Whether you prefer a carefully manicured lawn or take a laid-back approach to lawn care, it can be frustrating when wildlife dig holes in your yard. And when it comes to digging, there are quite a few potential wildlife culprits—thirteen-lined ground squirrels, woodchucks, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, and, in southern Illinois, armadillos. Tree squirrels will also dig small holes in yards to bury acorns and nuts.
Most shallow digging is caused by animals foraging for grubs or insects under the grass. Treating the lawn for grubs can prevent or lessen future damage. In some cases there are not many holes and the small patches can be reseeded, but sometimes wildlife do extensive damage to lawns. In these cases, you may need to have new sod laid down.
During warmer months, rabbits will dig nests in lawns. The holes are shallow (less than four inches deep) and about the size of a woman’s hand. The young rabbits will leave the nest in about three weeks, at which point the nest can be filled in with soil and reseeded with grass.
Many different animals dig burrows to raise their young in and to protect themselves from predators or weather. These burrows often have soil piled up at the entrance where the animal has excavated the soil below.