6 Ways to Stop Animals from Digging Holes in Your Backyard

Moles digging a hole

The backyard is one of the best assets of a house. The area is usually made up of beautiful plants, a green lawn, and a fresh atmosphere. The only downside of having one is the pests and animals destroying and digging holes on the lawn.

To stop animals from digging holes in your yard, you can apply seeding, animal repellents, remove attractions, clean your yard, or install barriers and traps. If you are hesitant to follow these methods, your last option is to call professional wildlife services to do the job for you and avoid harming animals.

In this article, we will discuss the different animals that may be digging holes in your yard and how to stop them from doing so.


What Animals Are Digging Holes in Your Yard at Night?

Before you incorporate mechanisms against the animals digging holes in your yard, you should first identify them. The animals that are known for doing this are moles, skunks, raccoons, voles, rats, chipmunks, rabbits, and snakes. Those also dig holes at night.

Strong odors or food smells are the main causes of such an animal’s presence in your yard. Sometimes, the appearance of two animals at the same place may cause them to fight each other as they tend to aggressively protect their territory.

If you wake up in the morning and see holes in your yard, you wouldn’t know what animals are the culprits. Thus, we will discuss the different types of holes dug by certain animals.


Types of Holes in a Yard

Different animals may dig different types of holes, the three main types being:

  • Burrow

Holes dug by rodents are usually shallow. The surrounding area of the holes has soil accumulated stacked up. These burrows are like tunnels, and their sizes depend on the animal who burrows.

  • Divots

If some animals dig, others flip or tear up turfs, and this type of holing activity is called a divot. Raccoons are some of the animals that commonly do this.

  • Mounds

If burrows have neat soil piled up surrounding the hole, mounds are the complete opposite. The soil is scattered on the surrounding area of the hole. Sometimes, it is even covering the entry area of the hole.


Raccoons dig lawns with their hands, flipping or tearing up turfs and grasses to seek food. This animal is known for its disastrous behavior in a yard. Raccoons tend to rip objects and obstacles while roaming around.

They are smart pests with good memory. They can determine where they found food anywhere in your yard and come back to it constantly. Another thing you should take note of is that this animal could have rabies.

If you think that raccoons are unstoppably visiting and causing distress to your yard, you should contact pest control services.


Moles create mounds of soil and holes in your yard. Instead of digging, they dig their way up to the ground. IT is another type of animal that is difficult to chase away from the yard.

As they naturally live underground, moles dig through burrowing. Two of the most identified types of moles found in backyards right now are the Eastern and star-nosed moles.

The difference between these two is the type of hole they make. Eastern moles usually create tunnels near the exterior part of the ground, while star-nosed profoundly dig downward. You can now identify which of these two is invading your backyard.


Voles are rodents known for digging holes in backyards. Unlike other types of rodents, this one is an herbivore and tends to feed on grasses and fruits. Since yards contain grasses, voles are possibly some of the pests that damage your lawn.

Voles burrow soils, but you won’t see any mounds to the hole. If you see that the grasses in your lawn have this pathway-like look, voles are the first culprit you should look into.


Rats are rodents, just like voles. They make holes by burrowing. The holes they burrow sometimes have mounds of soil near them. Rats’ routes don’t usually change as they are recognized to use the same paths over and over again.

Rats burrow for shelter and food. Just like fossorial animals, they also seek protection from their predators. The holes they burrow serve as their homes to protect them from the exterior dangers.

In some instances, you may think these rats may originally come from your house. If so, you better check your house when you try to repel them as they might desert your yard but stay somewhere inside your house.


Another burrower is the chipmunk. This type of rodent likes cool temperatures and is found in the soil. That is the reason why chipmunks create holes in backyards.

The holes they dig are smaller than those rats may create. They look neatly dug and don’t leave mounds of soil. Interestingly, when chipmunks burrow the soil, they carry it within their cheek pouches.


Rabbits are another kind of disastrous animal that may damage your lawn. Although they are smart and affectionate, they are undeniably vengeful and destructive. Think of a huge population of rabbits in your yard digging holes; that is not a pleasant sight.

Rabbits burrow hole dens for protection from their predators. It also provides them with cool temperatures in an area where they are very likely to stay.


Some snakes can burrow while others are just reusing the holes created by rodents and other animals. It’s hard to determine whether a certain hole shelters a snake or not. If no food scents or leftovers are scattering and you’re hesitating about the hole in your backyard, it is best to ask for wildlife services’ assistance to avoid accidents.

