11-04-2013 05:48 PM
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!
11-04-2013 08:56 PM
Small holes in your lawn are almost always caused by a digging or burrowing varmint. Before you can address the problem you have to identify the cause. Holes can be caused by anything from voles to bees to worms to crawfish, and the solution depends on correctly identifying the creature. And unless you can catch the critter in the act, you’ll need to do a little detective work. Take a look at the holes and try to answer these questions:
- What’s the size and shape of the hole?
- Is it just a hole, or does it lead to a burrow or tunnel?
- Is there loose dirt around the hole, or is it relatively clean?
- Are there any small hills, mounds, or piles of soil elsewhere in the yard?
- Are any plants (or grass) damaged, chewed, or shredded?
- What hardiness zone are you in? click this link to find out.
I've found everything from crayfish, cicada, mole cricket, vole or even night crawlers as the culprit to a mud pile like yours. Over the late autumn through to spring period, you might notice small mounds of soil on the surface of the lawn. The casts are the work of earthworms that live in the root zone of the soil.
I recommend going out early morning and digging up a spot (carefully keeping the sod intact) and seeing what you find. If you want to post a photo of the creature I'm sure we will all learn something from this situation.
I am a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
“If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed”
11-04-2013 09:51 PM
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
11-05-2013 09:41 AM
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.
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.
Let us know what you find. We look forward to hearing back from you.
I’m a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
11-05-2013 04:05 PM
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?
11-06-2013 10:05 AM - edited 11-06-2013 10:06 AM
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!
I’m a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
11-06-2013 09:45 PM
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.
11-07-2013 12:26 AM
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??
11-07-2013 09:29 AM
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:
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…..you 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
11-07-2013 12:45 PM
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
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.