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Finding Holes in Your Yard? Mice Could Be the Problem

mouse holes in yard

A single mouse in your home can wreak havoc, but most people don’t even notice when they’re outside. In some front and back yards, though, mice start to dig holes and wreck your yard, leaving ugly marks and dangerous ground for children and pets.

While removing holes in your yard caused by mice might be foreign to you, many options exist for keeping the mice at bay. Use this guide to learn more about why mice dig holes and how you can control them from doing it on your property.

Do Mice Dig Holes?

Field mouseMost people have only seen mice above ground, scurrying from place to place. While mice tend to travel along the edges of walls and fenced-in areas, the fact is that they do sometimes burrow. Field mice do this regularly for shelter, which could be why you’re finding holes in your yard.

If you do not fix the problem, it will get worse. Quickly. You will have a lot of holes to fix. Many spots will also connect, forming a complex tunnel system that looks terrible in your backyard and isn’t safe for pets or children.

The good news is that you do have options when it comes to how to catch a mouse in your yard or prevent them from digging in the first place.

What to Do When They Dig Holes in the Ground

Mice dig holes in your yard because they’re looking for shelter or food sources. The most common type of mice that do this are field mice, though other varieties, as well as rats, can dig holes. When you notice mice digging holes in your yard, there are a few essential things to do.

Mouse holes can be dangerous for playing children.
  1. Watch the holes to try and determine the type of animal that is digging the holes. Sometimes treating your yard for field mice is different than standard mice or rates.
  2. Fill the holes in your yard. This action often only works as a short-term solution. If you catch the problem when you have only one or two holes, the mice may move on to another property.
  3. Place a barrier around your garden area if this is what is attracting mice in the first place. Ultrasonic products and sheet metal barriers that make it hard for mice to access your garden area are often effective. A natural mouse repellent like lemon essential oil can work too, further details can be found here.
  4. Check your yard for mice regularly. You may find that your first attempts at getting mice out of your yard are unsuccessful. There are other options for getting rid of them once and for all.

Mouse in your yard

I Have Mice Holes in My Yard: What Should I Do?

Having mice in your yard for an extended period can be a significant problem. The cost of re-sodding your lawn can also be high, especially if you have a large front or back yard. That’s why it’s essential to take care of mice as quickly as possible when you notice that they’re digging holes in your space. There are a handful of solutions for effectively getting rid of mice in your backyard.

Snap Traps

Snap traps are the standard type of mouse traps you regularly see at drug and hardware stores. In many cases, they are the best mouse traps option for mice that are slowly destroying your yard. Designed to quickly kill mice by luring them to a trap with bait that is nearly irresistible, these can be used inside and out.

Best Budget
Victor Snap Trap
Traditional Wooden Mouse Snap Trap
This easy-to-use trap is sensitive enough to catch mice, but also easy to set so you don't accidentally trigger it yourself. Plus, it's made in the USA and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Follow these tips when using snap traps:

  • Victor Snap Trap Setup InstructionsBuy enough snap traps to have a few in your yard in areas where you’ve seen mice. Placing them around the holes in your yard is also an ideal solution. Use snap traps along fences and access points to your yard as well.
  • Bait snap traps with something that mice like. You might see people using cheese on TV and in the movies, but sticky items like peanut butter are better. They’re high in protein and are much more difficult for a mouse to access without actually standing on the trap that will catch them.
  • Practice using the snap traps. You don’t want an improperly set trap keeping you from catching a mouse. Just be careful that you don’t get your fingers stuck in a trap. It won’t leave a long-term injury, but it will hurt for a few days!
  • Check your traps regularly. To make the most of your traps, you must ensure that they’re properly baited and ready to spring into action at all times. Ideally, you should check your traps once to twice daily when possible.

Natural Repellent Sprays

Many people want to know how to scare mice away from their property without killing them. Natural repellent products are ideal if you’ve got something in your yard that mice are attracted to, like a garden area. They work in most cases because they are formulated with something like fox urine, which makes mice think there is a natural predator nearby.

