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Home » Blog » Do Raccoons Dig Holes? Understanding Their Behavior and How to Manage It

Do Raccoons Dig Holes? Understanding Their Behavior and How to Manage It

Do Raccoons Dig Holes Understanding Their Behavior and How to Manage It

Raccoons, known for their mischievous and curious nature, often leave behind signs of their nocturnal activities. Among the many behaviors attributed to raccoons, digging holes is a common one that can cause significant concern for homeowners. This comprehensive article delves into the reasons behind raccoons digging holes, the types of damage they can cause, and effective methods for managing and preventing their activities.

In addition to their digging habits, raccoons are highly adaptable and intelligent animals that thrive in both urban and rural environments. They have dexterous front paws, which they use to open containers, unlock latches, and access food sources that are typically out of reach for other wildlife. Their ability to forage for a wide variety of foods, including fruits, nuts, insects, and even small vertebrates, makes them formidable survivors. Understanding these aspects of raccoon behavior can help homeowners develop more effective strategies to coexist with these clever creatures while minimizing the impact of their activities.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

do raccoons dig holes

Why Do Raccoons Dig Holes?

Raccoons dig holes for several reasons, primarily related to their survival and instinctual behaviors:

  1. Searching for Food: One of the most common reasons raccoons dig is to search for food. They are omnivores and their diet includes insects, grubs, worms, and other small invertebrates found underground. By digging, they can access these food sources.
  2. Creating Dens: Raccoons are known to create dens in various locations, including underground. These dens serve as safe places for resting, raising their young, and hiding from predators.
  3. Storing Food: In some cases, raccoons dig holes to store food for later consumption. This behavior is particularly common in areas where food sources are abundant.
  4. Curiosity and Play: Raccoons are naturally curious creatures. Sometimes, they dig simply out of curiosity or as part of playful behavior, especially younger raccoons.

Types of Damage Caused by Raccoon Digging


Lawn and Garden Damage

Raccoon digging can lead to noticeable damage in lawns and gardens. The most common signs of raccoon activity include:

  • Uprooted Plants: Raccoons can uproot plants while searching for insects and grubs.
  • Uneven Turf: Small to medium-sized holes can make the lawn uneven and unsightly.
  • Disrupted Soil: Soil disruption can affect the health of plants and grass, leading to patchy or dead areas.

Structural Damage

While less common, raccoons can cause structural damage through their digging activities:

  • Foundation Holes: In some cases, raccoons may dig near or under building foundations, potentially compromising structural integrity.
  • Damage to Outdoor Structures: Sheds, decks, and other outdoor structures can be affected if raccoons dig underneath them, leading to instability or collapse.

Impact on Other Wildlife

Raccoon digging can also impact other wildlife and ecosystems:

  • Displacement of Other Animals: By digging and creating dens, raccoons can displace other animals such as rabbits, groundhogs, and even certain bird species.
  • Altered Ecosystems: The disruption caused by raccoons can alter the natural balance of ecosystems, affecting the availability of resources for other animals.

Are you asking yourself if do raccoons dig holes in your yard?

Yes, raccoons do dig holes in yards. They often dig to search for food like insects and grubs, create dens, or out of curiosity. These activities can cause noticeable damage to lawns and gardens, including uprooted plants and uneven turf. Understanding why raccoons dig holes can help you take effective measures to prevent and manage their activity in your yard.

Preventing and Managing Raccoon Digging

why do raccoons dig holes

Home and Garden Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your home and garden can deter raccoons from digging:

  1. Secure Garbage and Food Sources: Raccoons are attracted to easily accessible food sources. Ensure garbage cans are securely closed and avoid leaving pet food outside overnight.
  2. Regular Lawn Care: Regularly mowing the lawn and maintaining a clean garden can reduce the presence of insects and grubs that attract raccoons.
  3. Use Fencing: Installing fences around gardens and vulnerable areas can help prevent raccoons from accessing and digging in these areas.

Repellents and Deterrents

Various repellents and deterrents can be effective in managing raccoon activity:

  • Motion-Activated Sprinklers: These devices can scare raccoons away by spraying water when motion is detected.
  • Natural Repellents: Substances such as hot pepper spray, predator urine, and garlic can deter raccoons. Apply these repellents around the perimeter of your garden and other affected areas.
  • Commercial Repellents: There are various commercial raccoon repellents available that use different methods, including scent and taste aversion.

Humane Trapping and Relocation

In some cases, trapping and relocating raccoons may be necessary:

  • Professional Services: It is advisable to hire professional wildlife control services to ensure humane trapping and relocation of raccoons. Critter Stop is a reputable company that offers high-quality, humane raccoon removal services.

Securing Potential Den Sites

Prevent raccoons from creating dens on your property by securing potential den sites:

  • Close Off Access: Seal any openings under decks, sheds, and crawl spaces where raccoons might create dens.
  • Use Hardware Cloth: Hardware cloth can be used to secure the base of structures, preventing raccoons from digging underneath.

