What Is Digging Up My Lawn At Night?

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There are a variety of animals that could be digging up your lawn at night. If I have to be specific about what is digging up my lawn at night, I suggest you go through this article. Some of the most common culprits include raccoons, skunks, rats, opossums, and armadillos.

These animals have strong legs and claws that allow them to dig through the soil easily. They are also attracted to the insects and other small creatures that live in the soil.

If you’re wondering, the small mammals digging up your lawn at night would most probably be moles. These creatures spend their days underground, only coming to the surface to eat and dig. 

Classification of animals

Digging animals

Digging animals is a common sight in many gardens. These animals dig holes in the lawn as access points to the tunnel networks they inhabit.

They have different markings on their bodies to help identify them, and moles are common on the heads, necks, and limbs of digging animals.

What is digging up my lawn at night?

The signs that an animal is digging near your home are that you are finding burrow entrances with fresh carvings around them. The animal is likely marking its territory to warn other animals away.

Small Burrowing Animals:

Small burrowing animals are common creatures that dig holes in the ground to create spaces to live underground.

The size and shape of the burrow can vary depending on the animal, but they typically have one or two entrances. While these animals can be a nuisance, they also play an important role in the environment.

The most common offenders are squirrels, ground squirrels, shrews, marmots, muskrats, prairie dogs, Norwegian rats, and kangaroo rats. These animals dig small holes for various reasons, such as finding food or shelter, forming nests, or hiding from predators. 

Big Burrowing Animals

Several different animals can be classified as burrowing mammals. These animals dig tunnels and holes in the ground to create their homes. Some of the most common examples include badgers and armadillos.

Badgers are members of the mustelid (or weasel) family and are known for their large, complex burrows.

Armadillos are the only living species in the genus Dasypus and are characterized by their armor-like shell. They often create extensive underground systems with multiple entrances and exits.

Foxes accommodate the dens of other animals. As the nights get longer and colder, foxes become more active in searching for a place to live. They often take over dens previously occupied by other animals, such as badgers, rabbits, or cats.

River otters live near bodies of water. These are some of the few mammals living in both salt and fresh water. These rodents can be found near rivers, lakes, and estuaries.

What is digging up my lawn at night?

It is a question that homeowners all over the world ask. There are a variety of animals that could be responsible for the behavior, including but not limited to raccoons, opossums, armadillos, and skunks. It is important to look at the evidence left behind.

So, what should homeowners do if they notice holes and tunnels in their yard? The first thing is to try and identify what type of animal is creating the holes. If it’s a rodent, there are a few things that you can do to deter them from coming back.

Putting up a fence or using traps may help rid the rodents. Hiring a professional may be the best option if it’s something else, such as gophers or moles.

The mole

The mole is a small, subterranean animal that lives in tunnels. It has strong legs and claws, but its main defense against predators is its voracious appetite. The mole can eat up to 50% of its body weight in one day, and this helps it avoid being eaten by other animals.

Moles are a common problem for homeowners, as they can damage yards and gardens with their strong paws. You can use some tricks to try to scare or locate moles.

One is using devices that make sounds and noises, such as a vibrating stake or an electronic mole chaser. Another is using scents to repel them, such as castor oil or peppermint extract.

A Mole in the burrow

The Groundhog

The Groundhog is a rodent that is closely related to squirrels. It is the largest member of the Sciuridae family and is well adapted to cold climates. They are most commonly found in North America, known as Punxsutawney Phil, the Groundhog who predicts the weather.

The groundhog is a herbivorous animal that feeds on a variety of plants, such as herbs, wild berries, and roots. They live in colonies with their mates and young.

Groundhogs use sounds to communicate danger and are mainly preyed on by birds such as crows, owls, or golden eagles.


The skunk is the main culprit, which is a medium-sized mammal that ranges in color from black to white. They live in caves and have a very strong smell released from their anal glands. Skunks are commonly found throughout North America.

Skunks are solitary animals that only cross boundaries during mating season. This means that if you see a skunk in your yard, it is most likely there for one of two reasons: to mate or to scavenge.

