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How To Stop Birds Digging Up Your Lawn

If you have seen birds digging up your lawn, you may have wondered why. In this article, we look at why they do this and how to stop them from destroying your lawn.

Birds will dig up your lawn to feed on grubs. The most effective method is to reduce the number of grubs in the lawn. Beneficial nematodes will kill the larvae of cockchafer beetles, ants, fleas, moths, beetles, flies, weevils, and other pests that birds feed on. Ultrasonic animal repellers and sprinklers are excellent deterrents for scaring birds away.

Ultrasonic Bird Repeller

I use a solar-powered flashing light and ultrasonic animal repeller in my garden. They are humane, use no chemicals, and the one I use is waterproof with a range of up to 20 feet. I recommend this solar animal repeller, as it works well.

It may seem an easy question, but are birds animals?

Grub Killer

Birds are digging up your lawn for food. Grubs are an easy, effective food source for them, and you must limit how many are on your lawn. The number one way to reduce birds digging up your grass is to buy a good grub killer. I have started using Scotts GrubEx1. It lasts all season with one application and is 100% organic to give you a healthy lawn.

Use the grub killer in the warmer summer and fall months for the best coverage. Grub killer only works on young larvae, so you must use it after the new eggs have hatched. I don’t know of any nematodes that can kill larvae in colder temperatures, even in Spring.

I usually treat my lawn in August or September and have had great success keeping crows away for the last few years.

Motion-activated Sprinkler

You can consider using a motion-activated water sprinkler to act as a deterrent to scare them away. Birds and other animals are afraid of the sudden movement and spray of the water. I haven’t used one, but my friend loves it. You can find it on Amazon here.

There are over 900 bird species in North America, and they can be found almost everywhere. They come in all shapes and sizes and can cause a lot of destruction to lawns.

Birds are opportunistic feeders who eat almost anything, with some even eating carrion and human garbage. However, most birds will feed on grubs, which is why you may see them digging up your lawn.

You can find birds around suburban and urban areas. They can cause harm to gardens as they eat plants and dig in the lawn for insects. 

Are crows digging up your lawn? Find out why and what to do about it here

Bird Netting

Newly seeded lawns are a good food source for many types of birds. In these cases, I would recommend bird netting. The netting can be pulled tight across the lawn, so it doesn’t catch the birds. However, it will put them off and preserve your lawn.


Many types of decoys can be used to scare away birds. If you are using a decoy, such as an owl or other bird of prey, I recommend moving them around every couple of weeks so that the local birds don’t get used to them. This is also a great hint for scarecrows as well.

However, the best decoy I have found is kites. This peregrine falcon is scary enough that it will keep most birds away. Again, I would move it every couple of weeks, but this is an excellent deterrent if you don’t mind having a kite above your garden.

Want to know more about crows? Find out here.


Why Do Birds Dig Up My Lawn?

Birds can destroy your lawn. The main reason why they invade your yard is in search of food. They will likely dig in your lawn, looking for insects to eat. They usually target larvae, and they can overturn large sections of the yard when feeding.

Other animals that may also dig holes in your lawn include raccoons and squirrels. Raccoons will dig holes in your grass, searching for food, while squirrels will dig up your yard to bury food. The ultrasonic animal repellent works well on all of these animals.

Some of the most common grubs symptoms in your lawn will be drying grass, especially two to three inches in diameter, and the appearance of brown spots on the lawn.

The main reason your lawn is being dug up is that there are plenty of grubs. These are the larvae stage of a beetle that serves as a rich source of proteins for crows and many other animals.

The grubs have brown heads and white or grey bodies. They are always an attraction to birds, which can end up causing a lot of damage to your lawn.

They are likely to destroy grass around these areas, so you have to do something to stop the birds from coming around your home.

Most animals that dig up your lawn, including birds, will be looking for worms, insects, and grubs. If animals are digging up your lawn, you most likely have a grub problem.

Want to know if raccoons are dangerous? Find out here

Which Animal Is Digging?

The first way to determine the animals is to observe the type of holes. Moles will create tunnels and mounds, but birds can flip over whole sections of turf. Birds are looking for food, while moles are looking for food and shelter. Birds can quickly destroy your lawn, especially if there are enough.

Many animals can cause the same problem. However, if you suspect that birds are responsible, you have to do something about them. Many gardeners will have an issue with these animals unless something is done to reduce the number of grubs. 

If you want to know which mustelids live in North America, click here for an article I wrote.

How Many Grubs Are Too Many?

A healthy lawn always has a certain number of grubs. A lawn can host up to 5 grubs in every square foot. For example, a lawn of 5,000 square feet can be home to up to 25,000 grubs.

It would be difficult to kill all the grubs; they do so much good for your garden and their natural habitat that you probably shouldn’t. 

However, you can take some measures that will minimize the numbers significantly. Experts advise that killing all the grubs is very difficult, even if you use harsh chemicals. 

The best action to minimize bugs growing is to use a natural suppression treatment to minimize food for birds. One of the best controls is the use of organic grub control.


There are no guarantees that you will be able to stop birds from landing in your garden completely using any of the above methods. However, combining the above techniques will minimize the damage to your garden. 

Many birds live in the tundra. Find out more here.