What Is Tearing up Your Lawn at Night?

What Is Tearing up My Lawn at Night?
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Do you often wake up and go outside to notice unsightly holes and piles of dirt that seem to have appeared overnight. You may be wondering what is tearing your lawn up at night.

There are several different nocturnal animals that hunt for grub worms at night, including racoons, rabbits, and skunks. These critters come out when nobody is around, and they dig holes for different reasons.

They go back to their hiding spots when the sun comes up and they rest until dusk before they start all over again.

It can certainly be interesting to understand the wildlife surrounding your home and what might be digging up your grass while you’re sleeping.

What Is Digging up the Lawn?

Different animals dig for different reasons, and it’s useful to know what kinds of animals you have in your garden if you want to try and deter them.


Racoons come out when people are sleeping, and they use their front paws to dig up your lawn. They will pull up large chunks of grass and turn them over to find the grub worms and other meals lurking underneath. They can leave areas of soil behind. 


Skunks are another nocturnal creature, and they make shallow holes where they loosen the soil. They dig down for grub worms and other food as well, but they don’t make the same kind of mess that a racoon makes. In spite of that, they can leave patches of missing grass behind, and you will know that they are there. 


Another nocturnal animal is the rabbit, and they make burrows while you are sleeping. Rabbits are aware of the dangers of being out during the day, so they burrow at night. They dig holes, but they tend to be in areas away from the center of the yard. Rabbits are less destructive, but they need these burrows to stay safe from predators.

What Is Tearing up Your Lawn at Night

Why Do These Animals Dig Your Lawn Up?

Animals dig your lawn up to find food or to seek shelter, and they often do it at night. It leaves behind a mess, and it can be dangerous if someone steps in a hole that is undetected. They can also damage trees and bushes if they dig too close to the roots.

Are These Animals Dangerous?

Some people find it creepy that wildlife is so active while they are sleeping, and they wonder if this poses any danger to their families. Most wild animals are not going to attack you as long as you leave them alone. Racoons and skunks do have the possibility of carrying rabies, so you do not want to interact with them. Rabbits are safe and more likely to run away from you than anything else. They do not tend to carry diseases, so they are harmless besides damaging your lawn and your garden.

Interacting with Skunks

If you have skunks in your yard, you probably know that they can spray. This is their defense mechanism, and they do it when they are afraid. If you have a dog or a cat, you might have encountered this odor before. It is hard to mistake and famous for being difficult to get rid of. When a skunk feels threatened by a human or an animal, they will hiss and try to scare you away. If that doesn’t work, they lift their tails and emit a horrible smelling liquid. 

Most people want to find a way to get rid of skunks because they spray, they can carry rabies, and they will dig up your yard. People don’t like to have them around. You shouldn’t approach a skunk because you run the risk of being sprayed at best and getting bitten if you back it into a corner.

Interacting with Racoons

It is universally accepted that you should not interact with racoons. They are also rabies carriers, and they are not friendly. If a racoon has rabies, you might notice it looking mangy and foaming at the mouth. They make strange noises and stagger around when they are sick. If you notice this, you should call a wildlife group or the police right away to have the racoon taken away. 

Racoons can cause other problems around your property. They are very clever, and they will get into your trash cans to see what kind of food they can find. They carry fleas and ticks, and they will fight with your cats and dogs.

Interacting with Rabbits

Rabbits are cute and don’t pose much of a threat besides digging burrows and eating your garden. Most people don’t worry too much about them. They are not aggressive, and they will run and hide if you approach them.

Grub Worms

Grub worms that live under your grass are the primary reason that these unwanted guests are digging up your lawn. In addition to being a meal, grub worms can damage your lawn because they feed on the roots of your grass. Grub worms are the larva of different kinds of beetles, and you should try to get rid of them if you want to cut down on unwanted wildlife digging up your lawn at night.

How to Eliminate Grub Worms?

There are different ways that you can eliminate grub worms, including natural remedies such as using nematodes or milky spore, which are living microscopic organisms that will enter the grub worms bodies and release a bacteria to kill them.

You can also find chemical solutions, but many homeowners prefer to go the natural route. Another option is to stop watering your lawn in the heat of the summer so that they are unable to reproduce. Getting rid of grub worms will help you eliminate your problem.

Final Words – What Is Tearing up Your Lawn at Night?

It is likely wild animals that are feeding on grubs under your grass. There are different kinds of nocturnal animals that come out when you’re are sleeping and they can certainly make a mess. The best way to get rid of these uninvited guests is to eliminate their food source. 

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