What Animal Digs Holes In The Raised Bed?

One morning I came to my raised bed and could not believe my eyes.
Large holes were visible in the raised bed.

My lettuce and kohlrabi plants were damaged and partially torn out. Soil was on the ground next to the raised bed.

It was a real battlefield!

My eyes wandered to my mini raised bed. There, too, the animal had let loose during the night and dug deep holes. I was shocked!

What animal was responsible for this? How can I protect my raised bed from burrowing and digging animals in the future?

That’s what this article is going to be about.
I have developed some effective ideas which will help you too.

Let’s go!

Which animal species dig and burrow in the raised bed?
In order to find the “culprit”, let’s go in search of clues together.

First of all, I would like to list all animal species that are possible culprits for holes in raised beds and mini raised beds.

  1. Birds
  2. Cats
  3. Martens
  4. Badgers
  5. Raccoons
  6. foxes
  7. stray dogs
  8. raccoon dogs
  9. wolves
  10. rats
  11. voles

Birds in raised beds

Birds love raised beds. Especially lettuce plants are eaten with pleasure or plucked off.
Birds often dig for worms and larvae in the loose soil with their beaks. In doing so, they can do considerable damage.

I am always amazed at the large holes birds can leave in raised beds.

Crows, pigeons, blackbirds, jays and sparrows use your raised bed as a food source.

I have observed that especially after rains the raised bed is visited by birds. Probably that is when they are looking for worms.

Measures for bird defense in the raised bed

Set up scarecrows and use close-mesh bird netting to keep birds away from your raised bed.

Reflective and moving stripes further irritate hungry birds. Dummy birds of prey can also be effective.
Branches on the raised bed prevent birds from reaching the plants with their bills.

If blackbirds are running riot in your raised bed, I highly recommend my article: What to do about blackbirds in raised beds.

Do cats dig in raised beds?

Yes, cats dig holes in raised beds.

The velvet paws can be a real nuisance because they jump on the raised bed or mini raised bed to use it as a litter box.

This is not only unsanitary, but also unappetizing.

Often, cats do not leave holes in the raised bed, but grave marks. The loose soil invites them to scratch.

In addition, plants can be damaged when the droppings are scraped up.

What helps against cats in raised beds?

Specialty stores offer a wide range of cat repellents.

The important thing is that cats should be kept away gently. They should not be injured, killed or poisoned.
So-called cat expellers are extremely effective. They emit ultrasonic waves that are unpleasant for cats. This keeps cats out of the raised bed.

I use the AIMTOP solar cat deterrent in my garden and I am very satisfied. The device works with solar.

See also  Bird Friendly Garden: Here's What You Can Do To Help Preserve Biodiversity

The cat scare is simply put into the ground, aligned and switched on: That’s it :-).

My best tip is not to plant catnip near the raised bed. The smell of catnip magically attracts cats.

Does a badger come into the raised bed and dig?

No, a badger does not come into the raised bed. However, if you have a very low mini raised bed, the badger could dig in it.

The badger only moves around on the ground and digs through the soil for worms, beetles and larvae. Accordingly, the badger does not jump on raised beds.
The badger digs holes in the lawn
If you find funnel-shaped holes in your lawn, which are filled with droppings, then these are so-called badger latrines.

This is a sure sign that you have had a visit from a badger. A rummaged through compost heap could also be an indication of badgers in the garden.

How you can drive a badger out of the garden, I explain in detail in this article: Badger in the garden – What to do?

Does a marten get into the raised bed?

Again and again it is reported that martens climb into raised beds and rummage through them. They are not squeamish and often destroy the plants.

For the marten it is easy to climb into a raised bed.

If you have a marten in your garden or on your property, you should take measures to drive the animal away.
A marten will not only dig holes in your raised bed, but can also be dangerous to your chickens and your car.

In my article “Marten from house and property drive out”, I show you how you can drive away a marten with home remedies.

