What Is Digging Up My Plants at Night and How to Stop It?

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

what is digging up my plants at night

“What is digging up my plants at night?” This is probably the question you have in your mind whenever you see your garden ravaged in the morning.

It’s difficult to constantly mend your garden’s scraped dirt, holes, and plants without knowing what’s been digging up your plants.

So, to answer your question, rodents like squirrels, rats, mice, raccoons, foxes, chipmunks, and skunks are mostly the culprit.

Read further to know more about them.


What Animals Dig Up Plants in My Garden at Night?

1. Rodents


Rodents like squirrels, rats, mice, and guinea pigs are possible animals digging up your plants at night. They are invading your garden to get some food, shelter, and water.

It’s simple to figure out whether they’re the ones digging up your plants. You can notice these rodents running through and fro in your yard as they attempt to make your house their shelter. Or, you will see small holes in the soil or if some of your plants disappear.

Rodents like rats and mice are fond of seeds, plants, and vegetables, and those are some of what they eat in your garden. Why your plants suddenly disappear is probably because they eat them.

There are plenty of ways to protect potted plants from rats, mice, and other rodents. These include:

  • Removing potential food sources in your garden, such as fallen overripe fruits, bird feeders, and even grubs in your soil.
  • Clean up your yard to eliminate any food odors.
  • Cut your grass often to remove space for these rodents to hide. Make sure your garden is tidy and clean.
  • Make underground fences. Cut several pieces of 0.25 inches metal hardware cloth and lay them around the plants slightly below the soil.

2. Raccoons


I once noticed that some raccoons were digging holes in my vegetable garden. You might have the same problem if you saw your vegetable garden had gotten unexpected holes.

To begin with, raccoons dig up our garden since they are looking for food. They consume everything, from seeds, vegetables, and fruits to insects, bugs, and even kitchen waste, because they are omnivores.

That’s why grubs living in your soil are the reason they’re creating holes in your vegetable garden; you’ll know it by the pieces of sod being flipped.

Raccoons have close contact with plant soil, which is worrisome since they spread parasites, leptospirosis, and other diseases.

But don’t panic; there are several ways to keep raccoons from digging up plants.

  • Kill grubs using insecticide or beneficial nematodes.
  • Protect your plants with an electric wire fence.
  • Use strong-smelling smells like crushed garlic and hot pepper.
  • Plant herbs that they dislike such as peppers, eggplants, berries, or tomatoes.

3. Foxes


A fox is another animal digging up plants at night. They are nocturnal animals. That’s why most of them are actively destroying gardens at night. They are digging up the soil for the same purpose as everyone else: food.

Grubs, earthworms, fruits, and vegetables attract them, but decaying animal flesh is their favorite. Some signs that they are digging your plants if there is a fox smell in your garden and trampled plants.

Having foxes in the garden can cause lots of problems. Aside from the fact that they ruin your plants, they can also build hidden dens beneath your house and, like other animals, bring infectious diseases and parasites.

Here are some ideas for keeping them out of your garden.

  • Install motion-sensor lights and motion-activated sprinkler. These will brighten up lights and spray water on them whenever they attempt to enter your garden.
  • Use Electronic Fox Deterrent. It releases an ultrasonic sound that can repel foxes.
  • Use Fox Repellent Scents. Foxes hate the smell of hot pepper, garlic, chili, and white vinegar. Mix a portion of these and spray them around your garden.

4. Chipmunks


Chipmunks are one animal digging up my garden, and I bet they might be in yours as well. They may be the ones destroying your plants at night by seeing holes without piles of dirt around because they hide it in their cheeks. They do this in pursuit of shelter and food.

Luckily, there are several options for protecting your plants from them:

  • Remove any potential hiding places for them. Trim bushes, grass, and weeds in areas where they might like to live.
  • Plant herbs they dislike, such as Marigolds, Daffodil, Douglas Iris, and Common Camas.
  • Fence your potted plants with Mesh Hardware Cloth. It is solely for seeds that have just been planted. Chipmunks won’t be able to burrow your soil if you cover the potted plants with hardware cloth.

5. Skunks


Skunks are another animal digging in my flower bed at night. In case you don’t know, they are capable of destroying your garden at night. They eat grubs, leaves, fruits, grass, and even garbage as long as it is something they can reach.

One hint that they are digging your beds is if there is a shallow hole in the soil, they use their nose to create a hole before digging it further.

It’s hard to have skunks in our garden often because they can spray their strong perfume on us. It can cause temporary stinging in our eyes and irritate our lungs when threatened, and they also carry rabies.

So, to get them away from us, you should try doing these:

  • Get rid of grubs by using insecticides or nematodes.
  • Build a fence around your plants or the whole yard for better security.
  • Use bright lights at night. Skunks are nocturnal animals, so they are not fond of lights.

Frequently Asked Question

Do snakes burrow in potted plants?

Yes, they do! An example of this is the Brahminy Blind Snake. They prefer to burrow in moist soil to consume ants and termites, which is possibly why they love to visit potted plants.

Because of their black or brown color and shiny appearance, they are frequently mistaken for earthworms; nevertheless, their skin is smooth, and they flick their tongue.


The raccoon mentioned above is one of what is digging up my plants at night, the same as the chipmunks, skunks, rodents, and other animals introduced. They might be the ones who are digging up your plants, too.

Now that you know what animals are destroying your garden and why they do that, it’s important to enforce some safety measures to protect your plants and keep them away.

There are also some types of animals that destroy your garden. Let’s see each type and how to prevent them in the articles below:

Hopefully, this article helped you protect your plants from these animals. If you do, share it with your family and friends too. Thank you!

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