My Top Pick
1 Gallon Rodent Repellent by Mighty Mint
Natural Rodent Repellent
Mighty Mint spray is a sensible, safe, and environmentally friendly way to keep rodents at bay. It is made with 4% peppermint oil, a powerful odor that effectively repels rodents. This repellent is naturally safe for people and pets and even smells good! Plus, it's extra-concentrated for long-lasting protection.

Use these tips to scare mice away from your yard with natural spray repellents:

  1. Locate the areas where you’ve seen mice or where they’re getting into your yard. You’ll need to treat these areas first, even if they’re not where the actual holes are.
  2. Fill the holes in your yard that the mice are creating. Spray the area with the natural repellent that you’re planning to use.
  3. Use natural spray repellents near your garden area. You may need to use several coats until the smell is noticeable.
  4. Reapply your natural repellent spray regularly. You’ll also need to go back to the same spots and apply the spray again after it rains or you’ve watered your grass and flowers.
Always ensure the spray repellent you choose is safe for children and pets if they spend time in your backyard. Many products are all-natural and not harmful while still working to drive mice, rats, and other pests away from your yard.

I have written an article on the best natural mouse repellent, which you can read at the link.

Poison Pellets

Mice and poison blocksTraps and sprays are often effective, but if you have very stubborn mice on your property, they may not be enough. Poison pellets can kill mice in your yard, and they’ll die quickly once eaten. The problem is that these pellets can be harmful to other animals and your pets.

If you do use poison pellets, make sure you monitor the area where you put them regularly. You don’t want your pets or other animals like birds to get into them.

People's Choice
Ramik Green Nuggets
Weather-Resistant Rodenticide Nuggets
Thanks to its water-resistant formula, you don't need to worry about rain washing away the bait before rodents have a chance to eat it. And since it contains 0.005% Diphacinone as an active ingredient, it's proven to be effective against rodents of all sizes.

Please see detailed descriptions here.

Keep a Clean Yard

Mice can get into any yard and cause a problem, even if in tip-top shape. However, yards that need a little work are often more susceptible to these pests.

BackyardFollow these tips for keeping your yard clean so you’re less likely to have mice digging holes:

  • Don’t leave lawn and yard equipment out. This equipment can shield mice from view, making them feel like they can dig holes without being spotted. Make sure you keep a clean yard at all times.
  • Remove weeds from your yard in their early stages. Weeds are often starting points for mice to dig since there’s an opening, making the job a little easier.
  • Avoid leaving yard clippings, leaves, and other debris out in your yard. Dispose of these immediately to keep your yard clean and free of mice. If there are no mice, they won’t be able to dig a hole in your yard!

Best Solutions to Remedy the Problem

Natural repellents are ideal for keeping mice out of your yard and preventing more holes from popping up. If you catch the problem early enough, this is likely all it will take to drive them away for good.

4 Fragrant Plants to Repel Mice
4 Fragrant Plants to Repel Mice

If you’re dealing with a severe infestation, snap traps are often the second resort. Poison pellets can be used if you don’t have pets or children in your yard. Just make sure other animals don’t have access to them, like cats and dogs.

In addition to traps, repellents, and poison pellets, keeping your yard clean is essential. Make sure you tackle yard cleanup before you begin treating the holes in your front or back yard.

Keeping mice out of your yard can seem like a difficult task, and while they are part of nature, they don’t have to call your front or back yard home. Snap traps and spray repellents can work well, but if they don’t have the desired effect on your property, you may need to turn to professional pest control treatment. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the more likely you will have a serious problem requiring professional help. That’s why acting quickly is important when trying to get mice to stop digging holes and leave your property.

The good news is that mice can be banished one way or another. Try these simple remedies, and if they don’t work in a few weeks, consider calling in the pros. From there, you can easily handle prevention, so mice don’t come back to your yard and create more problems in the future.