Animal Digging Up My Lawn


This is likely a very seasonal problem usually associated with periods of heavy rain or over-watering.  The animals are merely digging up grubs that come close to the surface of the soil when the ground is wet. As soon as the soil dries out, the grubs will descend, the animals won’t smell them, and grubbing activity will cease. Although unsightly, this activity will not permanently damage the lawn or kill the grass.

The best solution is to rid your lawn of the grubs, rather than the animals, because the grubs will continue to be an attractive food source to many wild animals.  A long term, ecological solution is to apply the product "Grub Away Nematodes" to your lawn (  Nematodes are tiny, microscopic organisms that target both japanese beetle grubs as well as the masked chafer beetle grubs.  Nematodes are non-toxic and an envinronmentally sound choice for grub control.

“Milky Spore” is another ecologically sound product, found at most local garden stores, that can be applied to the soil in your yard to control grubs. This natural bacteria will spread and get rid of the grubs, but it takes a long time to work (1+ years).

Some temporary repellents include sprinkling cayenne pepper on the lawn, or spraying a homemade mix of 1 cup castor oil, 1 cup liquid dish soap, mixed with a gallon of water (in a spray can) to specifically deter skunks from grubbing in certain areas.

We don’t recommend chemical pesticides due to their toxic effect on the environment, people and animals.


Squirrels will also occasionally dig holes in peoples' lawns.  The good news is that this digging is also a seasonal phenomenon, and rarely causes significant damage to lawns.  Squirrels bury nuts in the ground for later retrieval during the winter and early spring months.  Interestingly, the squirrels that bury the nuts are not usually the ones that dig them up since squirrels retrieve nuts using their keen sense of smell – not memory!

The easiest solution is to wait a few weeks and let the problem end on its own.  However, if you absolutely must prevent squirrels from digging in your yard, you can sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the affected areas.