The Mystery of the Ground: Why Do Squirrels Dig Holes ?

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Squirrels dig holes in gardens or yards that are consistently two inches across, shallow, and have little to no surrounding soil. These kinds of gaps are unique to squirrels that only squirrels can dig and distinguish them from other rodents. Now the question is Why Do Squirrels dig Holes?

Squirrels dig a hole of two inches into the ground to find food, such as roots and bloom bulbs. They store their food for winter use in some of the holes they dig.

Another reason is to keep the food that squirrels store for future use safe from other creatures, they will occasionally burrow a hole and not put any food inside to manipulate other animals. Perused the article below to know more.

Why Do Squirrels Dig Holes In Flower Pots?

Squirrels Dig Holes In Flower Pots

Squirrels dig holes in the flower pots for food. The primary purpose of a squirrel’s digging in pots is to bury food in securely hidden pots, such as nuts, seeds, or acorns.

Because potting soil is soft and easy for squirrels to dig in, flowerpots are ideal for digging to get secure food from them.

Most likely, people will discover their delicious hidden stock of treasure buried a few inches almost 8 cm deep in flower pots and flower containers. Unfortunately, the squirrels may dig up bulbs or chew on delicate flowers or potted plants.

They are a few ways to keep squirrels away from potted flower plants. Spray or put something squirrels dislike into the potting soil. Garlic water spray, pepper, vinegar water spray, red pepper, and peppermint oil in water spray are examples of natural deterrents for squirrels.

Why Do Squirrels Dig Holes In The Ground?

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Squirrels are rummaging creatures that search out and store food until they are prepared to eat. Squirrels will at times do this around evening time, however, very generally, they show most of their activity during the day.

While there may not be a lot of food in the grass in the garden, other than a couple of seeds or bulbs, squirrels will regularly dig a hole around the ground to make openings for putting away their food.

Notwithstanding, the squirrel can be a significant irritation on the ground. It can unleash devastation in the ground through burrowing, also the stylish issues that an enormous number of openings will cause.

Squirrel dig holes are a significant mark of interruption and can be unsettling for homes and entrepreneurs. In addition to being unappealing, holes can cast doubt on the underlying respectability of walkways, decks, and building establishments, among other more serious issues.

Why Do Squirrels Dig Holes In Yards?

Squirrels Dig Holes In Yards

Yes, tree squirrels dig holes in a yard that is only an inch deep almost 1 inch, and no bigger than a size of a coin just big enough to store food for future use such as seeds, nuts, and other edibles.

Because there won’t be as much food available for the squirrel to eat during the winter, grey squirrels, Southern flying squirrels, and red squirrels make this food storage in hole form by digging in yards.

Property owners shouldn’t be concerned about extensive damage to the outside in yards because of squirrel holes as these holes are so small and shallow. In most cases, squirrel holes in yards don’t cause long-term harm because they are just an inch deep.

This can be a big problem for anyone trying to keep their garden/yard looking perfect and beautiful but squirrels do refill the caches with mud.

Why Do Squirrels Dig Holes In Mulch?

Squirrels Dig Holes In Mulch

Ground squirrels and tree squirrels both dig holes in mulch. They will bite on plants and crops and cause different vast amounts of damage in the garden by diving into any sort of mulch. These holes in mulch are challenging to control because of the enormous number of squirrel babies they produce at one time.

Besides, when a region has been gotten free from present squirrels and their babies, more squirrels will rapidly move into this place. Tree squirrels dig a large number of holes in any sort of mulch to store food such as seeds, nuts, or corn portions for the colder time of year.

They additionally uncover and eliminate new plants. On the other hand, any sort of mulch can be utilized by ground squirrels to make their tunnels, which damages especially dries out plant roots.

Do Squirrels Dig Holes In Gardens?

Squirrels Dig Holes In Gardens

Yes, Squirrels dig holes in gardens. Squirrels dig holes in the garden to store seeds or hide food for later use, especially in winter, squirrels enjoy digging holes in the soil of gardens and planting flower pots.

Here are some indications that squirrels are wreaking havoc: In flower pots and planting beds, little holes, stale fruit or stale flowers, if plants are missing, seed heads that have been eaten.

Do Squirrels Dig Holes In Trees?

Squirrels Dig Holes In Trees

Squirrels rarely make holes in the tree, but they occasionally exploit other pre-existing cracks, such as old wood. Additionally, squirrels will chew trees to get to the sweet fluid just beneath the bark, usually where the bark is rotten or a dead branch has fallen from the tree.

