Extensive shallow tunnel network in my lawn

Asked August 29, 2020, 9:38 PM EDT

I have recently seen an extensive tunnel network develop in my lawn. It started in a small location and within 2 weeks has extended through nearly the entire lawn ( approx. 12000 sq. ft.) There are no mounds. I have not seen any holes to speak of. Lawn grass appears to be slightly raised but sinks significantly when you step on it. What can cause this extensive damage so quickly? How can I get rid of the nasty pest? Please help!!

Livingston County Michigan

5 Responses

It would greatly help our experts respond if you’re able to attach a few photos to this message. Would they be possible?

I took a number of photos this morning. I would like to send more than 3 allowed here to give the full flavor of my issue, so I will post multiple responses.

The first few are the view of the full lawn and select areas of tunneling.

This next series of photos gives some closer views of the tunneling activity.

Finally, while I am not sure it is related, I noticed this unusual "debris" (waste matter?) on a portion of the lawn this morning. I have not seen this previously, but the timing seems suspicious. Even though it is not spread over the entire lawn at this point, there is enough that it is very concerning.

Thanks so much for your help with this mystery!

Your first images appear to be tunnels created by moles. I'm going to attach a bulletin on controlling moles. It has some information on what won't work. Typically for moles we recommend spike traps as they are fairly effective. I prefer to avoid poisoned baits as they can unintentionally poison other wildlife. The final picture is of worm castings. When the worms surface during heavy periods of rain, they come to the surface and leave behind "castings" at their hole. There is no reason for concern, these can actually be a good thing. Good luck with your mole problem and let us know if you have any additional questions.