Which animals dig holes in gardens?

Updated February 21, 2017

The appearance of holes in your front or back garden can occur suddenly and without warning. In some cases it might be a single hole, while in others there might be enough holes to nearly destroy the lawn and other plant life. These holes are often caused by animals who've taken residence in your garden. To prevent these holes from appearing, you must first determine what animals have a tendency to dig holes.


Numerous rodents will dig holes of various sizes in lawns. Squirrels are known to create holes that are 6 cm wide or less. They often will dig holes for the purpose of storing nuts. Rats, such as the Norway or borwn rat, will dig holes with an opening that is 6 to 9 cm wide, generally near shrubbery, piles of wood that may be in the yard or close to or under the home. Voles, look similar to small mice and will dig holes in areas of the lawn that have significant amounts of plant life. A vole typically creates holes around plant roots, and these holes are no larger than 4 cm wide.


Rabbits love to dig holes since they create burrows to live in underground, which can be an extensive system with more than one way in. In particular they like to target slopes and banks with good drainage. Rabbits can cause substantial damage as they dig holes can measure 15 cm or more in width. They often leave droppings at the entrance to the burrow.


One of the larger woodland mammals, the badger usually chooses a digging spot on sloping ground at the edge of woods. Given that these burly beasts carefully construct a complex array of chambers and interconnected tunnels with multiple entrances and their largish size, holes can measure 20 cm or more in width.


Moles are an animal from the soricommorpha order. It has large paddle-like feet with sharp claws which allow it to dig through the ground. In addition to holes, its digging also leaves visible tunnels and molehills. Several types of moles frequent gardens. The star-nosed mole and Eastern mole, for example, will often find their way to lawns and gardens and are more active at night.

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About the Author

Mai Bryant is a Northern California writer who specializes in writing about health-related topics, fashion and relationships. She began writing online in 2005 but has freelanced privately for more than 10 years. Bryant's eclectic professional background as a medical technician, a licensed cosmetologist, copywriter and event planner allows her to write with authority on numerous topics.