What helps against martens in the raised bed?

Against martens ultrasonic ejectors are very effective. The ultrasonic waves are unpleasant for the wild animals.

Neem oil, which is used to strengthen plants, can also give good results against martens.

Martens hate the smell of neem oil, at the same time the biological agent strengthens your plants: a double win!

Do raccoons burrow in a raised bed?

Yes, raccoons can burrow in a raised bed.

Don’t let the animal smell something of interest in the compost layer under the planting soil. In no time at all, it digs up the raised bed.
This gives a nasty surprise to all raised bed owners the next morning.

Raccoons can become a nuisance

Raccoons are cute, but they can become a real nuisance on the property and in the garden.

Nothing is safe from these intelligent mammals. At night, the small bears are out and about in the garden, foraging for food.

Whether it’s a fish pond, compost heap, chicken coop or even the raised bed, the omnivores help themselves everywhere.

Woe betide you if your cat flap doesn’t work properly. Then the small bear also gets into your house.

Raccoons are climbing artists. The way into the raised bed is super easy for them.

How to get raccoons out of the raised bed?

Raccoons are not easy to drive out of the raised bed. Where there is one raccoon, many more raccoons are usually not far behind.

If a raccoon clan has taken up residence in your yard or on your property, you’ll need staying power to evict the omnivores.

In my article Raccoons dig up the garden, I explain step-by-step how you can chase raccoons away and which preventive measures you should take into account.

Do foxes dig in a raised bed?

No, normally foxes do not dig in a raised bed.

Foxes are predators that hunt for small mammals.

Foxes are agile and fast. They can jump 1 meter high from a standing position without any effort. From there it would be quite easy for him to get on a raised bed.

In my research, I have not read of any case of a fox jumping onto a raised bed and digging it up.

Do not put meat scraps or fish scraps in the raised bed.
However, if you have buried meat scraps in your raised bed, things could be different again.

With its strong paws, it is easy for the fox to completely plow up your raised bed and dig out the meat scraps.

See also  How To Develop Sage On The Balcony At Its Best

Never throw fish or meat scraps on the compost!

The animals can still smell the scent traces after many months. Even if your compost heap has landed as a filling in the raised bed and you no longer think about it.

Tip: Did you know that foxes like to eat candles? In my article What do foxes eat in the city, I explain why.

Do stray dogs dig holes in raised beds?

No, stray dogs do not dig holes in raised beds.

Again and again we read about stray dogs digging holes in the garden and not even stopping at the raised bed.

In almost all cases, it is other wild animals: for example, the raccoon dog or the fox.

However, the following also applies to stray dogs:

If you have disposed of meat scraps in the compost pile and the compost was used to fill your raised bed, then stray dogs foraging could also dig up your raised bed.

If you have stray dogs in your area, check your garden fence and seal up any holes so the dogs can’t get onto your property.

Do tanuki dig holes in raised beds?

No, the nocturnal omnivore does not dig holes in raised beds.

The tanuki leisurely strolls through the garden at night to eat small mammals, snails and berries.

The raccoon dog is not a good climber and prefers to stay on the ground.

Does the wolf burrow in the raised bed?

No, a wolf does not burrow in the raised bed.

Wolves are predators, which are attracted to the garden by keeping chickens or small animals. The raised bed is of no interest to them.

Do rats dig in the raised bed?

Yes, rats do dig in the raised bed. However, these are tunnels or an entire system of tunnels that are created in the raised bed.

Rats love to burrow in the raised bed.

In the lower layers of the raised bed is often filled tree cuttings. This can create cavities, which the rodents use as a rat nest.

If you suspect that rats have nested in your raised bed, you have no choice but to empty the raised bed and destroy the rat nest.

Get rid of rats from the raised bed

Rats in the garden are an unpleasant matter. You should not offer the rodents a safe place to stay. After all, rats can have offspring up to twelve times a year.

