Landscapers / lawn workers - What is tearing up my lawn like this?

This happened virtually overnight. There are about 20 of these holes in my yard, grouped fairly closely together. The diameters of the holes are 1-2 inches.

This year is the first year we ceased treating for grubs, not sure if that is just coincidence.

Please specify your level of confidence with your response.



Last year I observed a skunk making holes like this in my yard at night. It was a lot of holes – entire sections of the yard. I assumed he was digging for grubs or other bugs to eat.

I don’t do grub treatment, but probably should based on the number of June bugs we see flying around.

As a kid, our front lawn was infested with gophers. They popped up overnight, or so it seemed. My level of confidence is 62.4% that’s what it is.

I had a ring like that around the front yard of a house I owned in Austin. It went along the sidewalk and driveway, it looked like there was an organic can opener used on the lawn. I was told that it was armadillos that did it.

My confidence level is low that armadillos are the source of your problem.

Crows tear up our yard like that digging for grubs. It looks like someone did a poor job thatching the lawn.

1-2" diameter holes sounds big for crows, so I’m doubtful. But high confidence it’s something digging for grubs. What’s in your neighborhood? Skunks? Raccoons? Opossums?

OP checking in after two minutes of intense research on the innertubes.

I had first dismissed the idea if it being grubs because I knew that the damage that grubs do results in brown patches, not holes.

But then, duh. Some creature is out there digging up the grubs that are thriving under my non-grub treated lawn.

May or may not be a skink, as @CaveMike proposes (and it’s certainly not an armadillo, @Ike_Witt. My research indicates that likely culprits are raccoons and crows.

So, it looks like the Grub Man is gonna come callin’ at the Mustard Shack.


Likely all three, but all I’ve ever actually seen are squirrels, rats, rabbits, lots of birds, and one single chipmunk.


Raccoons and skunks would do this on my lawn to get grubs.

If there are tracks going in various directions from the holes, you may have field mice, also known as voles. We had them last summer and they are a real challenge to get rid of. They can ruin your lawn in very short order. Any hardware store should carry an anti-vole treatment that you attach to your garden hose. Several treatments are needed.

We have 2" squirrel holes right now. I am 100% confident because squirrels.

If they’re just dead-end holes - a friend of mine in Vancouver had these all over the lawn, caused by racoons - I assume digging for grubs. I only saw a picture - so not very sure.

My in-laws had a pile of dead grass mound, about the size of a softball, which turned out to be covering a vole burrow with a couple of dead little babies in it. (but only one on the lawn) Unlikely.

Let the critters dig for grubs, winter is coming and they need the calories. Your lawn will recover just fine and probably benefit from the grub grubbing action.

Racoons looking for Crane Fly larva. There can be quite a few crane fly larva in a small patch of lawn. They live in the top few inches of the lawn.

Not In My Back Yard!



IME skunks love digging up grubs.

I too was going to guess armadillos but I take it that you don’t live in the American southwest.

If this isn’t a line from a delta blues song, something’s not right.

Refer to user name.

In my yard (FL), it seems to be armadillos primarily. And maybe possum.

Armadillo hunting for grubs. Especially if you are in the south. Confidence level? 70.35%.

Now that I read all the posts, I didn’t want a critter digging mystery spoiler… How do you know it’s not an armadillo? You live in the north?