How to Stop Squirrels Digging Up Your Lawn

If your garden is full of wildlife, you’re doing something right. However, if you’ve noticed that the local squirrels have been digging up your lawn during their visits, you’re probably not very happy about it.

While a few holes and buried nuts won’t cause too much of an issue, squirrels and their antics could end up creating gaping holes across your lawn. This exposed soil can leave your grass prone to weeds, which can quickly sap the nutrients from your grass.

If you want to stop squirrels from digging holes and burying nuts in your lawn, here are some friendly ways to send them elsewhere.

Why Do Squirrels Dig Up Your Lawn?

Squirrels usually dig holes in your lawn to bury food, like nuts and seeds. They often do this as a way of hiding it so they can return to eat it later. 

However, squirrels have been known to forget where they bury things. So the holes you see on your lawn could be from squirrels burying, un-burying – or both.

Squirrel digging grass

Are Squirrels Bad for Your Lawn?

When squirrels dig up your lawn to bury food, the most damage it usually does is create a few holes in your grass. While this isn’t great and can look unsightly, it isn’t a huge issue. 

The biggest problem you’ll have from squirrels digging up your lawn is that weeds will grow in the gaps or little trees can sprout from the seeds they plant. The good news is that if you catch sprouts when they are small, they’ll be very easy to pull up.

How to Stop Squirrels From Digging Up Your Lawn Without Harming Them

There are lots of simple ways to stop squirrels from digging up your lawn that won’t do them any harm. Here are six easy things you can try.

1. Install Fake Predators

Squirrels view dogs, foxes, cats and even owls as predators. If you don’t have any pets that can ward off squirrels, installing fake predators has been known to do the trick. By scattering a few owl or fox figurines in your garden and around the lawn, it can deter squirrels from dropping in.

2. Spray Deterring Scents

If the dummy predators aren’t working, you can take things a step further and spray deterring scents around your garden. Some smells, like fox urine, can be purchased from garden centres and are popular amongst people wanting to keep squirrels away. 

If you’d prefer to make your own deterring scent, garlic is a great natural remedy that can also ward off squirrels. Just be mindful that it can also scare away other things, like slugs, mosquitos and aphids. 

Garlic spray

3. Keep the Lawn Clear

If you have trees in or around your garden that are constantly dropping nuts and other debris onto your lawn, this could be the thing that’s luring in the squirrels.

If this is the case, keep your lawn clear and make sure you’re cleaning up any debris as quickly as possible. When the squirrels visit and they can’t find any food, they’re more likely to just move along to the next garden.

4. Keep Bins Tightly Sealed

The key to getting rid of squirrels is to remove anything that’s drawing them in. If you keep your bins in the back garden, any lingering smells or even food droppings can attract them.

To prevent unwanted visitors, make sure you keep your bins tightly sealed and clean them out regularly to prevent strong odours.

5. Install Netting

One of the best ways to protect your lawn from squirrels digging holes is to cover it up with protective netting. Netting is mostly used to prevent birds from pecking newly sown grass seeds. But it’s also great for warding off squirrels if they’ve become a problem in your garden.


6. Add Feeders (Or Remove Them Altogether!)

There’s nothing squirrels love more than indulging in bird feed when they’re not supposed to. If you don’t mind having the furry creatures in your garden, you could create a distraction away from your lawn by adding a squirrel mix to your feeders. 

However, if you’d prefer to keep squirrels away from your garden entirely, it may be a good idea to remove all feeders – including any you have for the birds. The fewer reasons squirrels have to visit your garden, the less likely they are to dig up your lawn.

How to Tell If Squirrels Are Burying Nuts in Your Lawn

Holes can appear on your lawn for many reasons. It could be squirrels, but it could also be wasps, skunks, groundhogs, moles or even digger bees.

If you haven’t seen any squirrels in your grass, you can usually tell if they are the culprits if the holes are small, shallow and there are lots of them clustered together. You can also check to see whether there’s a nut or seed buried in it. 

If you can’t be sure what’s digging up your lawn, you could install an outdoor camera overnight to see if it catches the culprit on film. 

How to Fix Squirrel Holes in Your Lawn

While they may be a pain to deal with, the good news is that squirrel holes are pretty easy to fix. To patch them up, simply scatter a few grass seeds into the holes and lightly cover them with soil. It’s best to do this during spring or autumn, as this is when grass seed yields the best results.

Just make sure you’ve put measures in place to get rid of the squirrels from digging up your garden first. Otherwise, they may be attracted to the grass seed and you’ll be back to where you started! 


Squirrels can be annoying to deal with if they’re constantly digging up your lawn – especially if you take great pride in your grass. The good news is that it’s usually easy to figure out what’s attracting squirrels to your garden and removing the temptations. By applying these non-invasive ways of getting rid of squirrels, you should have a lawn that’s free of holes in no time!

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