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Need help on varmint ID!

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by boo, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I need help in identifying a critter that is making a mess in my new lawn. They started construction on a vacant lot next door and after excavation I started seeing these loose dirt mounds popping up along the property border (pic below...I hope).

    The mounds are typically 12" - 16" in diameter, and I've accumulated about 10 of them over the last 3 weeks. After reading some of the posts here, I thought maybe they were moles. However, there don't seem to be the mounded runs between the mounds or anywhere for that matter.

    Any help is appreciated.

    gopher hole0001b.jpg
  2. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Here is what it looks like if I clear away the loose dirt and search a little for the hole. The hole is approx. 2" - 3" in diameter. There are no exposed holes in the yard, only these mounds.

    gopher hole0003b.jpg
  3. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    we have the same problem, Moles!!!!!!!!
  4. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    It may be a ground squirrel. Usually moles will not have an entrance like that (just below the mound). We have some around here. I will include a picture. The damage can be easily confused for mole damage.

    They are SIMPLE to catch. The only hard part is actually seeing them run down their hole. When you see one run down, have a gallon jug filled with water, tip the gallon jug upside down so it pours into the hole, the squirrel will run twords the water.

    Next thing you know you will have a soaking wet ground squirrel in a milk jug.

    I did not think it worked untill we tried it a a campground we always go to. We caught two in an hr.

    It could be moles, but it looks to me like a squirrel borrow.


    LIBERTY LAWNCARE 2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    Okay - don't laugh, but we had the same problem last year, but with chipmunks. They really loved my garden and our stupid pitbull wasn't a deterent. He let them into his dog house.

    How did I get rid of the friggin' furry things? I build them a new home. That's right a new condo, at the FAR edge of our property.

    Stones, wood scraps and cinderblocks. Made nice little chipper condos. Then I put a food source near by. Planted sun flowers and other things they like to eat. I even dump sunflower seeds & squirrel food out there once in awhile to keep them away.

    No more damage!!! No more holes every where. No more weird mounds for me to trip on. :D
  6. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    Great Idea!!

    Once they get what they want they are happy.

    I bet your neighbors think you are nuts.:D

    LIBERTY LAWNCARE 2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    Nope. He donated some cinder blocks & carried them out for me.

    He kept finding mothballs every where & couldn't figure out where they came from until one day he overheard me trying to convince our dog that he should chase the chipmunks & we got into a discussion about them.

    Our dumb dog catches the chippers & squirrels & holds them down & licks them until they squirm away or bite him. Some vicious pitbull he is.

    I got to get that on tape.

    BTW - I also mixed human hair in the dark mulch in my herb garden. They don't like that either.
  8. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Thanks for the replies. I want to make sure that everyone knows that the pic of the exposed hole is AFTER I cleared away the dirt myself. There are no exposed holes (other than the one I uncovered), only these mounds of loose dirt.

    So, whatever these critters are, they stay mostly under ground. My neighbor seems to think they are gophers, but it seems like there should be open holes around as well as the mounds.

    If they are moles, I'm having a heck of a time finding any visible runs. Any thoughts?
  9. Hoffmm1

    Hoffmm1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    From your picture of the hole, you have pocket gophers(as opposed to stripped gophers). They leave a mound like you show. If you dig down the hole will go to a Tee within 10 to 15 inches of the surface(unless it is an end mound). Several mounds are connected together by their runs. You can try drowning them, poisoning them or trapping them. Trapping works best and is definitive. I've trapped 100's of them in Minnesota. They tend to dig new mounds in early spring and early fall. They are there all summer but generally don't make many new mounds other than spring and fall. Hope this helps.
  10. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Thanks Hoffmm1.

    I'm still getting conflicting opinions from neighbors and others. Some say moles some say gophers. After uncovering the mound (pictured above) the critter came back and re-created the mound over the open hole. Whatever these things are, they don't like light coming in.

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