On healthy trees, squirrel tree damage is generally zero percent. Even though it rarely happens, removing too much bark from a branch’s perimeter can damage the branch and restrict the flow of sugars.

If fungal infections enter the damaged wood, the bark may be damaged as well as the whole tress. Broad-leaved trees are the most vulnerable to squirrel damage. Again, tree damage caused by squirrels is uncommon.

A healthy tree is very resistant to damage from squirrels, so taking proper care of trees is the most effective way to reduce squirrel tree damage. Properly water, fertilize, and prune. Wrap a sheet of tin around the whole tree to keep squirrels from climbing it.

Do Squirrels Dig Holes At Night?

No squirrels do not dig during nighttime. When burying food, squirrels will dig holes during the daytime. Raccoons and skunks only work at night. Squirrels only work during the day, so if holes appear overnight, it’s not a squirrel that digs the hole.

The first sign of grubs in the lawn is the emergence of brown patches with a diameter of two to three inches (dead lawn grass). If the spots grow in size and even join, this indicates that grubs are expanding their feeding area.

Verify the presence of grubs by preparing a solution of 4 Tablespoons liquid dish detergent in 2 gallons of water and sprinkling it over a one-yard square affected area.

Both the adjacent green area and the brown area should receive some of the mixtures.

Do Squirrels Dig Holes To Poop?

No, squirrels do not dig holes to poop. Squirrels poop in a variety of different kinds of places, including the gaps between houses, inside hollow trees, around bird feeders, inside homes and buildings, and in warehouses.

As squirrels can poop while they are moving, there will be droppings all over the place they are moving.

Squirrel poop is both smooth and dark brown, and some are slightly larger. Squirrel poop is approximately 9mm in diameter, cylindrical in shape, and has rounded edges.

They tend to lighten with age and change color to brown. The main difference between the poop of squirrels and the poop of other animals is their distinct odor, which is caused by their diet.

The smell of squirrel poop and urine can lead to mold growth and cause different diseases. When squirrels’ poop is present, they frequently carry diseases, flea and tick infestations, and allergic reactions to their fur.

How To Stop Squirrels Dig Your Lawn and Garden?

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To make the garden and lawn unappealing to squirrels to keep them out of the garden/yard. Here’s a strategy for stopping squirrels dig lawns and gardens.

Electronic Gadgets

Several electronic gadgets have been used to keep squirrels from damaging gardens and lawns. Since squirrels are too intelligent to be left alone in gardens and lawns, the success of these devices depends entirely on the people who use them. They are not simple to switch a gadget on and then go it.

When the squirrel is initially very alert to something new around them. However, squirrels and their babies will soon realize that the noise or water jet is not a sign of danger for them, which is where people come in.

Mesh Made Of Wire


Although Mesh wire won’t fully protect the lawn/garden, installing wire mesh around flower beds in the garden might be a good idea if squirrels are digging up flower beds in search of bulbs and nuts.

Before the first attack of squirrels emerges in the garden, wire mesh can be placed over the flower bed to keep squirrels away from the bulbs. The good news is that plants and flowers will not be affected because they will grow regardless of wire mesh.

In terms of flower bulbs, wire mesh is a hassle but a great deterrent to staying away from squirrels.

Strong Smell To Keep Squirrels Away From Garden

garlic and chilies

Squirrels dislike the taste and smell of chili peppers and mint, which are common home remedies for repelling squirrels from gardens and yards. Use essential oils to produce a smell and taste that deter squirrels.

Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, and when they encounter something they truly dislike, they quickly move away from that place.

Squirrels also detest garlic and chilies, so they can make an effective homemade repellent to spray in the garden to keep squirrels from digging. Boil some garlic and chilies, blend them in the mixer, and spray liberally in the garden area.

Scents Of Predators


Another way to keep the squirrel away from the garden in scent the predators of squirrels. Foxes, and owls, are squirrel predators, and their scent is enough to scare off squirrels from digging in the garden and keep them out of the garden.

 Fox scents are available to buy in stores and online to spray on lawn/garden/yard, which will make squirrels think twice about burying their food in the garden. The added benefit of using a product like Scoot is that it will also keep other animals away such as foxes.

Predator Impersonator

This one might seem a bit unconventional and an old way to keep squirrels away from the garden, but it works. Buy a fake owl and fox and move them around the garden regularly to deter squirrels.

Owls and foxes are natural squirrel predators, and squirrels will avoid an area if they believe an owl is watching them so it is a pretty good idea to keep squirrels away from digging in the garden.

Purchase A Dog


A dog is a great deterrent to squirrels to keep squirrels away from digging a hole in the garden and burying food because they are less likely to be around in the garden when the dog is present.