If you see a skunk in your yard and it is not mating season, the best thing to do is scare it away by making loud noises or spraying it with a hose.


Raccoons are small, older, and thicker than cats, with medium-long, silver-gray hair. They have a dark stain from the cheek to the eye, which is almost exclusive to this species and makes it very recognizable.

Raccoons can be found throughout North America and are commonly seen in urban areas.

Raccoons are native to North America and live in various habitats, including forests, marshes, prairies, and mountains. They are omnivorous mammals that eat various things in their natural habitats, such as frogs, fruits, insects, and small animals.

However, when they move into cities and suburbs, they rely on garbage bins to get food since food is abundant there.

Racoons waiting for its food


Rats are a common pest and can be found all over the world. They often live in close proximity to humans, as they need easy access to food and shelter. Rats will burrow underground to get food and can create extensive tunnel systems.

Rat burrows are typically located near dense vegetation and under bushes, where they are well-protected from predators. Rats leave greasy residue behind when they move around, which can help you identify their presence.

In addition to being known for their pests, rats are also notorious for spreading disease. One of the primary ways they do this is by leaving greasy residues on food and surfaces. This grease can contain germs that can cause several dangerous diseases in humans and other animals.


Rabbits can be very destructive, and their droppings can spread harmful diseases. They can contaminate food, water supplies, and property.

Rabbits can be a nuisance for homeowners because they dig up lawns at night in search of food and can also attract predators.

Baby rabbit live in the soil cavity.

How do you identify burrowing animal holes?

One of the easiest ways to identify burrowing animals’ holes is by looking for molehills.

Moles are known for creating raised mounds of dirt as they tunnel underground, and these mounds can be a giveaway that there is an animal hole somewhere in your yard.

How do you get rid of them?

An effective way to get rid of these animals is to reduce their hiding places. It is done by cutting down on dense vegetation or placing deterrents around and inside their burrows.

Some popular deterrents include mothballs, peppermint oil, hot sauce, and dryer sheets.

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds have a strong smell that deters moles. Moles are known to be very sensitive to smells, so scattering coffee grounds around your lawn is a great way to keep them away.

In order to keep your lawn free of critters, you will need to place coffee grounds daily in an effort to maintain the scent. The coffee grounds will also help fertilize your lawn and keep the grass healthy.

Epsom salts

Epsom salt is a type of salt made up of magnesium and sulfate. It is soluble, meaning it will leach into waterways if used in large quantities. There is no scientific evidence that this can deter pests. In fact, it may even have the opposite effect and cause more harm than good.

Magnesium helps them grow in a healthy way. You may use Epsom salt to increase the magnesium levels in the soil.

Keeping Animals Out of Gardens Naturally

There are a variety of animals that you can find in yards and gardens, and many homeowners want to know how to keep them out. One common problem is that grubs, the larvae of beetles, can attract wildlife like moles and raccoons.

While there are several ways to deal with grubs, the most effective is to make your yard as uninhabitable as possible for them. However, this technique would only work if you have moles in your yard.

Though eliminating grubs from your lawn may discourage moles from setting up their home in your yard, it is important to remember that a mole’s diet comprises a variety of insects, worms, and other invertebrates found in the yard.

Therefore, getting rid of all the food sources for the moles will not be effective in keeping them out of your garden.

Are There Animals That Live Underground but Don’t Burrow?

Animals that live underground but don’t actually burrow. Possums, for example, will move into abandoned holes once the previous residents have vacated them.

This is just one example—many different creatures make their homes belowground.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers, such as mesh, fences, or walls, can effectively keep away unwanted pests. The barrier should be at least 30 inches deep and six inches off the ground to be effective.

Consider installing a physical barrier as an affordable way to deter animals from your property. Many different barriers are available, but the most common are wire mesh and wire cages. These barriers are easy to install and can be done as a DIY project.


There is no one guaranteed way to stop raccoons or digging animals from entering your garden, but there are various other methods that you can try to reduce their impact.

By using a combination of the methods suggested in this guide, you will have the best chance of success in reducing the number of raccoons on your property.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.