What animal is digging in my garden and containers? ISO examples of barrier?

OK- so I know I have a vole problem. I’ve been trying to trap them all week in Havahart traps but I have been unsuccessful thus far. They’re doing more and more damage everyday. So far I’ve lost a cucumber, two squash plants, several basil plants, some strawberries, a nasturtium, and pole beans. I’m so fed-up I just ordered a vole trapping kit from Trapline products…we’ll see how that works.

But there’s some NEW activity that I’m perplexed about. Some animal or bird is going around digging shallow holes in my beds and in my containers. The holes can fit about 1-3 golfballs. They are especially active in my Earthboxes and 15 gallon pots containing my fig trees (see photos below). This is happening during the day and at night --are the voles climbing up and onto the pots? The figs are on a concrete patio next to a brick fence far far away from the vole activity. I’m curious if anyone can guess what animal is doing this. Besides voles, I know we have squirrels, crows, doves, skunks, raccoons, pocket gophers, and rabbits active in the area. I just watered these containers. I wonder if the animals are thirsty. Should I cover the surface of these containers with chicken wire or window screen or hardware cloth?

Last question. I’ve started to place wire around my plants above ground to protect them (from the vole damage), and I am considering doing this around my 1’ tall raised veggie beds. Does anyone else do this (to protect agains rodents / small animals) ? And would you kindly share a photo of what you’ve done for inspiration? Thanks.


My guess. Birds.

Squirrels or ground squirrels.

I would say squirrels or chipmunks. I had similar problems with starter mix with seeds or seedlings on our deck in early spring. They mostly seemed interested in the dirt, not what was growing in it. No idea why. They usually attacked at night.

Squirrels. Same thing happened to me. They seem to be more interested in pots on the ground versus pots on my bench and table.

Yep…looking for seeds. Dug up some of my pawpaw seeds…then just left them as they must not be tasty/edible.

In the case of those, I put some cloth over them…as it takes a couple months to see the plant after stratified seeds are put in the pots.

This is getting so frustrating. Every morning there are 4 inch deep holes along the edges of all of my beds and containers. I’m thinking about buying plastic mesh or windows screen fabric and cutting pieces to cover the bare soil around the plants. What a pain. Do you think this would work?