What Animal Is Digging Holes In My Yard At Night?

  • Author: Carl
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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What animal is digging holes in my yard at night? If you’re noticing annoying holes being dug in your yard overnight, the most likely culprit are skunks, voles,and moles. These notorious diggers can cause everything from mounds of bare dirt to holes large enough to prove a tripping hazard. 

Animals that visit our yard in the daytime like squirrels are easy to identify, but the nighttime diggers are both more mysterious and more annoying.

How can you prevent something you can never identify?

In order to assist you in battling yard-destroying nocturnal visitors, we have compiled a list of the most notorious animals that could dig in your yard at night, as well as providing some helpful tips on how to prevent these animals in the future. 

Skunks: Why Are Skunks Digging Up My Yard At Night?

Skunk in backyard
Food skunk love

Skunks may be smelly, but one of the lesser known annoyances of having them around is that, under the cover of dark, they love to dig through a freshly manicured lawn.

Skunks dig up yards at night to hunt for grubs and worms, which are some of their favorite foods. Skunks can travel in small groups, and one group of skunks can tear up a small yard in a single evening. 

Even worse, if you have a porch or a shed that a skunk can hide beneath, they may choose to take up permanent residence in your yard, putting you and your pets at risk for being sprayed.

What Are The Best Ways To Keep Skunks Away?

To deter skunks from skulking around, follow some of these preventative measures: 

  • Motion activated lights: Skunks are nocturnal and easily frightened. A motion activated flood light will both frighten the skittish skunk and deter them from coming back to hunt, since they prefer the dark. 
  • Predator Urine: Skunks aren’t small animals, but they are still prey for some larger animals. Because of their place on the food chain, we can easily deter them with a perimeter of predator urine, like coyote urine. Predator urine can be found at most outdoor and hunting stores. 

Voles: Why Do I Have Voles In My Yard?

Why Do I Have Voles In My Yard?
Why Do I Have Voles In My Yard?

Less common but just as destructive as their better known relative, the mole, voles are small, nearly blind rodents that love to dig up lawns and gardens.

Voles prefer to eat vegetation, and will feed on young plants and shrubs in gardens at night. They tunnel, and their tunnels can destroy yards. Voles prefer a messy yard, including ones with heavy vegetation. 

Voles dig their tunnels as close to the surface of the ground as possible, since they enjoy feeding on grass.

After a long night of digging these shallow tunnels and grazing, the signs of a vole in your yard can be all too apparent. 

What Are The Best Ways To Keep Voles Away?

To keep voles away during the night, check out these methods of prevention: 

  • Keep a tidy yard: Voles prefer to live and feed in areas of heavy vegetation, so keep scrub bushes cleaned up and your yard mowed, and voles will be less likely to come and visit. 
  • Buried fencing: Wire mesh fencing can keep voles from eating your plants, but since they love to each roots too, you’ll need to bury your wire fence 6 to 10 inches beneath the ground for the best protection.

Moles: How Do I Get Rid Of Moles In My Yard At Night?

Where voles may make small tunnels that can appear unsightly, moles can destroy your yard in a big way.

How Do I Get Rid Of Moles In My Yard At Night?
Moles

These blind rodents can cause everything from volcano-shaped mounds of bare dirt to huge, sprawling trails of bare earth where they have tunneled. 

To prevent moles, the most important step is to cut off their food source. Moles love to eat worms and grubs, and if your yard has none, moles are much less likely to make their home there.

With moles, many homeowners have to resort to trapping, which must be done by a professional and can be expensive.


If Possible: It’s best to prevent the moles from coming around in the first place. 


What Are The Best Ways To Keep Moles Away? 

How to Draw a Cute Sleeping Fox
How to Draw a Cute Sleeping Fox

Here’s a little information on how to keep the grass annihilating mole away: 

  • Kill and prevent bugs that moles feed on: Moles prefer soft, squishy bugs like earthworms and grubs. If you can keep those types of bugs from making a home in your yard, then you’ve already taken the best step possible in keeping the moles away. Moles won’t want to come to a yard with no food sources. 
  • Don’t over water: Speaking of grubs and worms, they love nothing more than a yard full of moist soil. Earthworms and grubs can’t tunnel through dry soil, and will flock to areas of heavy moisture, so to keep moles from finding a personal buffet in your garden, don’t over water! 

In Conclusion

Nighttime yard visitors are fine when they just pop in for a quick hello, but once they start digging up your yard, it becomes a problem!

In order to banish these annoying animals, first you have to identify them. 

The animals most likely to dig up your yard at night are:

  • Skunks
  • Voles
  • Moles

Avoid plentiful food for these nocturnal animals, and use preventative deterrents like fencing and motion-activated lights, and your lawn will look perfect for many mornings to come. 

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