small burrows on sloping portion of lawn

Asked August 28, 2020, 3:18 PM EDT

Recently noticed several of these. Burrow about diameter of a finger, with a small, (somewhat larger than my hand) pile of granulated soil on the slope below the burrow. The pile of soil has a channel or path thru it, about 1.5 inches wide and about an inch deep. The photos show the burrow and soil after some alteration due to recent rain. I am not concerned about these, just curious. Thanks

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Holes in a yard are a challenge to diagnose. We generally try to do a process of elimination based on the size of the holes, if mounds of soil are present, if tunnels are present, etc. This chart is helpful to try and hone in on the culprit, https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/wildlife/diagnosing-holes-yard

In addition, this is a good article from NC State: What’s Making This Hole in My Yard? https://caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/04/whats-making-this-hole-in-my-yard/

Based on the size, pattern of soil, and time of year, a Cicada Killer wasp is a distinct possibility. Despite the fearsome name and large size of this wasp, they are non-aggressive, nest individually (so, no communal nest to defend), and are not a threat to people (a female may sting if handled, but will otherwise ignore people). Here is more information on these cicada hunters:
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/cicada-killer-wasps-in-turf

http://bugoftheweek.com/blog/2018/7/22/cicadas-beware-the-ladies-are-in-town-female-cicada-killer-isphecius-speciosusi

Miri