Do Raccoons Burrow or Dig Holes?

Ever woken up one morning to find your garden full of holes, with the sod ripped apart in random places? If it happened overnight, then there are a few possible culprits, but given how more often than not theyre guilty, this crime was most likely committed by a raccoon. Yes, raccoons do dig holes and occasionally burrows, and they leave a fine mess for others to clean up while theyre at it. However, since their digging pattern feels so obscure and random at first glance, its a little hard to understand WHY they would dig in the first place.

Well, there are only three reasons why theyd bother to dig in the first place.

For makeshift shelters

When it comes to digging, raccoons dont dig burrows than they do holes, implying that the holes they usually excavate are too shallow or small to be used as proper living spaces. Whats more is that raccoons dont make permanent homes to live in, which further reduces their need to dig out a burrow to bunk in. 

Still, if push comes to shove and a raccoon isnt able to find a suitable tree to make its home in, a raccoon will dig a burrow as a temporary home until better arrangements can be made. It also prefers to pass the winter in a burrow since its warmer than a tree, where they may choose to hibernate to pass the winter.

For accessing new areas

Think you can keep a raccoon out of your lawn with a sturdy fence? Think again. Raccoons are resilient, resourceful creatures that dont take long to find solutions to problems. If they cant go over the fence, then theyll try going under it! So, you shouldnt be surprised if you wake up one morning to find an opening under your fence dug out by a raccoon to get back into your garden. They also employ this strategy to get into your shed and garage, so be wary of this if your doors close on open soil.

For digging up food 

The biggest incentive for raccoons to dig is to search for food. As far as a raccoon is concerned, your garden is an all-you-can-eat buffet, provided it can find the food it wants to eat. Thus begins the raccoon's quest for insects and small animals as it fervently tears apart your sod and digs small holes to catch its fill. If it spots a small animal duck for cover into a hole, you can be sure a raccoon wont hesitate to dig the small burrow out completely so that it can snack on the animal with ease.


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