Along with the presence of dogs, the scent of the dogs’ urine will be repulsive to the other rodents too.

Any dog will do, but a fast and lively dog does this job more perfectly. The squirrels are unaware that dogs are chasing them in the garden because he doesn’t want to eat them instead, dogs just want to play with squirrels sometime.

Remove Easy Food Sources

Squirrels are hungry feeders, so gather and collect fallen nuts, fruits, and seeds from gardens and yards.

One more tip to keep squirrels away from the garden is to tightly secure trash can lids to stop squirrels from digging a hole and store this food in holes and bury food scraps deeply in compost piles.

Although squirrels are natural diggers especially in gardens and yards, covering the soil around flower plants with a layer of mulch, is another amazing way to discourage digging and help protect seedlings in gardens.

Make It Difficult To Climb Feeders

Another way to keep the squirrels away from gardens for a short period is by attaching hardware cloth, around the base of feeders such as:

  • Aluminum pipes
  • Plastic pipe
  • Netting
  • Mesh wire screening
  • Chicken wire
  • Plastic bottles

This may keep squirrels away for a short time from gardens and yards.

Other Methods To Deter Squirrels

1- Squirrels Are Deterred To Dig Holes In Garden By Certain Flowers


Few species are rarely used to keep the squirrels away from yards/gardens such as peppermint and daffodils. These have reportedly been effective not only in repelling squirrels from gardens but also cockroaches, mice, rats, and a variety of other rodents.

But the fact is that the scent of any flower rarely deters any animal including squirrels. There are some exceptions. Lavender, for example, is extremely effective at repelling moths.

However, it is not good to advise against relying solely on a flower’s fragrance to scare away squirrels and other pests.

2-MaxMoxie Ultrasonic Repeller for squirrels

Ultrasound is used in the patented system to disorient and disturb squirrels, preventing them from feeding or nesting and driving them away. Ants, bed bugs, roaches, spiders, mosquitoes, and rodents are all effectively repelled.

Humans and domestic pets cannot hear ultrasonic sounds. Environmentally friendly, as there are no poisons, traps, or dead pests, and it is non-toxic and tasteless.

Simply plug the ultrasonic pest repellent into the wall near the garden. It will then start emitting various frequencies. It is normal for squirrels to multiply at first as they flee their homes as a result of the ultrasonic attack.

3- The Motion Activated Movement Use To Deter Squirrels

A motion-activated sprinkler will keep the squirrel away when it enters the yard and not let them dig in the garden. Motion-activated movements not only keep the squirrels away but also chase many other pests, squirrels are extremely athletic and can make sharp turns.

Sprinklers and other motion-activated devices that move in the same pattern regularly are simple for them to avoid.

They’ll become accustomed to it and burrow anyway in the gardens. So using these devices is not a good idea to keep the squirrels away from gardens.

4- Bonide Squirrel Repellent

Bonide Squirrel spray effectively deters and manages squirrels and other rodents around gardens and yards. The area around bird feeders, to which squirrels and their babies are drawn, is a great place to use this outdoor Bonide squirrel repellent.

This spray has a blend of ingredients that irritates the squirrel’s nasal passages and drives them away from the garden. With no harm to other animals such as pets, this well-balanced mixture of natural ingredients offers the greatest level of repellency to squirrels in the garden.


Squirrels dig holes in gardens or yards that are two inches wide, shallow, and have little to no surrounding soil. These kinds of gaps are unique to squirrels and can only be dug by squirrels. Squirrels dig two-inch holes in the ground to find food-like roots and bloom bulbs.

Another reason is to protect the food that squirrels store for future use from predators. To keep squirrels out of gardens and yards, there is a variety of methods, some of which may be effective on their own while others may need to be used in tandem.

Keep in mind that trapping is not always the best solution to keep the squirrels away from gardens because it is illegal to relocate squirrels. If people can’t kill the squirrel humanely, people are not advised to trap squirrels.

NOTE: Keep in mind that trapping is not always the best solution to keep the squirrels away from gardens because it is illegal to relocate squirrels. If people can’t kill the squirrel humanely, people are not advised to trap squirrels.


Levi J Newediuk, James F Hare, Burrowing Richardson’s ground squirrels affect plant seedling assemblages via environmental but not seed bank changes, Current Zoology, Volume 66, Issue 3, June 2020, Pages 219–226.

Kachamakova M, Antonova V, Koshev Y. The role of ant nests in European ground squirrel’s (Spermophilus citellus) post-reintroduction adaptation in two Bulgarian mountains. Biodivers Data J. 2019 Oct 7.