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How To Stop Crows Digging Up Your Lawn

If you have seen crows digging up your lawn, you may have wondered why. This article examines why they do this and how to stop them from destroying your grass.

Crows feed on the grubs in your lawn. The most effective method to stop crows from digging up your lawn is to reduce the number of grubs. Beneficial nematodes will kill cockchafer larvae, ants, fleas, moths, beetles, flies, weevils, and other pests that raccoons feed on. Crows want an easy meal, so make it difficult for them.

How to stop crows digging up your lawn infographic

Why Do Crows Dig Up My Lawn?

Crows can destroy your lawn. The main reason why they invade your yard is in search of food.

Crows will dig in your lawn, looking for insects to eat. They usually target larval insects and can overturn large yard sections 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 lawn to bury food.

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

Your lawn is being dug up mainly because it contains too many grubs. These are the larvae stage of the European cockchafer beetle that is 1 to 2 inches long. They serve as a rich source of proteins for crows and many other animals. Crows are looking for a grub infestation and will attack the developing chafer larvae while also destroying your turf.

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

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

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

Want to know if raccoons are dangerous? Find out here

How To Stop Crows Digging Up Your Lawn

Crows and other birds ripping up your lawn are trying to find food. They feed on the larvae of the European chafer beetle. You must remove the food source to stop crows from digging up your property.

Removing grubs is essential, so I recommend grub killer. Ultrasonic bird repellers, motion-activated sprinklers, bird netting, and decoys are also excellent ways of stopping crows from digging up your lawn.

Crows can cause severe damage to your lawn as they search for food. If you are sure crows are causing the damage, it is best to stop them. One of the best and most effective ways to keep crows from damaging your lawn is to remove the underlying cause.

By realizing they are after food growing inside the lawn and the soil, you can remove the cause. Reduce the number of juicy grubs using Bonide’s insect and grub control. Once the grubs have been removed, you must also take other actions to ensure crows will not return. 

Removing other food sources, such as pet food left outside, will stop crows from returning, and purchasing a crow-proof feeder may also help.

Why do birds sing in the morning?  Find out here.

Grub Killer

Crows 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 best way to reduce crows digging up your yard 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 for the best coverage in the warmer summer and fall months. 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.

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.

Phosooy Ultrasonic Animal Repeller, 2 Packs Waterproof Solar Animal Deterrent Device Motion Activated to Repel Cats, Dogs, Squirrel, Rats, Skunks, Raccoons & Deer
  • ADJUSTABLE SENSITIVITY & MODE: There are two knots for you to adjust the mode and sensitivity to a right condition you need.
  • 2 WAYS FOR POWER SUPPLY: Phosooy ultrasonic animal repeller is equipped with solar panel for power supply, and it also supports being charged with USB cable. When device is in charging, the red indicator will light up, and then turns to green after fully charged. Please place the device where the solar panel can get maximum exposure to sunlight.
  • HARMLESS & EFFECIENT: The effective working distance is 26-33ft with 110 degree effective range.
  • PERFECT FOR OUTDOOR USE: The device works well on rainy days with fine drizzling rain owing to its IP44 waterproof grade, and is great ideal to be mounted on the wall or inserted into ground with the spikes.

Motion-activated Sprinkler

You can consider using a motion-activated water sprinkler to act as a deterrent to scare them away. Crows 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.

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 an excellent hint for scarecrows as well.

However, the best decoy I have found are 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.

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 crows will flip over whole sections of turf. Crows are looking for food, while moles are looking for food and shelter. Crows can destroy your lawn quickly, especially if there are enough.

Many animals can cause the same problem. However, if you suspect crows are responsible, you must 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 yard 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 crows. One of the best controls is the use of organic grub control.


There are no guarantees that you will be able to stop crows from landing in your garden completely using any of the above methods. However, a combination of the above techniques will minimize the damage to your garden and the number of crows invading your property reduced significantly.