What is burrowing in my yard?

Asked August 24, 2016, 7:03 PM EDT

I've attached a picture of a deep hole I found in my back yard today. The hole is 5 inches deep, 9 inches wide, and 14 inches long. It may be a part of a tunnel, but I could not tell. Hopefully yo will be able to help me identify what it might be and possibly what steps I can take to get rid of it. Thanks, John

Chesterfield County Virginia

1 Response

Dear ChesterfieldCo, VA, Thank you for writing Extension with you Natural Resource questions. Holes is the yard are very interesting. #1 holes can be made by rotting roots and stumps. I believe the majority of the holes I see in Alabama are from roots and stumps. #2 holes are made by erosion. Water comes out of the ground and goes back into the soil all of the time. Water could be your culprit. #3 holes can be made by animals. Some holes are eating holes (an armadillo digging up grubs). Some holes are den holes (a place of residence). Reading your demensions of the hole it could be the beginnings of a den hole. Here in Alabama we have only three animals capable of digging this hole (armadillo, gopher tortoise, and the woodchuck). In VA, if it is an animal, its probably a woodchuck. Keep an eye on the hole. If it is an animal you will see it sometime soon. Once you see and ID the animal, the easiest way to control it is with a "live animal" trap. A woodchuck loves leafy greens, and can be relocated out in the woods away from your home (first check with VA game laws). I trust this helps. - Andy