What animals dig holes in the lawn?
In general, even a shallow hole in the lawn can warn of a possible infestation in the soil by unwanted animals or insects such as field mice, groundhogs, rats, raccoons, skunks, earthworms, etc. Although some of them may be cute, they can cause substantial damages to your property. In this article, we tell you which animals dig holes, and we give you tips on how you can stop them from digging in your lawn.
Why are animals digging in my lawn?
Many unwanted animals dig in lawns in search of food. They can live both above and below ground levels to hunt other small animals or insects to meet their survival needs. Some animals also dig holes because they serve as permanent or transitory places of refuge.
They can make both simple and complex burrows, some similar to tunnels and others at various levels. All this depends on the environmental conditions, the type of soil, and the digging capacity of each of the animals. Holes can also start in one place and end in another, and some even serve as pantries for storing food.
What animals dig holes in my grass?
The most common animals to dig holes in lawns in North America include:
Skunks do not necessarily have to be a problem, as their nature is not aggressive and they will not intentionally annoy people. However, they can dig holes in your yard and garden. They tend to look for insects to eat, rummage through the garbage, and may burrow under your house. This can cause damage to pipes, cables, and overall structure. Of course, skunks are notorious for their malodorous smell, so you’ll know when they’re around.
Skunks are often attracted to gardens that grow food. That is why it is recommended not to place pet food outside, as skunks will want to eat it. As they also tend to rummage through garbage, you should try to keep all garbage in containers that animals cannot open.
Raccoons are mammals that are between 40-70 centimeters wide and weigh between 3.5 to 10 kilograms. They are known for the typical black mask around their eyes, a characteristic that makes them look a bit mischievous.
Unfortunately for owners, raccoons don't just look mischievous, they are! If you have raccoons in your yard, you probably already know that they can damage gardens, houses, and garbage cans in an attempt to find food at night. Additionally, raccoons are also carriers of several diseases, including roundworms and rabies.
Groundhogs are often found near wooded areas, fields, and roadsides, and are known for their large burrows. These animals are also known as marmots or tundra pigs. While they may look cute and cuddly, their digging and feeding activities can quickly damage plants and crops when they roam your yard. This is why it is often necessary to take appropriate control measures.
Groundhogs are usually much more active in the early morning and late afternoon. Although they eat a variety of broadleaf vegetation in the garden, they prefer legumes such as clover, alfalfa, peas, beans, and soybeans.
You should be aware that they are one of the toughest animals to handle because they are smart and can dig and climb, so most fences you put up will be useless unless you bury them at least 4 inches deep with an apron turned out to discourage digging. Sometimes their network of tunnels can be vast and span a whole neighborhood.
In terms of groundhog deterrents or repellants, there are a few natural techniques. Scarecrows can sometimes provide temporary relief from the problem but the most effective types of control are the use of fences, traps, and fumigations. Some say that playing loud music near their hole may discourage them, as well as strong scents like lavender, garlic, and human urine.
Tips to stop animals from digging up your lawn
These tips will stop unwanted animals from digging up your lawn:
- Delimit your terrace and garden shed?
- Use animal traps?
- Use strong scents?
- Install motion-activated light?
- Use roundworms?
- Use animal repellents?
- Cut off access to food for animals?
- Keep bird feeders out of reach?
- Use cat or dog hair?
- Hire lawn specialist?
How do you keep squirrels out of your garden?
1. Delimit your terrace and garden shed
By digging a trench around your yard and netting its sides, you can protect your deck and shed. The underside of decks, sheds, patios, and extensions are some of the popular sites for animals. Anywhere there is a gap between the structure and the ground, animals will take over the premises and dig.
To control these areas, you will need to dig a trench along the sides of the structure you wish to protect. First, you dig about a foot deep into the ground and then screw a half-inch mesh into the sides of the frame. A 16 gauge galvanized steel mesh fence will be the best choice for protection and will last for many years. Making the mesh protrude at the bottom of the structure will prevent animals from digging underground.
2. Use animal traps
In many cases, the best way to prevent animals from digging in your lawn or coming to your garden is to catch them and remove them from your area. You may consider seeking help from a professional exterminator.
3. Use strong scents
Animals like possums, skunks, and groundhogs hate the smell of ammonia, mothballs, and garlic. If you decide to use ammonia, you should pour some into a closed can, place a cloth inside, and leave a small point in a hole made in the lid.
What the cloth will do is disperse the smell and, for it to work properly, you must put a can in all the places that these animals frequent. The mothballs should just be spread everywhere you think skunks are going. Regarding garlic, you simply have to crush a clove of garlic and leave it in the place where you do not want the animals to pass. Sometimes, human urine is enough to make your presence felt by these unwanted animals.
4. Install motion-activated lights
There are some lighting devices that are activated by movement. These turn on when an animal (or anything) passes in front of the sensor. To take advantage of them, you can place them near the house, at the entrance, near fruit trees, and in any other place where animals tend to be or leave holes. When the lights go on, these unwanted animals are likely to panic.
5. Use animal repellents
Repellants are a good solution to prevent animals from digging in your yard. You can find them in liquid or powder form. Keep in mind that repellents are considerably more effective when used at least once a week. Read the instructions carefully before using them.
6. Cut off access to food for animals
Most animals are attracted to houses because they find food there. This means that if you feed them, they will keep showing up all the time. The best way to avoid animals like skunks is to keep all food supplies out of sight. You should also keep the trash closed.
You should be aware that once skunks get used to receiving food, they tend to become aggressive when they do not receive it. If you tend to leave your pet's kibble or food outside, try to put it away after dark. Animals like raccoons are very attracted to pet food.
7. Keep bird feeders out of reach
Things like a sunflower seed bird feeder can be very tempting and attractive to a raccoon. Try hanging the bird feeder on a pole about 1 centimeter in diameter, as raccoons cannot climb such thin poles. It is important that you secure the mast securely so that it does not fall and that you store the birdseed in metal trash cans or indoors where raccoons cannot access it.
Guide to Turf Pests & Diseases
8. Use cat or dog hair
Once you have finished combing your pet, save the fur, put it in canvas bags, and hang it or throw it where the groundhogs circulate. This will make these animals avoid the area where the fur is. Why? Well, the smell of a predator is enough to scare away these animals, which will feel threatened and endangered from being hunted.
What you should avoid is letting your dog or cat scare the animals on their own, as it could trigger a fight in which they get hurt. Furthermore, these little beasts carry lice, ticks, and diseases you don’t want near your domestic animal.
9. Hire lawn specialist
If you have problems with unwanted animals visiting your garden, it is best to hire a lawn care company. You should not let your garden plans be side-railed by animals that can do damage to your property. Forever Green will not only get rid of the little creatures but will also make your lawn healthy-green.