Some underground animal(s) is leaving HUGE mounds of dug-up dirt in my yard. We've been plagued with moles for 15 years and easily recognize mole tunnels. These are totally different. We live in a rural area in southern Illinois, surrounded by bean and corn fields on 3 sides; a 40' strip of woods on the remaining side. These mounds are almost all in the small fenced-in part of our 3 acres. I can count 15-20 very large mounds right now and that doesn't include the 20 or 25 that I've already flattened with my rider since spring. These mounds are mostly oval or round; no entrance or exit hole visible. They range in size from 8"x12", 4" high to ones that have 24" circumference and are 12" high. A university wildlife expert suggests groundhogs but reading and viewing photos from many other sources does not seem to fit groundhogs. I've never seen any animal going in or out. Photos would be helpful but I have none. HELP!
We have been dealing with moles for years, too. They are inside your fence because there is more grub/earthworm activity inside for whatever reason. I found information on the Missouri Conservation web site (unfortunately the page is now gone) that described exactly what I was seeing and what you are describing. They are 'mole hills'. These appear where they are digging deep tunnels for burrows. All of that dirt is now on the surface--on the surrounding plants. I now just move the dirt so it doesn't smother the plants. We tried everything from the vibrating repellants to poisons to murderous traps. We have given up and have lost very few plants. Moles 100, us 0. Final score. The good news is that the hills and tunnels are in place and we haven't seen much new activity this year. Just the occasional run. They were also lauded by several gov't sites as being excellent aerators.
Now gopher mounds here in Arizona deceptively do not appear to have entrances but if one studies the mound the entrance can be discerned as I can in several of the pics in link above . Some of the mounds appear to be kind of crescent shaped with the bulk of the dirt somewhat more on one side of the mound and in the center of the lower end will be the entrance . A long thin probe like a baraque skewer will allow you to probe the dirt and find where the tunnel leads . Moles for the most part are nocturnal and "close the door" to thier tunnels and it also keeps such possible mole predators as snakes out . On these crecent shaped mounds the tunnel usually slopes down away from the heavy concentration of dirt .
Some of the pics in the above link I can see that the mounds are more cone shaped but I still believe that I can detect a softer "plug" in the center of them that would serve as thier door/plug .
For a/some novel ideas in experimental gopher control that should work on moles as well check out these links ;
Thanks to lonediver and birdsnbeeskc for your replies. I was without my computer from a week ago until a couple of hours ago. As soon as I take care of computer business, I will be checking out suggested websites. Thanks again.
OK, back to where I started 3 months ago: these formations are, indeed, the work of moles. I was out of state for almost 3 months caring for a family member who'd been in a very bad car accident and required lots of help recuperating SO I asked a friend if she could follow up on my "wildlife" problem. She found a college student who's a biology major. He came to my house to look things over and, with no hesitation, said the mounds were the work of moles. The reason they didn't look like the mole acitivity from previous years was that the moles had to work very deep to find food; consequently, there was a lot of dirt to get out of their way. Just a once-in-a-great-while situation because of weather conditions prior to the moles food search.
I am having the same problem...moles/voles. They are eating grubs. Get rid of the grubs and you get rid of the moles. I did some research on the best way to get rid of them without killing the earthworms or using chemicals. Best I have found so far is using Milky Spores. Takes a little time to work the magic but once you treat it last for years and doesn't take much product. Here is a link.