What animal is a strong enough digger to uproot pavers used as steppin

What animal is a strong enough digger to uproot pavers used as stepping stones?
I've had a lot of smaller holes dug in my shade beds recently. I've seen skunks in the yard so I assumed it was them.
But then today I discovered a much bigger disruption, with the pavers actually tossed around.
Are skunks that strong? Or could it be a different animal? I didn't mind the smaller holes and just replaced the plants when tossed. But this will be a lot more work to dig out, replace the paver base rocks, and the pavers. I don't know where the plants even are: probably tossed really far.
This is the garden, not the lawn. Should I use grub killer? Thanks.

Comments (19)

  • Babka NorCal 9b
    3 days ago

    Racoons are that strong. Some of the ones around here are over 30 pounds. Ours live in the storm drains. Have you seen any grubs when you dig around?


    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked Babka NorCal 9b
  • laceyvail 6A, WV
    3 days ago

    Yes, my vote for raccoons also.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked laceyvail 6A, WV
  • Beth (5b - SE-Michigan)
    3 days ago

    I would also vote for racoons, they actually have "thumbs" on their little paws. My pavers we also were moved this spring. I believe the racoons are looking for grubs/slugs anything which lives under the pavers.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked Beth (5b - SE-Michigan)
  • lisanti07028
    3 days ago

    Groundhogs are also that strong.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked lisanti07028
  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    3 days ago

    man.. its just one thing after another at your place this year ....


    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • gracie01 zone5 SW of Chicago
    3 days ago

    I would guess groundhogs. We placed some bricks under the garden gate to keep the groundhog out. He totally moved the bricks to sneak under the gate.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked gracie01 zone5 SW of Chicago
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    3 days ago

    I think the key would be to figure out what it is the animal is after. If it is grubs, then a try at trying to eliminate them would be something to do.

    Strange that you don't even know where the plants that have been uprooted are. Could they have been eaten?

    I have been having something eat my parsley and snip off flower stalks. I have a outdoor surveillance camera for my driveway and front door. I was asking my husband if we could point the camera to the garden temporarily to see what critters are coming. I wouldn't be able to see the actual garden, but it could pick up animals on the lawn.

    Wouldn't it be great to have one of those cameras that films any action in the garden during the night? Now and then I think it would be great to have one of those!

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
  • miles10612
    3 days ago

    We have had all sorts of grass and ground ripped up under my birdfeeders. I bet it's raccoons but who knows. Two years ago I made the mistake of putting some herbal tea leaves outside the door that had a few tiny pieces of orange rind in them. Next morning an opossum was looking in my patio door. Something has dug a large hole in my lawn this year--who knows what this is all about but a camera would certainly be interesting to have.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked miles10612
  • djacobz568sewi
    2 days ago

    Raccoons have been having repeated parties in my yard this. Mom and 4 little ones. Mom is I am sure one of the daughters of the mom from last year, and the year catch my drift. They are pests..... been knocking over my tomato morning I found 5 green tomatoes all over the deck. Not eaten, mind you—-just for fun......another morning a big branch from was broken. But most of all they come for the water in, filthy the water. Anyway, if they can climb the side of a brick house (I have seen this) and get into a chimney, they’re pretty strong! I agree it’s them.


    ps we moved the water bowl to a different location (cats need water in hot weather, they still found it, but no more tomatoes missing!

    pps when my mom cat had moved the kittens here at this house, one night a raccoon came through the back fence opening.....she tore across the yard at him growling and hissing, ready to claw or bite him. He took one look at her and turned around and ran! I was amazed a raccoon would back down from a mother cat like that! :-D

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked djacobz568sewi
  • almosthooked zone5
    2 days ago

    The racoons around here are a pest too. The kill chickens and eat all the eggs of the quail and also their babies too They came nightly eating all the cat food we set out for what I thought was a stray cat until I saw this 35 l pounder on our deck. Borrowed a live trap and caught her and 3 smaller ones20 lbs over the next week or two( they love marshmallows' too) They were all relocated in the same spot 20 miles down the logging road where they will stay out of harms way and my hosta. They are huge , cute and viscous so dont let that sweet face fool you. This is what they did to a new bread pan with their teeth. She destroyed my mat and they can kill your pets in minutes

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked almosthooked zone5
  • MadPlanter1 zone 5
    2 days ago

    Maybe that's what happened to the quail. We used to hear them at night and see them fairly often 10 years ago. Now we have LOTS of raccoons but no quail.

