Help! Holes in my lawn

pageklJune 11, 2006

Help! I need some help in identifying what's causing the holes in my lawn. It's hard to tell because I have a dog who usually gets to the holes before I do so they're generally a lot bigger after he's done digging. I haven't noticed any mounds in the lawn so I don't think it's gophers but I have come out a couple of times and found very neat little 2" holes with small piles of dirt next to them. These holes were small enough and neat enough that I'm sure my dog did not dig them. But my dog (who hasn't normally been much of a digger until we moved here) has been going nuts and digging large trenches around these holes so I think he's after something. Plus when you look into some of the trenches he's dug, there is definitely some sort of small tunnel down there. I live in southern California and we do have possums and squirrels in the yard. But my dog does chase pretty much everthing that moves in the backyard and he has caught a couple of birds. I would be surprised if it were a ground squirrel -- I just don't know how they'd get past the dog. Up until this last week, we'd go a week or two between holes popping up. I'd fill them and then in another week or two, the dog (or so I thought) had dug another (the previous holes did not reappear just new ones). I thought it was just the dog but recently I noticed some holes that I think I saw before he got to them -- they just didn't look like he could have dug them. Too small and too clean. Any ideas?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Are these holes attached to a tunnel system or are they burying holes? Shews could be a possibility if they have tunnels, and there are a wide assortment of little digging critters, such as chipmunks, voles, etc. 2 " is too large for them to be made by any of the solitary wasps, or earthworms, so I'm thinking 4 legged critter here.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 6:23PM
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cramapple

It sounds a lot like gophers to me. They'll have the main entrance holes which are the classic hole with all the dirt piled in a "crescent" to one side of a plugged hole. However, along the runs they'll make "pop" holes. They just pop up (imagine that) and feed on grass and other herbacious plants / weeds around the hole, go back into the run, and move along. Many times juvenile gophers in particular will not plug these holes back up (Hence the 2" diameter rather than something a bit larger). Look for signs of feeding around the holes if you can get to them before your dog does and if you find it, you can be fairly certain it's gophers.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 7:03PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Or, perhaps voles, aka meadow mice.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 12:43AM
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TwoMonths(So Calif)

page, I am also in So. Ca. I am thinking like me you have pocket gophers. They pop their heads out some but I have never seen them come out. I am in Moreno valley, riverside County. We fight these each spring cause the neighbors have dirt yards and we have a lot of grass. Now this year they are working in the field out back with heavy equipment and driving them this way. The neighbor dog grabbs them and kills them...does not eat them. Our cat has caught some. Your dog is just reacting to the noise under ground and 'hunting' Put a search in on the Garden Web forum and put in Gophers and see what all they are doing to be rid of them. We are down to two now. One in the front is a "Caddy Shack" contender. We have done poison, gopher flares, road flares, castor oil, chewing gum. No luck yet. I need to kill it and not chase it to a neighbor and have them chase it back. June

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 12:31AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Try pouring human urine around the entrance. It works with a number of other burrowers and could work here too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Getting rid of groundhogs and other burrowers

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 12:07PM
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andre7775

janetr: urine will kill everything around it.

Here is a link that might be useful: holes in lawn

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 9:51PM
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