily can go for a toss in one night if pesky animals dig holes in it. They not only intrude upon your yard but can be a significant menace to the overall health of the yard.

The animals are, of course, always welcome if they don’t dig the yard up, right? Nobody expects some small, pesky animals to trespass on painstakingly cultivated yards and dig them up!

Thankfully, there are plenty of solutions available for you to treat your yard well. In this carefully curated guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to stop animals from digging holes in the yard.

Stop Pesky Animals From Digging Holes in Your Yard

Bengal cat digs a hole in the lawn, walking with a cat on a harness

Holes in the yard and damaged lawns are bound to evoke dismay and desperation. So, it is natural that you would want to do something quickly to fix them.

Here are some simple answers and solutions for the dug-up yard you had tended for so long. We provide details about why pesky animals commonly dig holes in it for you to understand the menace. Also, we briefly acquaint you with which of these animals are most likely to attack your yard.

Finally, we give a list of cures for holes in the yard and wind up with the best ways to keep it safe and pest-free.

Why are Animals Digging in the Yard?

Animals that burrow in the yard can be both good and nasty for the ecosystem around the house. However, animals that cause excessive damage to your hard work are more likely to prevail over the beneficial ones.

Small in size, these animals tend to burrow through the yard to make tunnels, thereby messing up your efforts to maintain it. They bury themselves in the ground and work fast to dig up those dreaded holes in your beautiful yard.

Now, most of these animals appear in springtime, looking for places to hide. But one of the main reasons they dig through the yards is that they are looking for food. An animal such as a skunk, raccoon, or mole comes back to look for food stored in a location under the yard.

With a change of season from winter to spring, the animals find their way to buried and stored food. However, it is not always that some small animal will mess up the yard looking for its food.

Sometimes, the animals need a safe place to nest their young ones and keep them secure. A yard seems primarily harmless except for some slow human activity during the day. These small animals will tend to their young ones and feel safe in the yard, which, ironically, is a big no-no for the proper care of the surroundings of your home.

That’s not all; there are quite a few animals who eat grubs that are commonplace even in the most well-tended yard. Statistics reveal that a proper yard can house at least five grubs per square foot. You can expect many animals to visit this food source repeatedly once they get a whiff of it!

How to Identify the Animals Digging Holes?

The most common pesky animals digging holes at night, and sometimes even during the day, are moles, skunks, and raccoons. Moles tend to live underground and burrow tunnels through the earth. It is pretty easy to identify the mole that left your yard in a mess by the molehills it dug through the night.

A mole, or even a skunk, is looking for the same thing in the yard. Their quest for food often results in the holes in your yard.

While skunks are known to dig precisely during the night searching for their food, moles leave small holes as they burrow overnight. A good and often used idea to cover the damage they cause is to broadcast seeds all over the yard.

This seed could be bare grass that can grow back naturally in the yard without too much trouble. But the worst damage by far can be caused by the raccoon. It can dig up holes at night, and the damage could even be irreparable.

Moreover, raccoons have a reputation for doing food searches at night. But even if you manage to stall the digging in time or see the damage soon after, things can still go your way. It is also entirely possible to put the soil back into place.

Just water the patted-down yard after tossing the soil, and you are good to go!

Preventing Animals from Entering Your Yard

Rather than have these animals run havoc in the yard that you have been taking so much care of for a considerable time, would it not be better to prepare for a rodent attack? After all, the time, money, and tending that has gone into nurturing, the yard needs to bear fruit without pesky interference.

And there are several ways in which small animals can be prevented from digging holes up in your yard. Our favorites are raising physical barriers, laying humane traps, removing attractions from the yard, using nematodes to reduce grubs, and using animal repellents.

Raising Physical Barriers

One way to help you keep the small animals away is to lay barriers like chain-link fences or chicken wire over the area attracting the pests. But this could require sufficient hard work at your end.

Also, moving the fences or the wire from time to time would not cause damage to the grass. The grass could get tangled in the meshes and be challenging to repair. Another way is to build an underground fence made of mesh that is intense work but produces effective results.

There are various other methods to build the underground fence. A simple way is to dig the fence 6″ under the ground to prevent the animals from burrowing under the yard. The difference between spot fencing and underground fencing is that the two methods are employed depending on the intensity of infestation and the yard condition.

Laying Humane Traps

Since we know that the small animals tend to dig at night, it is best to lay humane traps all around the yard and the house once dusk settles in. Laying traps is more likely to catch the pests when they come out for the hunt.

These humane traps can be incentives like food to attract the pest near the apparatus. After you catch the animal can either be relocated, or you can call animal services. Maintain caution and regularly check the traps, especially in the mornings.

A word of caution: remember the traps can be risky for small children and other harmless animals.

