Mysterious Mounds of Dirt????

bizydiggin(7 OKC)March 11, 2007

This is more curiosity that anything... Lately in our yard (and serveral yards around us) we have had a few mounds of dirt show up overnight. We have several theories as to what could be causing them...armadillos, moles, ants, termites? The dirt is really loose and can be raked down rather easily. When we rake it out, there aren't any critters that are trying to escape (i.e. ants or termites). There doesn't seem to be a distinct tunnel like you'd expect with a snake or a gopher. I've never seen an armadillo, but I've seen the blogs from all the people who "love" them so much... Could this be our noctural landscaper? Any ideas? It's not a nusiance, we don't plan to try to poison them or eradicate them in anyway, DH and I are not familiar with the local critters and I was hoping someone here might have some ideas... Thanks!!

PS... Anyone else itching to start digging in the dirt??? hehehe... DH has kept me busy putting up stockade fencing for the last week, I envy those of you that have had time to prepare your planting beds!!

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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Those mounds are why we plant roses in hardware cages. They are either moles or pocket gophers. They go all through our yard and through the neighborhood.

Sammy

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 10:25AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I agree with Sammy. We used to have them every now and then, but then the cats went on a wild vole, mole and gopher hunting binge....and that was that, for us at least. Lots of our neighbors have them though.

If you want, look at the pictures of the gopher mounds in the attached link to see if they are similar to what you're seeing in your neighborhood. If it is moles instead of gophers, you should be able to see a raised up ridge of soil where their tunnels run. We had lots more gophers than we had moles.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: vole, gopher and mole info

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 6:58PM
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steffieok

HI, I have had both gophers and moles in my yard and it is very frustating. In fact, I had my bathroom fixtures redone and the plumber had to go through the wall. He showed my a big pile of dirt at the base of the foundation in the hall closet and asked me if we had gophers. How happy was I?

I do not use chemicals or sprays, but you can bother them to the point they will leave. I take my garden hose and run it in the tunnels and turn it on full blast. I would say they did not die but they pretty much dont like it when you are trying to drown them. Old remedies I have heard about:

chewing gum in the tunnels---although I think that does kill them.

Caster beans in the tunnels---that does kill them.

Human hair in the tunnels or down the mound. It does not kill them but they pick up the scent of human on them and then no other moles or gophers will go close to them, its a mating thing.

Paul James says human urine is the best thing and when he and his two sons were home he had no problems just him now and he can't keep the gophers or moles away with just him. Somehow that seems to work for the guys but I cant see myself taking care of that problem.

If it were fire ants or termites you would notice if you disturb the mound but be very careful with that one.

I like my water hose trick myself, cause I really am just spending a little more on the water and bothering them. If you add the neighborhood cats I have not had much trouble in the past several years. I have noticed gophers when a new building site is close by, they seem to really get active then.

Good luck but I am guessing gophers or moles.

Stephanie

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 10:34PM
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bizydiggin(7 OKC)

All the information that you've provided leads me to conclude...pocket gophers. We had to dig 68 holes for the fence that we just finished, and the same day they started trenching behind us in order to put in the foundation of a new home. The next day is when I noticed a mound in our yard.

Stephanie - DH loves the "control method" you suggested. What is it about men marking their territory? Now he thinks he's doing a service!!!

:)

Thank you all again for the quick info!!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 1:54AM
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mrbreeze(z6/7 OK)

The good news is, you know what it is now. The bad news is, it would be better if it were moles instead.

Moles are carnivorous and eat bugs in the earth, including grubs that will eat your plants.

Gophers, on the other hand, are vegetarians and will always seek your most expensive, newly planted gems, and destroy them be eating the roots. Gophers are nothing more than a squirrel that has lost the fuzzy dumb tail ...and managed to dig a hole. Just like squirrels, they are pure evil and their main goal in life is to torment humans and damage their property.

I tried castor beans last year and they seemed to work pretty well. Plus the plants are very ornamental.
-MB

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:42PM
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