Ask a Question forum→What is digging?

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Name: Susie VanEmburgh
Southern New Jersey
Meet you in the garden!
Jul 26, 2015 9:41 PM CST
I recently planted four hollies, four vibernum plants and a beautiful reblooming lilac bush. All of a sudden I've noticed holes all around almost every bush. Something is digging it's way deep into the ground. I tried flushing them out with a hose, but nothing came out. The holes are about 3 or 4 inches across. What could it be, and how do I get rid of whatever it is? They, the new plants, are right up against some woods. Help! I need help! Thank you to anyone who answers.
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Jul 26, 2015 11:03 PM CST
First off, Welcome! to ATP!

Second, voles and mice come to mind first. Are you seeing digging anywhere else. Any neighborhood cats or dogs around? Cats may help with your problem.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Jul 26, 2015 11:17 PM CST
Welcome! Hello and welcome to ATP.
Could you try to upload some photos? Maybe put something in the photo for size reference like a pen or trowel? Thank You!

Could be rabbits, skunks, opossums, groundhogs; if the holes are 3" or larger probably not moles, voles or chipmunks. There are feral hogs in southern New Jersey; they can do a pretty good night's work and leave a mess.

While you wait to learn exactly which critter it is, you might try to lay some chicken wire on the ground and secure it with long 'staples'; that might give your plants some time to recover.

Edited at add:
I was typing while @Zencat was posting. It never occurred to me to ask if there are dogs or cats in the area. Freshly turned soil would attract them.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Jul 26, 2015 11:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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Jul 27, 2015 8:03 AM CST
This might help:
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Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
Aug 3, 2015 3:06 PM CST
Have that ( or something like that ) here, one of my oriental lilies is starting to lean due to the digging, and quite a few bushes have holes around them. Not sure in your case but after some intense observation, I found birds to be the culprits. Bug hunting I guess. Easy fix though, since the digging is happening from the TOP down, I just placed some hardware cloth a good distance around the affected plants ( about a foot will do ) starting real close to the base of the plant.

This also works on rabbits, cats ,dogs and yes even grand kids.;-)

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