Why is my yard squishy??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-27-2006, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My yard has "soft spots" all over the place. It feels like I'm stepping on a sponge. My DH has speculated that it's moles, but from what I've just been reading moles make "molehills", raised mounds or tunnels that are visible. This isn't visible, only noticeable when you step on it.

Any thoughts? It seems to be spreading/getting worse. I've tried googling, but "squishy yard" doesn't get me much. I can't think of how else to phrase it.
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#2 of 9 Old 09-27-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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Moles, voles and even rabbits do this to yards, but I found these sites:
http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/urban/macon/inout/020317.html
http://www.yardener.com/SolvingLawnProblems.html

hope these help!

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#3 of 9 Old 09-27-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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Is it possible that your issue is just too much or uneven watering? Our yard (when it had grass) would have big squishy areas, while other areas were really dry. Have you tried digging in a squishy spot to see if you hit a "hole" ?
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#4 of 9 Old 09-27-2006, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We don't water our lawn (do very little lawn maintenance actually. Much to the dismay of our neighbors, I'm sure , so I doubt it's that. Unless it's just the way things drain.

I found one "hole" today, that seemed to center on a rotted root. That didn't make any sense to me (in terms of moles), b/c MIL said moles eat the roots of grass. But reading some other stuff online says they mainly eat grubs and other underground bugs. I imagine a rotting stump/root would be full of bugs, etc. So it might be moles. I'll have to look at the yard more closely, I guess.

Thanks for the help!
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#5 of 9 Old 09-27-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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It sounds like moles, to me, too. Helpful aren't I?

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#6 of 9 Old 09-27-2006, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Past_VNE View Post
It sounds like moles, to me, too. Helpful aren't I?
Actually, you are. At least I have another opinion and don't have to rely solely on my DH's knowledge. I've never dealt with moles, and somehow I doubt he has either.

I'm going to inspect the yard closely tomorrow and see if I can find their main tunnel. From what I read traps will only work if you place them in their escape route, not their feeding tunnels. I hate to trap them...I generally go with the "live and let live" theory of pest management, but more and more of my yard is starting to feel like I'm about to fall through to the center of the earth.
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#7 of 9 Old 09-28-2006, 12:53 AM
 
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Low land and/or poor drainage? From your description, I get a mole vibe too. I have extensive, yes extensive experience with the little buggers! However, you do almost always see these raised tunnel looking mounds of grass, at least somewhere in the problem area. If your yard is more natural and not totally level, it could be harder to discern the tunnels, until you step on them.

As far as mounds of dirt, the moles leave some smallish ones sometimes, but the groundhogs are actually better at that. : They leave a nice, huge hill, or four, around the yard periodically. : Yes, I have extensive, extensive experience with groundhogs, also. :

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#8 of 9 Old 09-28-2006, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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However, you do almost always see these raised tunnel looking mounds of grass, at least somewhere in the problem area. If your yard is more natural and not totally level, it could be harder to discern the tunnels, until you step on them.

Yup...I'm pretty sure it's moles now. And I think it's our "natural" and already rather bumpy yard that is disguising the tunnels. I did some more close inspection today and I can discern a raised area where it squishes. bleh.

so now what? I did a little reading, which says the most effective way to get rid of them is to find their main tunnel and trap it. But it doesn't seem particularly easy to find their main tunnel. I'm also considering finding a few snakes and transplanting them into my yard, I can't really decide if I really want to kill them. The idea of that bothers me a bit. If our yard is kinda 'natural' anyway will they do any major damage? Can they harm large plants (like bushes and trees) or primarily kill the grass and make the ground squishy? And is there an environmental concern to having moles tunnel through my yard?
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#9 of 9 Old 09-28-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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http://www.gardensalive.com/category...=401&x=10&y=12
here is a wonderful sight- for environmentally friendly help in the yard and garden.

all my best!

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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