Long-Term Solutions and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

do raccoons dig holes in your yard

Understanding Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a comprehensive approach to controlling pests, including raccoons, by combining multiple strategies to achieve long-term solutions. The goal of IPM is to manage pest populations at acceptable levels while minimizing the use of harmful chemicals and promoting environmental sustainability.

Implementing IPM for Raccoon Control

  1. Monitoring and Identification:
    • Regularly monitor your property for signs of raccoon activity, such as digging, tracks, and droppings.
    • Correctly identify raccoons as the source of the problem to ensure appropriate control measures are used.
  2. Cultural Controls:
    • Habitat Modification: Reduce the attractiveness of your property to raccoons by removing food sources, such as fallen fruit, pet food, and unsecured garbage.
    • Exclusion: Use physical barriers, such as fences and hardware cloth, to prevent raccoons from accessing vulnerable areas.
  3. Biological Controls:
    • Predator Presence: Encourage the presence of natural predators, such as dogs, which can deter raccoons from entering your property.
    • Beneficial Plants: Plant species that raccoons find unappealing, such as marigolds, which can act as a natural deterrent.
  4. Mechanical and Physical Controls:
    • Trapping: When necessary, humane traps can be used to capture and relocate raccoons. Always follow local regulations and consider professional assistance.
    • Motion-Activated Devices: Install motion-activated lights, sprinklers, or noise makers to scare raccoons away from your property.
  5. Chemical Controls:
    • Natural Repellents: Use natural repellents, such as hot pepper spray and garlic solutions, around garden beds and potential entry points.
    • Commercial Repellents: Select eco-friendly commercial repellents designed specifically for raccoons, ensuring they are safe for use around children and pets.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection


Consistent maintenance and inspection of your property play a crucial role in preventing raccoon activity:

  • Inspect Structures: Regularly check for and repair any openings, cracks, or weak points in structures where raccoons might gain entry.
  • Maintain Landscaping: Keep trees and shrubs trimmed, especially those near buildings, to prevent raccoons from using them as access points to roofs and attics.
  • Clean Up Debris: Remove piles of wood, leaves, and other debris that can provide shelter for raccoons.

Community Involvement and Education

Engaging your community in raccoon control efforts can enhance the effectiveness of IPM strategies:

  • Neighborhood Watch Programs: Establish neighborhood watch programs to monitor and report raccoon activity.
  • Educational Workshops: Organize workshops to educate residents about raccoon behavior, prevention techniques, and humane control methods.

Balancing Wildlife and Human Interaction

It’s essential to recognize that raccoons are part of the natural ecosystem, and complete eradication is neither feasible nor desirable. Striking a balance between wildlife and human interaction involves respecting raccoons' role in the environment while taking proactive measures to protect your property.

  • Respect Wildlife: Understand that raccoons play a role in controlling insect populations and spreading seeds, contributing to ecosystem health.
  • Promote Coexistence: Implement strategies that allow for coexistence, such as using non-lethal deterrents and promoting natural behaviors away from human habitats.

Professional Assistance and Support

When dealing with persistent or severe raccoon problems, professional assistance may be necessary:

  • Wildlife Control Experts: Hire licensed wildlife control experts who can provide humane and effective solutions tailored to your specific situation. Critter Stop, with its fantastic reputation and excellent customer reviews, offers high-quality work and great customer service for all your raccoon removal needs.
  • Pest Management Services: Consider enlisting pest management services that offer comprehensive IPM programs to address raccoon and other wildlife issues.

Final Thoughts

Raccoons, with their resourcefulness and adaptability, can present significant challenges for homeowners. By understanding their behavior and implementing a combination of prevention, deterrence, and humane control measures, it is possible to manage raccoon activity effectively. Integrated Pest Management offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach, ensuring long-term solutions that protect both your property and the natural ecosystem.

Maintaining vigilance, engaging your community, and seeking professional support when needed will help you achieve a harmonious balance between human habitation and wildlife presence.

For professional and humane raccoon removal services, we highly recommend Critter Stop.

Their team of experts will provide the high-quality work and great customer service you need to protect your home from raccoon damage.

Stop worrying about raccoons on your property and contact us at (214) 234-2616 to get a free estimate of our services. 

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
Susan Casey
Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
Karen Eckholdt
Karen Eckholdt
14:54 22 Sep 22
Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
Aaron Echols
Aaron Echols
13:51 03 Aug 22
The guys at Critter Stop responded quickly, were very friendly, and gave us an honest estimate of what we might need. They explained why some items on other quotes were or were not necessary. They communicated well to get us scheduled, and did the work well and quickly. Great service at a fair and competitive price.
Jacob Scribner
Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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