The common types of wildlife that dig up the yard

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Holes in the yard are both frustrating and time-consuming. You’ll spend hours during your weekend repairing the holes, refilling them with soil and making sure the lawn has been correctly placed over the top. All this hard work will be for nothing when you wake up on Monday morning to find those holes have reappeared, and this is a very common scenario facing many homeowners, particularly during the warmer months of the year.

The majority of holes in your yard will happen around spring and fall. During the spring, the mothers will be having their babies and they’ll need plenty of extra food in order to survive. They aren’t just in charge of feeding themselves now, they are in charge of feeding their young too. By digging the yard up, they can get to grubs, beetles and worms that live beneath the soil, and this can bump up the daily calorie count by quite a bit if the animal manages to find a decent patch of earth to rummage around in.

The holes during the fall months will usually be caused by animals that plan to fatten up before the colder weather comes. During the winter food is very hard to come by, and animals know this. They know that they need to fatten up while food is still plentiful, which it still is in fall, and some of them will even migrate or hibernate, which makes the need for food even stronger.

The usual culprit behind those dug-up piles of soil is the skunk. These creatures dig around beneath the top surface of the soil itself, because that’s where the best grubs and beetles are. If it is a skunk doing all the damage, it’s likely that you’ll go to bed with a perfectly fine lawn, and then wake up to the holes the next morning. Skunks are mostly nocturnal, although they can be encouraged to wake up during the day for the right meal, and they start by sniffing the ground with their adept noses, before using their long, clawed talons to rip up the soil. There can be many holes, and it’s all in the hunt for foods that are protein-rich.

If it’s not a skunk that has done the damage, it might have been a raccoon. Generally, however, these creatures are known to be quite lazy, and would much rather just dig around in the holes and other spaces that other animals have already foraged. They will use their front paws very much in the same way that humans use their hands, scooping up chunks of soil to get to the grubs below.

You’ll know if you’ve got skunks and raccoons on the same land, because the smell of skunk spray will be overpowering. When the two clash, the skunk won’t fail to use it’s defense mechanism.

Moles are another animal that is well known to rummage around in your garden, and squirrels can do the same. Despite what you may have read or heard, squirrels don’t just store their nuts and seeds in the trees. They also use small holes in the ground, usually beneath a tree, and they will dig up the spot to get to the food when they need to.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
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