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Dirt seeping out for edge of Lawn, Big Piles everywhere!! HELP!!

I have had some weird stuff happening to my front lawn the pass week and trying to figure out what's going on.  I tried googling it but have not found any answers.I've already shoveled a couple patches along the sides but it seems to come out in other areas.  Some times i clean up a pile and go into the house and after a few hours, i see another pile start forming for another side of the lawn.  I'm pretty sure it's not gophers as it does not have any holes.  Can someone please shed some light on this as it's driving me crazy!




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Posted 2013-11-04T22:48:33+0000  by henmohome henmohome

Thanks for your response Dave.  I'm so fustrated with this problem.  I've been researching and can't find a solution.  I went to home depot today to buy some Amdro Mole and Gopher Bait but haven't applied it yet because i wanted to be sure it's a mole.  I'm not even sure if it's a mole!  Below is the answer to your questions and i've attached more pictures of the mounds in question.


  • What’s the size and shape of the hole? - I don't see a hole anywhere within the mound.  This mound formed from this morning and the pile seem to have gotten bigger!
  • Is it just a hole, or does it lead to a burrow or tunnel? - i don't see any holes, i shoveled some of the dirt away and dont' seem to find any tunnel at all.  
  • Is there loose dirt around the hole, or is it relatively clean? - It's loose dirt on the mound and relatively clean but i don't see a hole anywhere.
  • Are there any small hills, mounds, or piles of soil elsewhere in the yard? - This mounds only appear at the edges of my lawn.  No mounds are in the middle of my lawn what so ever.  If i shovel up the mound, another mound of dirt appears somewhere else.
  • Are any plants (or grass) damaged, chewed, or shredded? - None of the grass is damaged, the only thing is that the grass starts to dry out where the mounds are forming.
  • What hardiness zone are you in? click this link to find out. - Northern California




Posted 2013-11-05T02:51:10+0000  by henmohome


Hi there henmohome,


I’m Jen, from The Home Depot.  Dave is out of the office at the moment so I thought I would chime in to help.


My guess is that you have a Cicada doing work on your property.  They are very tiny, only about 1” in size but they can do a lot of damage. 


Cicada coming out of the ground.jpg

Yale Photo


Cicada Dirt Mound.jpg

Dirt Mound from a Cicada


The reason why I am guessing Cicada over a mole is because I believe it is too hard for the Cicada to break through your luscious grass.  Many times they do their best work at night, so perhaps you are waking up to piles in the morning.  They are herbivores and like to suck the liquids of plant roots.


I found this video on YouTube of a Cicada at work.  You will be amazed at their strength for their size.


Also, this National Geographic article provides a description and has audio of the Cicada.


I know that you have not found a hole yet but I feel there must be one somewhere.  Have you tried to lift up the dead or dying grass to see if there is a hole under it?


Scotts Bug B Gon will help control the infestation of Cicadas.  I recommend using the spray so it can penetrate the area.


Bug B Gon Spray.JPG


Let us know what you find.  We look forward to hearing back from you.

Posted 2013-11-05T14:41:18+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Hi Jen,

Thanks for responding on Dave's behalf and taking the time to give me more of an idea on what this may be.


I've taken a look at the video and i did sit out in the code last night to see if there was any movement but there wasn't any. From the video, it looks like there is a little hole that they come in and out from.  I don't have any holes what so ever in any of my mound of dirt.  I've purchase the Bug B Gon, Amdro Mole and Gopher bait and ready to use one of these.  Some of my collegues told me to plug a hose at one end and turn on the water.  What do you think about this technique?


I've added pictures from this morning as the mound of dirt is getting bigger and bigger.  Should i be worried about the where this dirt is coming from, as in do i need to refill some spots of the lawn where this dirt came from?


Side view.jpg


Front view.jpg


Middle lawn.jpg

Posted 2013-11-05T21:05:49+0000  by henmohome


Hi there henmohome,


I’m starting to wonder if it’s mole damage!?!



Facts about moles:


  • Moles are carnivorous and they primarily eat earth worms, in lawns with rich soil and pristine grass.
  • Although now always nocturnal, moles work in 4hr shifts, usually when it’s quiet.  This could be late at night or in the early morning hours. 
  • They avoid working when they hear vibrations from people or cars.
  • Moles sleep and work in 4hr shifts and they can dig 12’-15’ per hour.
  • Mole damage comes in the form of mounds and tunnels.

How to get rid of moles:


  • Set a mole trap and remove.
  • Use mole bait, they will eat and die underground.
  • Use mole repellant and spray the tunnels to keep them from returning.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted 2013-11-06T15:05:21+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Wow Jen, thanks for the video response.  I love the commitment that Home Depot have to their customer and helping us trouble shoot issues with home issues.  I'll say that you've gone above and beyond helping me with this issue.


So I came home from work tonight and my wife told me to try something that her friend suggested which was push a hose into the hole and turn on the water and drown the mole.


At the end, i found about 3 to 5 holes that went pretty deep into my lawn.  I'm not sure if i accomplished drowning the mole but here are some pictures of the hole.