Removing Attractions From The Yard

Food is a significant pull for the animals digging the yard at night. Always make sure that there is no food lying around in the yard, as waste, or even that odd fallen fruit you forgot to pick during the day.

Basically, these small animals are drawn in by strong scents, so any rotting food is a bad idea to keep outside while you’re watching over the surroundings. Also, trees like the oak shed acorns that attract animals easily. Scan the yard properly for any such things that can bring the animals readily to the yard at night.

Do try and remember if you have any low-covering shrubs or piles of wood stacked in the yard. And if you do, remove them at once. The pesky animals tend to look for such cover for safety in the yard at night.

Using Nematodes to Reduce Grubs

Nematodes are minute ringworms that reduce the infestation of grubs in the soil you are treating. Nematodes are put in yard soil every year to avoid grub problems in the yard. Nematodes are a non-chemical treatment that can be effective in the long run.

Their prevention properties stay in the soil for as long as two years.

Using Animal Repellents

Animal repellents come in various forms. Two of the most commonly used are powdered repellents and liquid repellents. The latter you can fix to a pipe and spray over the yard. Always remember to use the repellents at least once a week to produce the results you need.

Many people also use household items instead of repellents to solve the pest problem. A generous dose of garlic powder or grounded coffee sprinkled in the yard can work wonders. Just make sure to put them in the tunnels that have appeared in your yard.

Also, it would be good to note that most repellents available in the market are castor oil-based. They are safe to use if you have children or domestic animals. Another hi-tech repellent prevents animals from coming into the yard by emitting frequencies of sound that scare them off.

This repellent is called a sonic spike but could give mixed results if the animals learn to adjust to the sounds. Try any of the methods best suited to the yard you are looking after. We hope you can clean up your yard very soon!

Curing The Yard

Once the pesky animals have made inroads into the work you had so painstakingly done in the yard, there is no option but to control the damage as quickly as possible. Getting the yard back in shape can be laborious, but there are two things you can start with to nurture the greens once again.

  1. Repairing The Holes

The easy way is to fill the holes with soil to even out the yard’s surface once again. Use a shovel and pat the rough places down with the underside to level the yard. Check the vicinity of the house to see if the animals have dug holes outside the yard as well.

It just needs to be ensured that there is no extended damage to the property. Be particularly careful about any holes dug under the walls of the house. These need to fill immediately, and you can even call for professional help to maintain all the walls.

Just remember, if you feel that there has been damage done to the walls, you could call the local builder. They can repair the structure of the house for you immediately.

  1. Landscaping The Yard

There are so many plants and trees that grow in your yard, and you usually let them be. After all, greenery looks scenic whether or not pruning sets the mood for the entire house. If the small animals have made a mess of the yard, then it is an excellent time to rethink the house’s look as well. It’ll be a significant change for you!

So, after the damage reduction and the holes have been filled out, turn to the vegetation around the house. How would you want to landscape the yard so that it is not only rodent-free, the whole place also looks great?

Pruning and trimming would reduce the volume of the foliage and vegetation. Just safeguard the yard from cover areas where rodents can hide easily, should they decide to return. Get a landscape architect to give you a great design, and if you want support for the technical aspects of landscaping.

Also, there are plenty of videos and articles on the internet if you are in the do-it-yourself mode. Just remember to keep the plants trimmed enough so that they tend not to form easy hide-outs for small animals.

The Best Ways to Keep Your Yard Holes-Free

Now that we have gone through a considerable amount of information about those holes that turn up in the yard, let’s summaries some of the simplest and most effective ways to keep the yard free from pesky animals.

The Natural Methods

Using nematodes right from gardening and maintaining a yard is an excellent method to prevent grubs in the soil. Grubs attract the most common pests to the yard and need control so that the yard remains safe from food-hunting animals.

Just remind yourself, prevention is better than cure. One of the best ways we found that you can avoid holes in the yard complements the use of nematodes. Since food is the most likely reason a small animal will get attracted to the yard, keep a watch on any food left outside the house for too long, especially at night.

That would also include strong-smelling food, rotting food, or fallen fruit that can give off smells to lure the pesky animals. Keeping the yard dirt-free is also a must. Garlic powder and grounded coffee come in handy when you need to repel the animals from the yard.

So, you can also look into the kitchen to treat the yard with preventive and curative methods that can quickly revive the yard back again. Seed regularly to make it difficult for the rodents to dig tunnels in the yard.

The husky dog digs a hole in the ground.

Summing It Up

It is excellent to landscape the yard – for multiple reasons. Since you have taken the time to raise the plants and other greens, investing in this method would be wise.

When you know that the rodents can easily hide under bushy or overgrown vegetation, do not let go of the opportunity to transform the yard’s look altogether. The bonus is the beauty and maintenance of the entire house. Prune the plants and trees to make the yard pest-free and the home a beautiful place, just the way you want it.

Get rid of rodents in the yard today!

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