Can you help me figure out these holes?

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Old 11-08-10, 07:26 PM
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Can you help me figure out these holes?

I have about a million (it seems) little holes all over my side and backyard. They are about 1 inch in diameter and only go about 2 - 3 inches deep. They are perfectly round and outside all holes are little compacted pellets of dirt that appears to have come out of the hole.

It looks like someone went through my yard with an aerator (spelling) but I know I have not hired anyone to do that and my dogs would not let anyone in the fenced in backyard to do it. I did find a dead baby mole a few weeks prior to noticing these holes but I don't believe this is what they are from. When my boyfriend first noticed them he asked why we had so much goose feces in our yard but its just the dirt from the holes.

Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated as I would like to get rid of this problem especially if they have anything to do with spiders........I have been having huge spiders in the house the past month or so I am assuming due to the weather changing but I have never seen them as big as they are this year!! Could the holes be from some kind of digging spider or something?

Thanks again for any help or ideas.
 
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Old 11-09-10, 03:45 AM
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Welcome to the forums! I have seen these in previous yards I have owned, but they were only about 1/2" in diameter, but who's counting? It turned out to be a form of wasp, could have been even a dirt dauber. They would dig a hole and hover over it a while, then be gone. Not sure if that is what you have or not. One possible cure would be to apply lime to your yard. Probably wouldn't take a lot, but it would help eradicate any weeds you have in the spring and may help with the varmints digging in the yard.
 
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Old 11-09-10, 05:00 AM
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We see holes from skunks digging for food quite a bit and the squirrels are burying nuts right now
 
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Old 11-09-10, 08:01 AM
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What the OP is describing is not caused by a skunk or squirrels. Skunks tear up and overturn sod. I have never seen squirrels bury nuts on a lawn. I also don't think it is a mole - too many holes.

My guess is that Chandler is correct. Some sort of ground wasp.
 
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Old 11-09-10, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
I have never seen squirrels bury nuts on a lawn.
Not sure they're actually burying anything but they're leaving behind lots of holes, though not as deep as the OP mentioned. I know it's squirrels 'cause I see them digging
 
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Old 11-09-10, 09:52 AM
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Someone knowing anything about squirrels know they bury nuts in the ground. This is a way for them to store food during the winter months when food sources may become less plentiful. However, the small holes I watch them dig are not perfectly round as OP described as they dig w/ their front paws much like a dog would do. They also backfill the small hole to prevent other critters from stealing their nut. If an area is mulched near a tree, they seem to prefer to bury the seed in mulch, and presumably because itís easier to dig than dirt. To speed up the process, a squirrel will gnaw at a small branch w/ foliage and seeds, and let it drop to the ground for seed removal rather than climbing the tree repeatedly to bring one or two seeds down at a time. While usually not territorial by nature, they can be territorial around the area they have buried food, and will fight or chase off another squirrel attempting to steal their buried seeds.

A simple way to help narrow down what may be causing the holes is to take a spade and remove some dirt from it to see if a seed exists. A wasp is not going to be dropping a seed in hole. If these are fresh holes, itís extremely late in the year for a mud dauber to be building nests. This is an activity that normally occurs during spring/summer months, and when people start posting here asking what causes the mud nest.

Google Image Result for https://www-s.aces.uiuc.edu/photolib/lib1523/midsize/squirrel2045.jpg From this link under the caption of food: ďBoth fox and gray squirrels cache (store) food for later use by burying it.Ē
 
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Old 11-09-10, 09:56 AM
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Always helps to have a location where things are happening. We had some holes similar to what was described...and its from a big giant (non-agressive or poisonous) wasp out here in the desert.
 
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Old 11-09-10, 11:23 AM
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I'm sure that they have no relationship to spiders in or around your house.

What state are you in?

How long did it take for these holes to appear (over what time frame)?

Do the holes go straight down, or angle down? In this part of the country cicada killers make large holes in yards as incubation chambers, although they stopped this seasonal activity months ago.

Take photos/samples to a local agricultural office. In Pa. we have county extension offices which are extensions of Penn State University. These offices are a valuable source of info, especially on regional insects/rodents.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 08:35 PM
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I am in Indiana and the holes go straight down but are only about 2 inches deep. We just noticed them about 2 to 3 weeks ago and it was like they appeared overnight.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 08:41 PM
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I have 2 small children and my kids play in the back yard all the time. Is this something that I should be concerned about? If its possible that it can put my kids or dogs in danger I definitely want to fix the problem as soon as possible. I did stick my finger in a few of the holes (probably not the smartest thing to do) just to see how deep they went but luckily all of the holes seem completely empty.
 
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Old 11-12-10, 02:20 PM
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I have no idea what these holes are or what made them. One inch diameter is pretty big for an insect to make. The fact that they appeared quickly, and apparently none recently doesn't sound like rodents or insects. If you aren't seeing insects/rodents, then they probably aren't there, especially with the number of holes that you have. I can't imagine any danger. Again, I would suggest that you show a picture of them to a local agricultural extension office (see my previous post). Keep us posted, I'm curious.
 
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