    We have a feeding station that's almost unclimbable. It's made of the fastest PVC pipe we could find. Every so often the raccoons figure out how to shiney up it, and I coat the poles with vaseline and hot sauce. That stops them in a hurry.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked MadPlanter1 zone 5
  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    2 days ago

    Almosthooked, racoons haven't yet really established themselves in my region and thankfully their numbers have remained very low. Had a buddy over the other day and he mentioned of how raccoons can tear a dog to shreds, | hadn't known them to be capable of being so vicious, but when I see the job done to your bread pan, it's obvious they can pack a punch!

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • frankielynnsie
    2 days ago

    I bet it is raccoons. We now have armadillos in North Ga and they can really tear up your yard. We think that is what got into part of our lawn. The next week there was a dead one in the street and no more messed up grass. I wish Florida and South Ga had kept these critters to themselves. Over the last 30 to 40 yrs we have gotten coyotes, groundhogs and now armadillos and I don't want any of them.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked frankielynnsie
  • mzdee
    2 days ago

    My money is on groundhogs. They dug a tunnel under my sidewalk area in a few hours. Cost me a ton of money in repairs and trapping. I was a newbie then. Now I know the power of a trap with apple and peanut butter.

    linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago) thanked mzdee
  • schoolhouse_gwagain
    2 days ago

    re: the raccoons. My brother said one of the reasons we are seeing so many is that the pelts are worth next to nothing, mostly nothing. One guy he knows had amassed a large number of the furs. When he took them to the buyer, the buyer said he (hunter) may as well go burn them as no one is buying them anymore. Apparently the oversea markets that used to buy them are not interested in importing raccoon furs anymore, or just not permitted to do so.

    What I think was a groundhog recently tried burrowing under the sandstone foundation of my house. I noticed it early enough that I threw the dirt back in besides chunks of concrete and set a large concrete piece up against the hole. Nearby, there was a shallow hole in the ground. I did what I usually do with groundhog holes - I poured used kitty litter into it. I keep checking, so far no more activity in these spots.

  • linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago)
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    I do have a trap for squirrels. Not sure how big a ground hog is.

    If it's safe to apply grub killer to a garden, that's what I'll do. I have a bag, but it only mentions lawns.

    I'm normally "live and let live", but the mess and destruction will take hours to correct. My husband painstakingly built stairs into a terraced bed so I would have secure footing. Now that's all torn up and the plants went who knows where. I don't look there every day: I guess I should.

    I'm really fried over the mini hostas. Maidenhair ferns, and other mini plants that were uprooted and dried out or missing by the time I saw it.

  • Babka NorCal 9b
    2 days ago

    Groundhogs are a lot bigger than squirrels. When you dig in the top 6" of soil do you find grubs??? We lost 1/2 our lawn last year when crows feasted on grubs, and bought lots of grub killer at HD and Lowes and at private nurseries. Each of three different granular bags for the lawn had a different main ingredient. The private nursery told us to us Sevin (carbaryl). When you say "garden", are you referring to anything you eat? Sevin is rated for use on veggies.

    Also to note, that some of those bags of grub killer only would work when the grubs were small, before they got to the 1-1/4" size buggers we had thousands of.

    Did the culprit(s) get into any neighbor yards?

    Wishing you well, I know the disappointment of seeing years of hard work destroyed.


  • MadPlanter1 zone 5

    Try the vaseline and hot sauce on your pavers. They get the hot sauce in their mouth and eyes, and then avoid the spot. It sounds cruel, but better than killing them. The only problem is your pavers will be slippery. You'd have to give them a good cleaning before walking on them. Maybe put it on just the edges.

  • gracie01 zone5 SW of Chicago

    I am going to pour citronella oil all around the perimeter of my garden to see if it keeps the groundhog (and any other critters) away. My BIL used it to drive the foxes out from under his shed.