I live in Ottawa, Canada. I moved into my house a year ago. I've noticed on
my lawn that there are a bunch of little mounds of dirt, around 2-3 inches
in diameter, and only about 1-2 inches high, but enough for the lawn to
feel very rough. There are probably one of these mounds every 2-3 feet.
I'm trying to figure out why these are here. I don't see ants coming in or
out of them so I don't think they are anthills.
They are Indian burial mounds. When originally constructed they were
approximately 25-35 feet high, but have eroded over the centuries. If
you dig into them you will find tiny Indian skeletons, miniature peace
pipes, and other small artifacts.
Rene Wong wrote:
Let me guess: you have clay soil...
Worm castings, from nightcrawlers.
A short extract from:
Worms can cause a lumpy lawn. Even though the lumps are seasonal (early
spring and again in fall) and temporary, they can be distressing. The lumps are
technically called "middens" and are made up of earthworm castings and plant
residue. Worms create the middens to cover the opening to their burrows. Middens
will dissolve and actually help fertilize the lawn if they are left alone. To
process, they can be raked to break them up either with a hand rake or a power
rake set high. Despite all the great benefits of having worms in the lawn and
garden, sometimes we get questions about how to control them. Worms are
sensitive to quite a few insecticides and even some fungicides, but there aren't
any chemicals labeled for this purpose. In the past, Diazanon was sold for this
purpose but it is has been determined to cause too many problems and is being
pulled from the market for homeowners.
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Yup, definitely sounds like worms. Actually, the information about diazinon
is incorrect; in the U.S., at least, most of the haphazard wholesale
elimination of chemicals has come to a screeching halt under the new
administration. Diazinon, being an OP, is very toxic and is sure to do in
lots of earthworms if you do a soil drench at the rates prescribed for
grubs. Generally speaking, the site must be on the label, but the pest need
not be (look up your state deparment of agriculture's administrative code if
you're really worried about the legal issues).
I have been told by some old-timers in the business that Sevin works the
best. I have no personal experience with this method, but carbamates are
sure to put worms in a world of hurt, too, so I believe it would work just
The best approach: make the soil less hospitable for them. Unfortunately,
any approach that reduces the appeal of the soil for them reduces the appeal
of the soil for plants. I'm assuming you aren't looking to create a
As with any pest, the more you learn about its biology, the more solutions
you can come up with yourself to reduce the population. Speculation, but
worth a try: aerating your soil will help microorganisms break down organic
matter more quickly, leaving less for the worms to thrive on. It will also
help when you irrigate. If you irrigate properly (INFREQUENTLY but DEEPLY),
it will drive the worms up and give the local bird population a feast.
Frequent, shallow waterings are unlikely to reach or disturb the worms, and
in addition, will discourage your lawn from developing a healthy, deep root
Me, I'd leave them alone until I wanted to go fishing. ;-)
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