Do you have a garden? Have you been observing the appearance of mysterious holes in the soil? Have you been trying to identify the origin of those furrows but you can’t find the cause? If you find yourself in any of these cases we have news for you: there are animals digging holes in your garden.
If you have been taking care of your garden for many years, you must have already had one or two visits from these animals that love to dig holes and you will have noticed the appearance of furrows of all sizes in your soil, especially along the edges and in the areas farthest from your home.
It is important to emphasize that these animals are not dangerous, on the contrary, these little creatures are essential to preserve the ecosystem of the area and keep the soil in good condition thanks to their digging.
However, before taking extreme measures and calling a pest extermination company because we fear that our garden is full of holes that spoil it and you do not want to share your space with these creatures.
We invite you to read carefully this post in which we will explain in detail what are the main animals that are dedicated to digging holes in gardens, the types of holes that make each of them, and the best way to chase them away without having to eliminate them and harm the natural ecosystem in which both species coexist.
What animal is digging holes in my yard?
We tell you about it below! 10 animals that dig holes in yards.
1. Pocket Gophers
Pocket gophers are the smallest species of mole in existence, yet despite being much smaller than moles these creatures are capable of causing great destruction in the yards they invade, completely ruining the lawn by the large furrows they create as they dig their subway tunnels in search of food and shelter.
Expert Tip: Pocket gophers are truly hardy creatures accustomed to living underground and able to withstand temperatures as extreme as -50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Darkness and cold are their natural habitat so it is likely that their appearance in our garden will occur during the fall or early spring, as these gophers feed mainly on bulbs and roots and it is precisely at that time of year when the gardens are regenerating and are filled with new roots for the arrival of spring.
As for the tunnels and how to identify them, we can easily know that they are small moles because of the large mounds of earth that they raise in the shape of a half-moon or fan and also because they create a small hole covered with earth that they use as an entrance and exit for their excavations.
If we observe this, it will mean that they have already dug long subway tunnels that will improve the drainage capacity of our soil. On the other hand, it is also possible that we can find these voles nibbling leaves or roots at the edges of our garden, although it is less common.
If your garden has been invaded by moles you will know it. because they are one of the fastest and most destructive diggers there are. And unlike the small moles that we have explained in the previous point, moles can cause great damage to the ecosystem of a garden by eating the roots of trees and shrubs, especially at the ends and in the shadiest areas.
You can identify them by the large mountains of dirt they create when digging, generating volcano-shaped mountains without any kind of entrance or exit holes.
These holes emerge from deep underground, which indicates two things: the first is that the destruction of the lawn is assured since the large furrows will weaken the soil and may even cause landslides.
And the second is that we can rest assured about the drainage and fertilization of the soil and the appearance of white worm pests because the moles will have done everything for you naturally and free of charge.
If you have moles, you have a problem and at the same time a blessing, so before taking the law into your own hands, consult alternative measures with experts in these animals that will help you cope and live with them while you enjoy your garden.
One of the most common garden diggers in the United States are skunks, animals as small as they are annoying that will not only leave our garden a mess but will also make it smell unpleasantly musky.
If we notice this characteristic odor that skunks emanate when they feel in danger and we observe areas of the garden where the soil has been disturbed in a bad way, we will know that we have skunks in our garden and we will have to take measures quickly to chase them away.
Skunks are not great diggers and do not know how to make polished furrows like moles but rather dig quickly and haphazardly in search of white grubs to feed on.
Therefore one of the fastest and most effective ways to kill the pest is to spray the lawn with a chemical that kills the larvae, although we must first make sure that the pesticide is suitable for pets and that it will not affect the skunks that roam the area.
On the other hand, it is also effective to install fences along the edges of the garden and bury them a few centimeters in the ground, this way the skunks will have no way to sneak in at night to lift the soil of our garden and will go to another less protected site.
Raccoons are angelic-faced mammals capable of leaving your house and yard a complete mess in just a few minutes. These little guys love food scraps, roots, small insects, and flowers, which is why they are always hanging around big houses and raiding their garbage cans.
The main problem of this animal is that it is omnivorous, unlike the rest of the rodents that only feed on worms or roots, which makes them much more annoying and makes you not only have to watch the entrances of the garden but also those of your house.
In the United States, firefighters are used to receiving notices from families who have found a small family of hungry raccoons in their house, and it is very common for them to come inside and destroy everything in their path until they find something to put in their mouths.
However, it is essential to emphasize that they are peaceful animals and that as soon as they notice your presence they will retreat and flee with whatever they have found. They do not pose any danger to you or your family.
However, suppose you do not want to see your house and garden destroyed by the action of these mischievous marsupials. In that case, we recommend that you seal your garbage cans (the smell of rotting food attracts them) and that you prune all the bushes and trees near your house to prevent them from climbing them to access your garden.
