Are these holes in my yard caused by squirrels or some other animal?
I was getting readying for spring yard maintenance when I noticed there were a rather large number of small and scattered holes in the backyard. Holes are scattered thru my backyard, most are around 2 inches in diameter but some have rather large openings, most narrow as they extend into the ground. We have a lot of squirrels in the area but I'm not sure if squirrels would really excavate this much, some of the holes look like they connect as well. I have seen the squirrels dig in the yard and last year we saw a chipmunk in the backyard, I'm not sure if the squirrels are just being busy or if the chipmunk decided to move in or if it's something like voles or other animal. Whether squirrels or not, I'd like to know the best way to stop the digging as it's rather widespread at the moment. Thanks for the help.
We cannot say for sure what you are dealing with. You will have to go out and look at the hole sizes and see if you notice any sightings of animals. You can also sprinkle some flour in the area and look for tracks. We cannot get an idea of size of the holes but here is some more information.
Voles - Create an elaborate surface runway system, about the size of a silver dollar with many burrows. Voles feed on the root systems of plants. See our website https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/voles
Chipmunks - Holes are about 2 inches in diameter and cleanly dug. You should be able to see them during the day. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/chipmunks
Rats - Holes about 2-3 inches wide and smooth from use. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/rats
Also, see the link from the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Mgmt which has information on ground hole identification