Squirrels are small rodents that mainly live in open areas with many plants or trees to forage for food, hide, escape predators, and give birth to their young. For these reasons, they may also invade your lawn or yard. After taking up a residence on your property, squirrels will dig holes in the ground for the purpose of storing food.
On the other hand, the underground burrows of ground squirrels also serve as a shelter from predators and the elements, and a place where they rest, sleep, nest, and raise their young.
Keep reading to understand more about why squirrels are digging in your yard.
Do Squirrels Dig Holes In The Ground, And Why?
Yes, after invading your lawn or yard, the squirrels will start digging holes in the ground, especially around plants or shrubs. These aninmals will dig these holes for various reasons such as:
− Preparing for winter
Due to the adverse weather conditions during the winter, squirrels spend most of the time sleeping and snug in their nests, but they have to eat. Thus, during the fall, they spend more time looking for the right food they like eating and they will store it for future consumption. After getting the extra food, they’ll spend part of the fall making holes in your garden or lawn to store the excess food they will use in the winter. Typically, these squirrels will hide plants and nuts in the holes in your ground.
− Reminder for the food location
Some studies reveal that squirrels have up to two years of memory lifespan, varying from one squirrel species to another. Thus, after burying their food, most squirrels tend to forget the exact place where they hid their food supply when winter arrives. However, due to their smartness, they will dig at the same place multiple times within this period just to remind themselves of the exact location.
− Searching for other squirrel’s food reservoirs
Squirrels can dig holes in your landscape also to look for food that other squirrels have stored and steal it. They understand that as we approach winter, most squirrels will bury food for future use when they’ll need to be staying in their nests. Thus, they will search for the food, eat it right away, or most likely, transfer it to their storage points.
− To deceive thieves or the neighbor squirrel
Being clever animals, squirrels understand that the other squirrels can access their food storage and steal it as well. Thus, they trick the other thief squirrels by digging multiple holes as a protective mechanism. These multiple holes make it challenging for the thief squirrel to know the exact location where the stored food has been buried.
Can Squirrels Damage Your Yard and Lawn? What Does the Damage Look Like?
Squirrels are very troublesome and destructive rodents for most gardeners and homeowners. Once they invade your lawn and yard, they can do a lot of damage to the landscape as well as to the plants and crops in your garden.
The damage caused by squirrels may include:
− Destroyed ornamental and food-bearing plants
Most squirrels will target your freshly planted seedbeds, and garden plants especially the food-bearing and ornamental plants. These plants include grains, as well as nut trees like walnuts, and fruit trees like oranges or apples. They will destroy these plants in search of food.
In addition, some squirrel species devour vegetables in their growing stages. They also damage the vines, trees and young shrubs by burrowing around their roots, girdling trunks, or gnawing on their bark.
− Destruction of the landscape and other yard features
Squirrels can destroy the landscape of your yard and other features through their notorious burrowing habits. Their holes look unattractive on your lawn and may later become tripping hazards for you.
What Do Squirrel Holes Look Like?
Animal holes popping up all over your yard, especially in the fall, can destroy your lawn and make it look ugly. However, with the numerous animals and rodents roaming on your grass, you might find it hard to identify which animal is responsible for the hole.
The most appropriate way to identify a squirrel hole is by looking at the size of the hole and the soil consistency. Most squirrel holes are tiny, about 4 inches in diameter and are shallow. The main differentiating feature between the squirrel and other rodent holes, for example those made by moles or gophers, is the amount of soil surrounding the hole. The squirrel holes have little to no soil around their entrance.
However, some species like the ground squirrels can dig extensive burrows that are approximately 6 feet deep, 15 to 20 feet long, and have multiple entrances.
If you don’t know what to do about these wild critters destroying your yard, contact Wildlife Troopers for help! We are experts at removing wildlife from yards in South Florida. So don’t hesitate, get in touch today to request a free quote or make an appointment.