While they may be cute, gophers, voles, chipmunks, and other little burrowing critters can do quite a number on your lawn. Remember the epic battle between Bill Murray and the gopher in Caddyshack? Our backyard buffs weighed in on how all that underground activity affects your fencing and offered their ideas on how to keep these furry pests at bay.

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton, CEO at Loftera.

Install Underground Metal Mesh Cloth Fence

If animals are burrowing around your yard, taking care of your fence can be tricky. You may have experienced problems with moles, voles, and groundhogs burrowing in your lawn and fences. While burrowing animals can contribute to the local ecosystem, they can also damage your fence. You can prevent burrowing animals from tearing up your grass and destroying your plantings by employing several effective, humane methods.

For people who constantly struggle with burrowing animals damaging their fences, an underground fence made of metal mesh hardware cloth can be the answer. It requires some labor at first but can be well worth it for those who experience damage from burrowing animals.

Garlic powder and coffee grounds are commonly used by gardeners. But for best repellant result mix two-fourths cup castor oil with one-fourth cup liquid dish soap in one gallon of water, and spray the mist around burrows, near mounds, and near damaged plants to repel burrowing pests. Once ingested, this humane repellent mix will make them sick enough to repel them.

Bury the Fence Posts in Concrete

It is possible that burrowing animals could damage your fence by digging around the fence posts and weakening the structure of the fence. Fortunately, this can easily be prevented. You can prevent structural damage to your fence from burrowing animals simply by burying the posts deep enough and using concrete around the posts. For additional protection, you can attach chicken wire to the bottom of the fence, and bury it a few inches deep.

Douglas Dedick

Douglas Dedick

Douglas Dedick is a landscaper and a writer for YourGreenPal.com.
Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker, Founder of Dog Food Desire.

Extend the Fence Underground, Fill Burrow Holes

Yes, burrowing animals can damage your fence. The most common type of damage is when they tunnel underneath the fence and create a hole. This can allow other animals to get into your yard, or even worse, let the animal escape and wander around in the neighborhood.

You can prevent this type of damage by installing a fence that’s buried at least 18 inches below ground level. You can also try to deter the animals from burrowing in the first place by placing wire mesh or concrete barriers around the base of your fence.

The best way to deal with them is to try to prevent them from burrowing in the first place.

One way to do this is to install a fence that’s deep enough so that they can’t burrow underneath it. You can also try using a wire mesh or other type of barrier around the base of your fence. If you have a garden, you can also put up a barrier around the edge of the garden to keep them out.

If you already have animals that are burrowing under your fence, there are a few things you can do to try and stop them. You can try filling in the holes they’ve created.

Try Asking for a Pest Control Company’s Help

Nearly 100% of the time when dealing with larger rodents or burrowing animals (squirrels, possums, raccoons, skunks, etc.), I will recommend using a licensed pest control company that has a warrantied service.

But, if someone wants to trap and remove their burrowing animals, and it is legal to do so in their state, then I would recommend making sure they have the right trap for the targeted animal, the right bait for the right animal, and they remove the animal immediately once it has been trapped.

Drive 15-20 miles away and release the animal cautiously. Finally, repair the damage and remove the harborage or attractant for why the animal found that fence/deck/area is so attractive or set up deterrents.

Megan Cavanaugh

Megan Cavanaugh

Megan Cavanaugh, Marketing Manager at Done Right Pest Solutions.
Daniel Neale

Daniel Neale

Daniel Neale, Founder of Kitty Cat Tips.

Set Humane Traps

Yes, burrowing animals can damage your fence by loosening the soil underneath or chipping through the wood.

Although many opt to use chemical treatments to eliminate burrowing animals. However, there are natural alternatives to effectively prevent them from digging holes out of your garden.

Trapping is the easiest way to control them. It depends on the size of the animal, as voles can easily be captured in mousetraps.

Bigger ones like gophers, ground squirrels, and moles need specialized trap cages. You can position them near the burrow site with food inside.

Another successful way to prevent damage is by opting for habitat modification. Begin by clearing any food sources, such as grass shredding and leaves, for a vole infestation.

You can even take the extra step of covering young samplings and plants with plastic wrap. It protects them against any attacks from burrowing animals.

Keep Grasses and Bushes Well-Maintained

Burrowing animals can harm a fence. However, they don’t typically gnaw on the fence or directly damage the fence. Rather, they can dig around the fence posts, loosening the dirt that’s stabilizing the fence. Without the support of the hard-packed soil, the fence posts could start leaning or even fall over.

Several lethal options are very effective at getting rid of burrowing animals. However, if you’d prefer to deter, you can try several methods that won’t harm the creatures. For example, keeping the grass and bushes near your fence trimmed will eliminate hiding places that some burrowing animals seek, pushing them to find other places to build their networks.

Another option is to put dryer sheets in the burrowing animal’s holes. Alternatively, you could put jalapeno pepper slices or chili flakes in and around their holes.

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson is a home maintenance expert with Clearsurance.com.
Robert Banks

Robert Banks

Robert Banks, Founder of MrStocks.

Spray Scented Castor Oil and Dishwashing Liquid

Burrowing animals can damage fences when they try to get in your yard. Not only will they dig under the fence and damage it, but they also all affect plants in the area where they dug their holes. One way to deter them is to try using castor oil and soap.

What you need to do is make a mixture of scented castor oil and any dishwashing soap, then spray it on the lawn. Some burrowing animals dislike this smell, especially voles and gophers and it will make them leave the area.

Spraying frequently will greatly help in reducing their presence in the yard and to make them not want to go back. It’s not only an effective solution but also a humane way to drive them out of your property.

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