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Bull
06-04-2005, 04:03 AM
I'm sorry but I don't have any pictures. I went to cut one of my lawns on Friday and the customer comes out to make me aware of some holes that have been made in her yard. For the past three days we have had a good slow soaking rainfall totaling almost two inches. When I looked at the holes they appeared to be probably a hundred or more in her yard and they seemed to be located under or around the tree canopy. Almost every tree had some of these holes under them. At first it appeared that something with a nose similar to a possum had rooted into the ground in search of something but the more holes I looked at I noticed that some of them were deep. They all seem to be about 1" or so in diameter and the only grass disturbed is just what came out of the hole itself. It does not appear that anything was clawing at the ground. Each hole also has a small amount of dirt mounded up on one side of the hole not all the way around the hole. I cannot figure out if something went in the ground or came out of the ground. I have never seen this before. Any ideas?

Richard Martin
06-04-2005, 04:37 AM
Cicadas? There are more then just the 17 year variety.

Bull
06-04-2005, 07:24 AM
Richard, if it is cicada's are they coming out of the ground after wintering or going in the ground?

Mo Green
06-04-2005, 07:29 AM
I know this is a shot in the dark.......could the holes be made from water dripping down continuously from the same place on the tree? I have seen that same type of thing around the outside of houses that do not have gutters. The water just drips and drips down to the same spot, eventually making a hole.

grass_cuttin_fool
06-04-2005, 07:31 AM
My guess would be a skunk in search of grubs but not sure

Markf
06-04-2005, 07:36 AM
I agree with Grasscutter. I have witnessed skunk, raccoons, etc forage for grubs and when they dig they leave a mound of dirt to once side. This all takes place at dusk. Was the any indication of the grubs? Does the grass come up easily? Have the grass roots been eaten?
Mark

lawnman_scott
06-04-2005, 07:38 AM
Maybe moles. You would probably see some tunneling close to the surface though. I have a customer that has them real bad, very hard to get rid of.

leaflawnandlimb
06-04-2005, 07:59 AM
if the homeowner has noticed crows on her lawn alot they too are looking for grubs. So if there are grubs then the holes are most likley from a skunk.

MPH
06-04-2005, 08:04 AM
Here's an unlikely possibility. I had a friend whose property had a really high water table. Her entire back yard was infested with crawdads. I couldn't believe it... not in NC, but that's what it was. Never did find a solution to the problem.
Megan

Bull
06-04-2005, 09:50 AM
Thanks everyone so far but I still feel like it must be something else. Some of the holes appeared to be 6" deep or more. I couldn't actually see the bottom of any them. They all appeared to go more or less in a straight down direction. There has not been any problems with moles such as the tunnels most are familiar with and the sod is not torn up like something was digging out grubs.

Richard Martin
06-04-2005, 10:21 AM
Richard, if it is cicada's are they coming out of the ground after wintering or going in the ground?

They would most likely be coming out. You should start hearing them "singing" in the trees soon.

Cicadas are grouped into different broods. Brood X is probably the most famous since it encompasses such a large portion of the country for 6 weeks every 17 years. They come out of the ground, shed their nymph shell and then have sex for 6 weeks until the females lay their eggs in the soft new growth of tree branches and then die. The eggs hatch and the nymphs drop off and digs back into the ground for 17 more years. Different broods come out at different times and at different intervals. There are also annual cicadas.

You could easily do an Internet seach and see if there are any broods due in your area at this time.

Envy Lawn Service
06-04-2005, 11:36 AM
I'm betting Crawdads also....

How flat is the area and how far is this from a source of water?
Any water standing in the holes?
Nice neat little mounds of dirt around the holes?

packerbacker
06-04-2005, 11:43 AM
I have a ton of those little holes in my beds around my house. I caught squirlls digging them a month ago.

Tn Lawn Man
06-04-2005, 12:36 PM
Grab a shovel and dig down....let us know what you find.

sheshovel
06-04-2005, 01:43 PM
You have gofers my freind.They don't always leave a nice neat circle of dirt around the holes.

arkylady
06-04-2005, 04:09 PM
One of our properties has a small pond on it and most of the yard on that end of the house is covered with crawdad holes. Never seen anything like it :)

DFW Area Landscaper
06-04-2005, 04:18 PM
I bet it's armadillos.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

PTP
06-04-2005, 04:41 PM
I had something like this on one of my properties. The hole was about an 1.5 inches in diameter and you could take a rake and put the handle in the hole and it could swallow all of it.

Do any of the animals that you mentioned dig a hole that deep?

There was water at the bottom of the hole.

T Edwards
06-04-2005, 05:02 PM
Bull, don't be surprised if you find out the holes are caused by burrowing toads.

Envy Lawn Service
06-04-2005, 06:15 PM
I had something like this on one of my properties. The hole was about an 1.5 inches in diameter and you could take a rake and put the handle in the hole and it could swallow all of it.

Do any of the animals that you mentioned dig a hole that deep?

There was water at the bottom of the hole.

That's good sized Crawdads!!!

webfoot
06-04-2005, 06:36 PM
I vote crawdads.My uncles property is full of them and he has real clay like soil.

burns60
06-05-2005, 12:43 AM
We haven't always had armadillas in MS. They migrate from west to east. What you describe is an armadilla, I think. I wonder though if they have made it over that far yet. They are nocturnal, and you likely won't see one....unless he is run over. ( they seem to have not figured out how to cross a road yet) In fact, that is about the best way to get rid of them.

The Captain
06-05-2005, 01:37 AM
The suggestion of crawdads made me think of worms, like the large "night crawler" verity. My dad used to go out with his brother after a heavy rain, usually at night, and bring back buckets of these things. They used them for bait, river fishing. Some of these worms were so large they almost looked like small snakes. I've been finding alot of worm or grub damage under the canopy of fruit trees, such as cherry or crab apple. The soil is like sand or peat in density and not much grass. A real pain to use a push mower through.

Jim

Envy Lawn Service
06-05-2005, 03:07 AM
As Jim said, it also could be worms, if the holes are worm size, and I have seen that.

BarnOwl
06-05-2005, 06:35 AM
I don't know if you have them up there, but these holes look a lot like vole channels to me. I have a lot of them in my yard under trees and along hedges and fences.
They do not make a pile of earth like moles and the damage to the turf is not so great. I include a pic to see if you recognize it..........

Texas Mowem
06-05-2005, 10:03 AM
Cicada Killers?

grass-scapes
06-06-2005, 10:36 PM
Here's an unlikely possibility. I had a friend whose property had a really high water table. Her entire back yard was infested with crawdads. I couldn't believe it... not in NC, but that's what it was. Never did find a solution to the problem.
Megan

I have a customer that has the same holes you described. They are in his drainage ditch, only on one side of the property. looks like mud came up through the ground and left a hole. They are deep. Told me someone came out and told him it was crawdads.

nelbuts
06-06-2005, 10:44 PM
When you described the holes I thought the same thing as MPH. When they come out they only have dirt on one side. They will come out after a hard rain so that may be it.