Holes appearing in yard!

tenrocDecember 23, 2006

I have recently noticed holes appearing in my yard. The first was

discovered when digging our pond. There was a perfectly round hole,

several inches in diameter, quite deep, nearly the length of a shovel

handle. It looked as if were machine made, it was smooth and perfect.

The next hole occurred near the rear of the house, a bench collapsed

into it! Today I noticed another, around the corner from the last one,

through the gravel in the side yard. I am in the middle of Los Angeles,

the only "wildlife" I have are birds, squirrels, feral cats and rats.

What could be causing these?

Thanks,

Tina

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Heathen1(10a)

I'd think gophers or moles... probably gophers. I am getting very small piles of dirt... about 1/4 the size of normal gopher piles... I am wondering if it's moles.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 12:01AM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

I noticed the same thing after the recent rain. It was old gopher holes.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 10:42AM
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tenroc

There is no soil unearthed around my holes, just a hole. It looks as if a pole was removed or something. Would that still be gophers?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 12:58PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Doesn't sound like it. There would be a pile of loose soil that the gopher pushed out of the hole. Possibly old post holes from before you lived there??

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 6:32PM
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socal23(USDA10/Sunset23)

I would also suspect old posts that have rotted away. This has actually been a significant problem in some parts of the Northeast where lumber was buried years ago and rotted away resulting in sinkholes.

Ryan

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 7:24PM
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calistoga_al

A similar hole was found in my yard, though it was not round. A shelf had been cut into the soil to build the house about 50 years ago. This hole was near the house on the downhill side. I put a 10 foot pole down it without hitting bottom. On general principles I thought the hole should be filled. Using water and soil and small rocks I filled the hole up to soil level. I really have no explanation for the hole but have not found any more in the 15 years since. Al

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 10:22AM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

Mine, I'm sure, are old gopher holes. There are lots of them, with no piles, because they're no longer in use. We had a war on gophers, so they've moved to another area (on our property, unfortunately). They like it better here than the wild area right next to the cultivated part...darn it.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 2:31PM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

Hi Tina,
I think it might be gophers or voles. I went out in my yard today and found holes similiar to what you described. It think they are old abandoned gopher holes and the recent rain has washed them open. At least that is what they look like in my yard. The gophers dig a long tunnel and push the dirt out the other end, that is why you probably don't see any dirt. It definitely looks like it is a mystery!
Elaine

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 9:15PM
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socks

We have holes in our flower beds. Suspect it's two raccoons we saw when coming home late one night. But they are not the kind of holes you described. Good luck figuring it out.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 10:41AM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

i have these holes inside and outside of my chicken coop and have caught some very sleek and well-fed little rats who dig them to get access to the chicken feed. luckily they do sometimes like a chocolate/peanut butter mix (in traps) even more. min

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 6:23PM
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bugsb(9)

You are all mistaken. I know exactly what is causing these holes. TENROC BE VERY CAREFUL. It is the dreaded earth boring chupacabra. They came across the border illegally some years ago and are proliferating. I knew this would happen someday.

Here is a link that might be useful: My pond

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:17PM
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eloise_ca

Has there been any construction going on in your area? If so, perhaps the gophers/voles have been displaced and have come into your yard. I certainly have a lot of gopher activity going on right now in my garden because of this. I must take the time to set the traps before they destroy more of my plants!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 8:54AM
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cgm707

I know what gopher holes look like....But now my huge garden is coverred with holes, but most of the holes don't go all the way through, like regular gopher holes. There aren't any mounds, either, like gophers usually make.

Anyone know what these holes are caused by, and how to prevent them? My beautiful garden looks like a war zone.

Thanks for any help!

Chip

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:42AM
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cgm707

I know what gopher holes look like....But now my huge garden is coverred with holes, but most of the holes don't go all the way through, like regular gopher holes. There aren't any mounds, either, like gophers usually make.

Anyone know what these holes are caused by, and how to prevent them? My beautiful garden looks like a war zone.

Thanks for any help!

Chip

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:16AM
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caflowerluver

They might be Ground Squirrel holes. They don't have mounds of dirt around them like gophers, but are just holes in the ground. We had an infestation of them about 10 years ago. We didn't know what they were and just let it go. Before long our 2.5 acres was covered in holes, looked like Swiss cheese, and it took a major eradication to get rid of them. They leave their holes during the day and only go back to them at night so that is the only time you can get rid of them. They kind of look like a brown tree squirrel but with a whimpy thin tail.
C

CA ground Squirrel

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 2:19PM
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jxa44

i vote for vole holes. the voles in my yard dig small round holes, which they sometimes try to close (so there is no soil around the the hole) but sometimes they don't. when they recover the hole, it's just a small recessed hole that looks as if a pole would easily fit down it.

I know they are vole holes because I've seen the voles!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 12:14PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

If the soil is damp and fertile, I would say skunks. They will "sound" for grubs by digging small holes in soft earth. If they don't find any, they move on to another spot.

Solution - fence in planted areas where there is vegetable growing and moist fertile soil. For lawns - try to dry before nightfall if possible.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 7:21PM
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sherrietok

I have just starting finding strange holes in my yard. They are about 2 inches in diameter with no mounded dirt and it looks like a tunnel. It goes straight down for a couple of inches and then turns horizontal. There are close to a dozen up against the back of my house and some near the garden and a couple in the back yard. We have moles and gophers and these are nothing like that.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 5:21PM
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californian

I hand dug a basement under my house (several months of work) and encountered several round holes going down several feet or more while digging in the rock hard clay that I had to use an electric jackhammer to break up. I am guessing they may have been there for years or even centuries.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:41PM
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Elise(9b BayArea CA)

You have rat holes. They are neat round holes and there is no dirt excavated or piled around them.

I tried several kinds of traps, including electric shock traps, but nothing worked. I had these holes for 3 years and they were increasing all over the garden. I also spotted the rats hanging onto my bird feeder at night when I shined a flashlight on it. I stopped putting out bird food.

Finally I resorted to a poison trap. It was a large plastic enclosed box with a small hole just big enough for a rat to get in. (I have dogs so I was concerned that they couldn't get in). The bait was a peanut-based blood thinner. Two weeks later the bait and all the rats had disappeared and I gave away the trap to a neighbor. I haven't had any holes or seen any rats for over a year now.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:52PM
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