Another of the most common digging animals in the United States is armadillos. Small mammals that for many years earned the scorn of the community because they were believed to be carriers of serious diseases, such as rabies or similar.
But in reality, they are completely harmless and will only appear in your garden for one reason, to forage for food.
Luckily for you and your garden, armadillos are not known for causing major damage when they dig in the soil, as they only dig for larvae and small insects found on the surface, such as ants, beetles, or termites.
Therefore, if you come across an armadillo in your garden, there is no need to panic, because they are one of the best digging neighbors you can have.
However, it is true that having this type of animal wandering through our garden is not a good taste and we have the right to take some basic preventive measures to prevent them from entering and disturbing our lands, such as a fence or a non-toxic repellent powder to scare them away.
Voles are small harmless diggers that you can easily identify by the appearance of small mounds of earth, approximately five centimeters high, in which we can find small droppings similar to those made by rats.
Their season of action is mainly during the winter when they dig small tunnels underground and fill them with the leaves they collect during the fall to protect themselves from the cold and predators.
However, we will not notice their presence until the arrival of spring, since with the rise of temperatures the snow that protects them will disappear and all their shelters will be visible.
They are not annoying animals and are much less dangerous, however, they can cause several damages to the lawn surface that will irritate those garden owners who take care of them with dedication and respect during the whole year.
Expert Tip: The best way to coexist with them and prevent them from becoming a pest is to mow regularly and properly. Otherwise, it is important to remember that these voles help the ecosystem to function and their existence is as necessary as that of other animals.
If your garden is large enough to accommodate a nice, lush woodland area, be sure that at one time or another you will have a visit from these adorable rodents that are famous for being superb tree climbers.
You can tell that your yard has squirrels in two ways, either by seeing them climbing up one of your trees and scurrying through the grass quickly as they carry some food back to their hiding place or because you’ve started to spot small mounds of dirt near the trees.
In any case, we must tell you that squirrels are not a dangerous pest and are not a nuisance compared to other diggers, however, they can become a headache if they settle permanently in our garden and start to fill it with holes under the roots in which they protect themselves from the cold and predators.
To scare them away correctly you can use a non-toxic repellent based on dish soap and water or special baits for rodents.
Groundhogs are another common visitor to gardens in the United States and like the others, the main reasons why they might enter our garden and fill it with holes is to protect themselves or because they are looking for some food.
Although they are peaceful animals, the tunnels they make in our gardens can be extremely long. Some can even be between 8 and 66 feet long.
The more they dig the more they deteriorate our soil and the greater the possibility of landslides, thus increasing the danger and making our action necessary to chase them away and indicate to them that they cannot stay here any longer.
The favorite areas for marmots to make their burrows are the areas near sheds and crawl areas with high ground to provide them with shelter. To eradicate them, it will be enough to install fences to cut them off or use a non-toxic repellent to make them retreat.
Another creature that can make holes in our gardens is the world-renowned earthworms. These worms are as beneficial to the health of the soil as they are annoying because of their appearance and the numerous furrows they leave while digging their tunnels.
Expert Tip: Something that makes many gardening lovers prefer to avoid them in their gardens despite knowing that their action is very beneficial to improving soil drainage and aerating it.
For this, it will be enough to use a pesticide against earthworms and roll the lawn with a lawn roller in the spring to even it out and give it back its uniform appearance.
10. Corn snakes
Snakes are also capable of tunneling into gardens for shelter or to prey on some of the other burrowing animals that hide from predators underground, with voles and moles being their favorite prey.
Although not a common type of animal in inhabited areas, if we have a very overgrown garden filled with a wide variety of trees and shrubs and with tall grass, these snakes could find your garden a perfect place to hunt and make a new home for themselves.
There are several species of burrowing snakes that we might encounter, although the most common is the so-called corn snakes, a type of solitary yellowish snake that is non-venomous and can be easily repelled by taking appropriate measures.
What animal makes a clean hole in the ground?
There are many animals capable of making fairly clean holes that are easy to see from a distance, but we believe that squirrels are the best garden diggers. These small rodents are capable of making very clean and exact diameter furrows, being common to find a similar-sized furrow 20 feet away from another and always with the same appearance.
Their holes are easy to see on sunny days, making very rounded entrances and hardly raising any roots. They are really clean!
And so much for our list of some of the animals that could cause the holes you have just discovered in your garden. All of them are harmless animals that we must learn to live with and that we can chase away by putting into practice some simple preventive measures.
Remember that these animals, despite being quite annoying and causing some damage, have a vital function for our garden and to preserve the welfare of our ecosystem.