Posted 2013-11-07T02:45:27+0000  by henmohome

Also to answer some of your questions:


1. Our neighbors do not have nice lawns because we recently purchased our homes 5 months ago and i think the previous owner did some landscaping work prior to selling to house to increase the curb appeal.  One neighbors lawn is dried out and mostly dirt patches.  The other neighbor doesn't have a lawn, but have a front full of white rocks.  There are a few other homes with nice lawns but they are about 5 to 8 houses away.


2. The ground was squisy when we walk near the holes and dirt mounds.  I am pretty sure we have a mole problem as when i push the hose down the hole, there was not resistance of dirt blockage but just kept on going downwards.  i dont' think the tunnels are near the surface of the lawn but lower into the ground as the lawn is still green and from videos i've seen, the tunnels create a line of dead patch of lawn where ever their tunnels are.


Question: Should i be worried about the dirt that the mole has taken out of my lawn.  I feel mole took a big chunk of the soil under neath and i'm worried that that dirt needs to be replaced??  

Posted 2013-11-07T05:26:18+0000  by henmohome

Greetings henmohome!

Crazy activity in your yard, Wow!!


Jen is not in the office today, but I have to tell you.... you’re fantastic  photos, puzzling problem, and great questions have been a topic of discussion in our  Boston, Home Depot Community cubicles for days now!


Just as Jen stated, in one of our first, face to face, on-line, video responses….determining your pest is a process of elimination.


 Kudos to you and your “Sherlock” detective approach waiting, and watching at night! I do believe that you have identified your culprit and so does Jen!


 Jen is working in aisles of her Home Depot today, but she checked your response on the in-store computer.  Jen suggest that you stop by your local Home Depot and check out these products to help eradicate your moles:


                                                         Mole tox.png


Now I just want to add my thoughts …..I was thinking that….this is a new home for you and you stated that the previous owners may have done some sprucing up….adding some curb appeal.


 I am wondering if it is a fresh sod lawn??? The root system of the sod is thick…so maybe the moles tunneled their  way down and came out where it was easier to surface, by the walkway!


 The lawn may have had problems before you bought the house, sod is a quick and easy sollutinon to make things look pretty...and cover up problems!


 Like Jen stated, you may have delicious subterranean bugs, grubs, and earthworms that are luring moles to your yard. Eliminating their food source will also help in deterring your unwanted guest; Grub-X could help with the cure to your problem.


You have a lot going on now: get rid of the moles first! 


 You will see some lawn damage next season, because of the loss of soil, and the root disturbance from the tunneling ….but one step at a time!  Take care of the problem, then we can help with the repair… know we will be waiting to help you!!    Once again... great photos, thank you!


Best of luck from all of us at the, Home Depot Community!!    Maureen

Posted 2013-11-07T14:29:18+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS

Thanks Maureen and Jen for helping me through all this.  I think it's great that there is discussions about my infested lawn full of bugs and moles :smileylol:


Pictures of the aftermath of last nights hosing and my attempt to drown the mole.  So pretty much we stuck the hose into the mounds and found the tunnel and keep the water on in each of the holes for about 5 minutes.  Water was seeping out on the edge of the lawn after a while. I woke up this morning expecting to see other mounds of dirt elsewhere but so far, i haven't seen any new development.  I do have my fingers crossed but not expecting it to work.


From talking with a lot of people, moles are actually a very common problem.  Because of this, I think i need more of a long term solution or a preventive one going forward.  I will definitely look into the products you've suggest as you are more of an expert in this than me. 


What's the most fustrating part of this is that i spend a good amount of time taking care of the lawn and this happen.  Lastly, the last picture i've attached is how the long used to look like from the previous owners.  It looks like there was a lot of weeds and other stuff growing on it.










Posted 2013-11-07T17:45:43+0000  by henmohome

Greetings once more henmohome,


It is because your lawn is so gorgeous, and well maintained that your furry, burrowing pest find it so inviting!


I can really sense your frustration level…have you ever seen Bill Murray in Caddie Shack? You probably will not find the humor in it now…. but you will relate to his character.


Okay, one more suggestion; as a long range, continuous weapon, to use in newly acquired arsenal ….


Remember in Jens answer, she stated that moles like quiet times to do their digging? And they work in shifts?


How about trying a solar powered, pulsing spike,  mole repeller?


    solar mole.pngsonic review.png


This may be totally worth a try....but you may have drowned them all already!!

But If not, this may keep them and their relatives away!


Please keep us up to date with the war stories!           Maureen,   and Jen

Posted 2013-11-07T18:30:33+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS

Jen and Maureen, you both are SUPER STARS!


I'm going to see what's the outcome of flooding the tunnels after work today.  What I'm worried about with the spike is that it'll just push them to another part of the lawn or the other side of the lawn.  I am planning on getting this spike but at the same time, get the grub killers so i can deplete their food supply.


All in all, it's been a big learning experience for me.  It was pretty stupid of me to think that it was the lawn shifting a little and that was what was causing the dirt mounds. 

Posted 2013-11-07T20:31:35+0000  by henmohome
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