Newly planted grass... Was your yard dead or did you do work/landscaping? If it was dead or struggling you likely have a serious grub infestation. Squirrels eat grubs as well as nuts. Weak/dead/dying grass with barespots screams grub infestation. As the grass weakens the grubs come closer to the surface where eventually squirrels can easy dig them up. Moles are also a big sign of a grub problem. Super easy to cure. Just use grub killer in fall and spring, should take care of it.