You certainly want to avoid a rat infestation on your property or in your garden, don’t you?

In my article Rats in broad daylight in the garden I explain how you can easily fight rats in the garden.

Do voles dig in raised beds?

Yes, voles dig in raised beds. If your vegetable plants suddenly die and the roots are gnawed off, then you probably have a vole problem in your raised bed.

Deep mouse holes can also provide an indication of a vole infestation.

Just like rats, voles make their nests in cavities in raised beds. The raised bed is therefore very attractive to voles.

Not only does it provide them with protection from predators, food is also available in abundance.

Use vole grids in the raised bed

If your raised bed is in contact with the ground, you should definitely install a vole grid at the bottom of the raised bed. Special galvanized vole grids* are available for this purpose.

A normal “rabbit wire” is not sufficient. This is simply gnawed through.

If you have not installed a vole grid and have a vole infestation, you can try to flood the raised bed with several liters of water. Otherwise you will have to empty it completely.

How to find out which animal is digging holes in the raised bed?

There are two ways to find out which animal digs holes in the raised bed.

Either you lie in wait at night or you install a photo trap/wildlife camera.

I think the second option is more effective. In my video, you saw how I aimed my wildlife camera at the raised bed.

Every morning I check the pictures and videos from the camera to find the animal that is responsible for the damage.

See also  Does Knowing Botany Help You With Gardening?

Tip: Only if you know which animal is ravaging the raised bed, you can take optimal measures to defend and protect your raised bed.

What is the best photo trap?

I have been using photo traps in my garden for a long time. The first photo trap I used four years ago, when I hunted or drove away a marten in the attic.

If you want to buy a photo trap only for monitoring the raised bed, then a cheap model for 50 euros such as the Victure game camera is sufficient.

If you want to use the camera for many years on your property and in your garden, then I advise you to buy the Secacam.

I have been using this for about a year and believe me, the camera is just great.

How to protect the raised bed from animals?

Once you have found out which animal is digging in the raised bed, the next step is to protect the raised bed.

The specialized trade offers various means and devices to keep animals from digging holes in the raised bed.

Ultrasonic repellents against digging animals

First of all, ultrasonic emitters are a good and inexpensive method. The devices emit ultrasonic waves that are inaudible to humans, but which wildlife can detect.

They avoid the sonicated area because the sound waves are unpleasant for them.

Choose an ultrasonic repeller that works with solar power. Surely you don’t feel like changing batteries all the time.

The Schimer ultrasound* has an excellent price-performance ratio and is always a good choice.

Protect raised bed from animals with wire mesh

If you are handy, you can build a wooden construction, which you cover with rabbit wire or similar.

The wooden construction with wire mesh is placed over the raised bed.

This will keep the animals from getting into your raised bed through the wire mesh.

This is an inexpensive and clever way to protect your raised bed.

Solar lamps against animals in the raised bed
Whether it’s a marten, raccoon or fox, these animals don’t like being in the spotlight. In the darkness of the night they feel safe.

You can take advantage of this.

The LED Lovers solar lamp set* not only looks really great, the lamps also have a motion detector.

Put the lamps in your raised bed. If an animal approaches, the raised bed is suddenly illuminated as bright as day: a nasty surprise for the wild animals. They immediately take flight.

Conclusion “Which animal digs in the raised bed?”

I myself have experienced how quickly the gardening of several weeks can be destroyed by an animal. Suddenly plants in the raised bed are destroyed and the raised bed itself resembles a crater landscape.

This happens more often than you think.

During my research on this exciting topic, I did not find any instructions that dealt with this topic in detail.

So I decided to write this article to help all “fellow sufferers”.

I hope my tips will help you to have a great harvest in the garden and of course in the raised bed .

I would be very happy about your feedback. Also subscribe to my YouTube channel. There I will keep you up to date, which animal has dug in my raised bed.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

    View all posts