Quick Guide on How to Stop Animals from Digging Holes in Yard

Dealing with critters and other animals is the everyday problem of many homeowners around the world.

Moles, skunks, raccoons, frogs, rabbits, and others can leave a mess in your lawn while searching for food. If you are wondering how to stop animals from digging holes in your yard, there are a couple of easy tricks you can try.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you shop through the links on YardThyme, we may earn an affiliate's commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. For more information, read full disclosure here.

How to Stop Animals from Digging Holes in Your Yard

Mole on ground

If you take great care of your lawn, piles of dirt that seem to appear out of nowhere can be a huge inconvenience. However, dug up lawns are not only an aesthetic problem. The holes in the ground can be dangerous because of the uneven surface beneath the top layer of the soil.

Animals might even reach the root system of the nearby trees, damage it, and make the trees unstable.

Here are a couple of quick fixes that will teach you how to get rid of burrowing animals in the yard:

Identify the animal you are dealing with

Many animals could come to your lawn looking for bugs and other things to eat. However, some of them do so when the sun goes down. If you have been wrecking your brain, trying to figure out what animal digs holes in yard at night, the answer is simple – raccoons and skunks.

Both of them are nocturnal animals, but they leave different types of holes in the ground. For instance, skunks create smaller and shallower holes, while raccoons dive in with their paws, taking out large pieces of soil.

Other animals are easier to identify because they usually wander around in the daylight. Rabbits, squirrels, and frogs could come into your yard as well. While frogs won’t completely dig up your lawn, rabbits and squirrels will.

Squirrels often bury their food, creating several hiding spots. They dig holes in search of it. Keep in mind that squirrels are only active during the day. They are also difficult to keep away from the lawn, especially if they have a nearby food source.

However, we do have a separate article on the best rabbit repellents, which you should check out if rabbits are your yard’s main problem.

Eliminate their food sources

Grubs are very attractive to raccoons and skunks. They are common and live in healthy lawns. However, grubs can cause a problem. If you have noticed small brown patches all around your yard, and they keep getting bigger, the chances are grubs are attacking the grassroots.

Critters can certainly sense them and start frequenting your lawn in search of grubs. Luckily, dealing with grubs is not too complicated. All you need is a bottle of dish detergent and water.

Combine these ingredients and head out to one of the brown patches in your yard. Spray the area and wait for a couple of minutes. Grubs should start emerging from the ground. Once they are out, spray the grub repellant over the brown patch.

You will not be able to eliminate all of them, but you’ll reduce the number of grubs in your lawn, making it look healthier and greener. It is worth mentioning that grubs are active all year round, but June might be the best time to get them out of the soil since this is when they lay their eggs.

Well-manicured lawns are a perfect setting for a family picnic or gathering. If your house has a large patio, you probably like to have your meals outside when the weather is nice. Critters can also sense food in your yard, so make sure you clean up after you. Double-check if there is any fruit or pieces of food on the ground because they will draw them in instantly.

Protect your yard with a fence

Building a fence around your lawn could prevent the possible intruders from coming in, but make sure you don’t have any animals already living in the yard. Inspect the shrubbery or any dark places where they like to hide.

Some of them might even reside beneath your house in search of shelter. Mastering how to get rid of animals under the home is quick, and all you need are several well-positioned traps. Once an animal gets caught in it, remove the trap carefully, and release the animal far away from your yard.

While any type of barrier could solve this problem, the majority of people go for a chain-link fence or chicken wire. You need to dig it into the ground as well, especially if you are dealing with moles.

Make sure to check the fence often because grass could get tangled into it. Pay close attention to possible damage since some animals could find a way through the barrier.

Also, if you are dealing with skunks, invest in some strong outside lights. Skunks are nocturnal animals, so a powerful light source could scare them off.

Fixing the holes

So, you have removed food sources from the yard and put up a fence. Now is the perfect time to repair the damage made by the critters. So if you are thinking: what can I do about holes in my yard, keep in mind that the work that needs to be done depends on the size and depth of the holes.

Holes that are not too deep require just a bit of top dressing and some reseeding. Then you can continue to take care of your yard as usual.

Bigger holes require more attention since they can be hazardous.

First, you need to remove the damaged grass around the hole and add a good amount of dirt. For those of you wondering ‘what kind of dirt should I use to fill holes in the yard?’, the best option is compost mixed with planting soil.

Secondly, add grass seeds and cover them with another layer of soil. Don’t overdo it, a small amount of compost will do just fine. Level the ground and water the area often to promote the growth of new grass.


While it might look almost impossible, you can quickly stop animals from digging holes in your lawn. It does require some planning since you have to know which animals you are dealing with, but in essence, removing the food source will give excellent results.

All of this can be done without using an animal repellent. Once you are certain that no critters are spending time in your yard, start repairing the damage. Your lawn will look impeccable in no time!

Andy Gibson

My name's Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.

Recent Content