What Are Some Rodents That Burrow?

Rodents that burrow include chipmunks, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats and voles. Prairie dogs and woodchucks are larger burrowing rodents that create holes that range from 3 to 8 inches in diameter. Woodchuck burrows tend to be on the bigger side and contain both front and back door holes. Prairie dog holes produce pushed up soil around the edges.

Chipmunk, rat, vole and ground squirrel holes are smaller than those of the bigger rodents at less than 3 inches in diameter. Both ground squirrel and chipmunk holes are small and clean, and kangaroo rat holes are longer than they are high. These holes also tend to be dug in sandy soil. Some of the smallest holes and burrows are those of voles at only the diameter of a dime. Voles tend to dig their burrows around plants.

Some other burrowing rodents include pacas, tuco-tucos, gophers and mole rats, the first two of which are native to South America. The paca or spotted cavy has a spotted brownish coat, while the tuco-tuco more closely resembles a rat.

Burrowing rodents have adapted to digging with strong nails, a practice that can both benefit and damage the soil. For instance, prairie dog aerate the soil in which they live, but this also can cause problems for farm animals that step in the holes.