Mystery holes in the yard

Asked October 21, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

This summer I have had mysterious holes appear in my back yard. I don't have a pet. There don't appear to be tunnels leading in/out of the holes like a rabbit or mole would leave, and there are no piles of dirt where any other creature would be digging. Tree roots running through them are untouched. The number has grown from 1-2 to 6-8, all about the same size (a cereal bowl). I'm concerned a nearby tree may soon be compromised and fall on my home or garage. Any ideas what these mysterious holes could be?

Jefferson County Kentucky

1 Response

Several issues may be the cause of what you are describing.

If the soil is collapsing inward, large decaying roots of dead trees may be responsible. Extensive rainy conditions like we had this spring and early summer combined with water flow could be the origin of the problem.

Evaluation of property due to a developing sink hole should be done on site by Soil and Water Conservation. A representative of our area office for Soil and Water Conservation can be reached at 502-499-1900.

Many animals also make holes in our yards. The size described could be dens, runs, or feeding sites of the following:

*Moles
*Voles,
*Chipmunks
*Skunks
*Groundhogs
*Feral pets

Careful observation, then trapping of the animal can alleviate the problem.

Feel free to contact our office if you have other questions.

Let me know if I can help you further!


Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
502-569-2344
810 Barret Ave
Louisville KY 40204