How to Keep Animals From Digging in My Yard

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Many animals dig in yards.
Many animals dig in yards. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Homeowners, particularly gardeners, are frequently plagued by animals that dig in the yard. These animals can ruin flower beds, vegetable gardens and lawns. Many kinds of animals dig in yards, including stray dogs, rabbits, gophers and badgers. The only way to stop this is to add deterrents to make the yard undesirable. Even then, a few animals may sneak in occasionally. Keep up with the deterrents to continue discouraging new animals from finding your yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Mesh fencing
  • Fencing stakes
  • Cable ties
  • Wire mesh
  • Stakes
  • Motion sensor light
  • Spray deterrent

Erect a fence around the yard. Use appropriate fencing for the type of animal that is digging. For example, if you have rabbits, use a fencing that fits tightly to the ground and has small spaces between the boards or wire. You can even erect temporary fencing using fencing stakes, heavy wire mesh and cable ties. This works around a short-term vegetable or flower garden.

Lay wire mesh over a garden area before planting in the spring. Cover the entire area with mesh and the lay top soil over the mesh. Secure the mesh in place using stakes around the perimeter or a border of heavy rocks. Plant between the mesh holes when you sow your garden. The animals won't like how the mesh feels under their paws when they dig.

Install a motion sensor light that shines on the yard. This works particularly well for animals that dig at night. Point the light and sensor at a problem area. The light will startle and deter the digging animals.

Spray a deterrent around plants that the animals enjoy digging up. Commercial deterrents are available but gardeners also have luck with home recipes such as cayenne pepper mixed with water. Reapply the spray after a heavy watering, rain or every week or two because it will wear off.

Allow a cat or dog to run in the yard. Predator house pets keep animals away from the garden, particularly rabbits and other small animals. Even if they aren't out when the animals are digging they will mark their territory and deter the diggers. Cats and dogs can also cause problems digging so supervise them while they are in the yard.

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