Are there soil specialists here?

On the inspection today I saw few of these piles at back yard. The house is empty, so I could not ask anyone. Initially, I thought it’s an aggregate or gravel covered with dirt. But when I probed it with my foot, it is all soft (you can see dents from my shoe here) It looks like a pile of mud with consistency of a dough. I wouldn’t worry if it will be just one. But there were at least 3-4 of those, and all had exact same look. Does anybody know what it could be?

Unknown substance (WinCE).jpg

Looks like a Mole was working.

In our neck of the woods that would be a crawfish mound. Did you scrape it to the surrounding earth to see if there was an entry hole under it?

Mole here too…or vole…

from the picture I would have to vote for a mole hill. If they were close to water, I would vote for a crawdad hole. Either way. not much of a problem. :slight_smile:

Thanks everybody for replies. Living in big city, I have never seen this before. That is why I was wondering. Learning something new on each inspection. Thanks again.

Crawdads are crayfish are they not? I did not know they came out of water.


They create trip hazards.

Trip hazards are a major cause of accident and injury around our homes, and accidents and injuries are a major cause of lawsuits. Never fail to mention trip hazards in the landscape and hardscape, regardless of what one believes has created the trip hazards.

Just remembered Mud/Sand Wasps make that kind of mound as well did you see any critters flying around.


I see piles like that all over around here and they’re the entrances to vole tunnels: NACHI Wildlife Damage Inspection course.

Google Images: vole mounds

Yuri I believe you should consult a Certified Mole Inspector to verify your findings. :slight_smile:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but…

Mole / vole hills or mounds resemble loose piles of excavated dirt (when relatively fresh) with an entrance hole anywhere in the mound. They may be more compact or solid after a rain. Size should be somewhere between 6 inches and 12 inches in diameter at the base

Crayfish mounds typically resemble cone shaped mounds of 3/4 - 1 inch diameter mud balls which have fused together and the entrance hole is typically at the very top. (Resembling a volcano) Size should be typically 4 inches to 8 inches at the base depending on the size of the “engineer”. I have seen these as far away as 50 yards from a visible source of water, but only when there is a high water table present and typically in high peat type soils. I used to use them as fishing pole holders as a kid if that gives you an idea of the size of entrance/exit hole.


Yes, when constructed and no further rain is present, crayfish holes here do resemble your description. After a soaking, in our soils, they begin to collapse and start looking like the piles shown. Kicking them usually uncovers the hole underneath and they can get quite deep!

Not sure up north how much of a crayfish problem they have but here it can get downright bad. I’ve found them all over my property (10 acres and a tank, Texas speak for pond) and them buggers can get big and nasty! I’ve watched them gather and take out a large dog once that got to close to their party area (LOL LOL):slight_smile: :slight_smile: (just kidding of course).


That’s good:p:p But hey… everythings big in Texas!:mrgreen:


Including the “Tall Tales”! Texans wear boots because “IT” can get pretty deep here! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Got to watch what I say as I’m just “Another Damn Yankee Transplant” here (Hah Hah)!!

With vole mounds you won’t see the hole unless you move the mound.

Crayfish/crawdads… they’re freshwater shrimp. They *don’t *come out of the water.

Actually they are more closely related to lobsters, but the more important question is, if they don’t come out of the water, how in the heck do they get on my plate? :slight_smile:

I’ll go aginst the crowd here and suggest that it might be a pile of cat litter. The clumpimg kind. The colour, size and texture all match what clumping cat litter looks like when its been dumped outside and exposed to rain.

FYI: I have 4 cats and a several hundred moles on my property.