Ants or bees or what?

Are these anthills/holes in my sideyard? I'd love to get rid of them and stop the invasion of moles in my yard. Presumably the moles are looking for the insects.
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sure looks like ant hills. Do not step in them. Do not let pets or children near them. They sure need killing. Jackie

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on 8/12/2007 3:06 PM Eigenvector said the following:

They look rather large. Too big for ants, too small for mammals. No dirt piles around the holes. Too many, too close to each other, to be openings to a nest. My guess would be Japanese Beetles, Locusts, Cicadas, or similar. Their nymphs buried in the ground coming to the surface before moulting into adults. Look for discarded skins nearby.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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I probably should qualify this with a location. This is Seattle. That pretty much rules out Cicadas and Locusts. But I was wondering about the size of the holes, and the proximity. Seems unusual for ants or bees to be so close together. Hadn't considered it to be a beetle hole. Thing is about the holes, I filled them in after a particularly vigorous rainstorm and they came right back two days later looking like someone had placed them with a drill bit. Japanese Beetles maybe??
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Eigenvector wrote:

Dig a spadeful of dirt and break it up on the groung. If its beetles, there should be pupae or grubs still in the ground. First, though, make sure it isn't bees. Just watch for a little while. No bees? Then dig.
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Wait? Why? <Pushes in the shovel> "Bzzzzzzzz" "Ahhhhhhh!"
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Eigenvector wrote:

would think if you just sat nearby and watched for 10 minutes activity would be seen.
Lar
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Tried that, nada. Perhaps they're early morning or dusk creatures?
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I'm no expert, but I don't think they're ants. I have some similar holes, and it's some other little bug that crawls in there (I live in NC, so it probably isn't comparable.) You've watched and seen nothing? I'd dig a couple up if it were me. But beware of a bee or wasp coming out :-)
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jeffc wrote:

when did you move to NC?
where did you move to NC from?
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From Upstate NY about 20 years ago.
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jeffc wrote:

thanks for the confirmation.
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Well I dug around in the dirt with a shovel and at the very least uncovered what WASN'T in the hole.
It wasn't ants, looked like large metallic green flies. They came barrelling out of the hole at a pretty good clip - one per hole, so I didn't get a good look at them. Might have been a wasp, but looked too burly to be a wasp. didn't have an obvious thin waistline - but again I didn't get a good look at them.
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Eigenvector wrote:

It may of been just an emergence of some sort of beetle or cicada type creature.
Lar
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I'm guessing large earthworms like night crawlers. Choice food for moles and would explain why you're not seeing them.
KC
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