What is tunneling underneath our front lawn?

The new hole in the lawn

People, I need your help. What creature made this brand new tunnel down into our front lawn?

Raymond and I returned home yesterday from a few days taking in Shakespeare plays at the Stratford Festival, and were greeted with a new and interesting sight on the Manse’s front lawn. Right next to the walkway leading to the front door was the small pile of dug-up earth and the hole in the photo you see at the top of this post.

So, people, I ask you: what is it?

And in asking, I have to admit that I should probably know. I’ve seen the work that voles do in some yards around Queensborough; is that what this is? Or could it be moles?

Or could this be a great big anthill? (Is that a dumb question?) We have lots of small ant holes in the same walkway:

Ant holes


Could the ants have all got together and decided it was time to erect their very own castle? On our front lawn?

To answer what is probably your first question: so far we have seen no activity around the hole, no creatures entering or leaving.

So yeah, if you happen to know what it is, here is Question 2: what should we do about it? I don’t want to hurt any of God’s creatures, but I also don’t particularly want this phenomenon to spread all over the lawn.

People, your rural knowledge is once again solicited – and, as always, very welcome indeed!

6 thoughts on “What is tunneling underneath our front lawn?

  1. It’s probably moles. I’ve seen the same thing on my previous property and here at Todd’s parents. Sorry, though, I’m not sure what to do about it. They do seem to move on after a while. We just kept filling in the holes and flattening out the soil. Good luck.

  2. My guess is that it is a red squirrel. They make holes like this in my lawn and flower beds, and I found that if I fill them in or put a rock over them, they just dig another one nearby. So I leave them and plant or mow around them.

      • “…the invasive black ones…”


        The black squirrels and the grey squirrels are the same species [Sciurus carolinensis] – just different colour morphs. As one goes south [ie, along the USA eastern states], the proportion of greys to blacks increases and vice versa going northwards:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_squirrel and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_gray_squirrel

        They often travel in family groups and are not destructive. I have about 3-4 at present on my side of town, hanging out with the bunnies.

        In contrast, the red squirrel [Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (and NOT the same as the European red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris)] can be very destructive inside buildings and are quite aggressive toward other squirrels. Recently, my cats got the one individual on my property his past winter.

      • Hm. I had the distinct idea (from where, I don’t recall) that the black squirrels were an incoming species, displacing the more native grey squirrels. I believe that one rarely if ever sees black squirrels in Quebec, whereas here they seem to be becoming more and more common. Are the black squirrels heading eastward, I wonder?

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