Another way to prevent snakes from coming back to a hole is to fill it with soil. They usually don’t come back if that place is closed.


6 Ways to Stop Animals from Digging Holes in Your Backyard

Animals digging holes in your yard won’t stop if you don’t set up deterrents. Effective ways to repel them include seeding, removing attractions, cleaning your yard, installing barriers and traps, and setting and applying animal repellents. Finally, calling wildlife expert services is your last resort.

  1. Seeding

The regular seeding or overseeding of your lawn can help in thickening its grasses. Two factors affect this in terms of stopping the animals from digging holes. A thick lawn may result in difficulty for animals to dig holes and also revitalize and revive the grass damages they caused to your yard.

Your best option when seeding is the Tall Fescue seeds. These develop extensive roots that are good to counter animals’ burrowing behavior. They can’t easily dig holes if you have a strong grass foundation.

There are several types of deterrents against these hole-digging animals but it might also harm them. In this way, seeding will naturally grow the grass in your lawn, which alleviates the holes dug by these animals. A thick lawn will make it hard for them to dig.

  1. Remove Attractions and Clean the Area

Animals visit your backyard for a reason. They either found or smelled food, may it be the pests or insects on your plants or nearby trashcans. If you want to prevent animals from digging holes, you can start by controlling the pests.

Clean the surroundings by removing the garbage and trash that attracts animals. They always come back if they know they can get food in a certain area. It is best to transfer your trashcans and ensure no food scents or leftovers are scattering on the lawn.

If you have pets, like dogs, avoid feeding them in your yard as they may leave remains, even if it seems they have completely eaten their food. These will leave a food scent that is alluring to other animals.

  1. Create Barriers

One of the most recommended deterrents against animals trying to enter your vicinity is a barrier. Animals can dig holes in your lawn because they are free to access the area. So, you should put an obstacle to prevent them from stepping into your yard.

Physical barriers to protect your lawn against animals digging holes are made of chicken wire fences and nets. Chicken wire fences are installed in the surrounding areas where animals usually borrow your lawn. Be sure to make the fences with small holes since some small animals can access your fence.

Be aware that you should also remove the chicken wire fences for a few days to avoid grasses entwining with them. The downside of this method is that animals will try to find another area to burrow. Another similar barrier you can set in your lawn is the nets.

Animals are used to a lawn’s surface with grasses, but if you set down plastic nets, it will confuse them as it will have a different texture. This will hamper them from digging the ground of your yard.

  1. Repellents

Animal repellents are not only limited to chemical sprays but also include deterrents like water sprinklers. The best-known repellents include sprays for animals, which discourage them from stepping into a certain place due to the smell. It is best to consult the shop owner or manufacturer on how to appropriately and efficiently use the repellents.

Ultrasonic devices are another smart option to deter animals from your yard. It produces sound waves to scare off animals, such as birds, rodents, and many others. This device also activates whenever there are animals near its vicinity.

Another effective device to repel animals is motion-activated sprinklers, which turn on whenever there are animals nearby. The only difference between this deterrent and ultrasonic devices is that this one uses a water sprinkling system. This will also ensure that no animals are harmed if you set it up in your backyard.

  1. Traps

Placing traps in your yard can help you catch the culprits digging holes on your lawn. You can remove them after trapping them from your yard. However, setting up traps requires professional help.

Traps have different types or purposes that may not suit the animals you think are invading your yard. That is why we recommend you identify the animal before applying preventative measures like traps, as installing a trap intended for one type of animal won’t affect other animals.

  1. Call Professional Wildlife Services

If you are not sure about how to handle the animals digging in your yard, you should call wildlife services to help you with the matter. It is best to let professionals manage them than to do it on your own and risk harming the animals. Experts know what is the most appreciated choice of deterrent to applying in your yard.

Even if the animals destroy your yard, bear in mind that you shouldn’t harm them. Professionals can assist you in this instance.



When trying to deter animals from digging holes in your yard, you should observe the aforementioned steps first. Identifying the kind of animal that is digging can help you find the best solution to repel it. Although some methods require a lot of work, the consciousness of the animals’ safety should be your top priority.

If you are hesitant to set up traps and apply animal repellents, we recommend you ask experts for help. By doing so, you are guaranteed to avoid injuries caused by animals and vice versa.

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