Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
As you can see in the enclosed picture, I am finding small mounds of dirt on my lawn continuously. What kind of animal (rodent) could be causing them and what can I do to eliminate it? R.J. Niantic
Actually, R.J., what you are seeing is great news for your lawn! It means you have
earthworms that are active in your soil. Earthworms are amazing creatures that take
care of some of your backbreaking garden work without you even breaking a sweat!
Earthworms feast on bacteria, fungi and algae in addition to lots of other things.
In the process of eating, they swallow a certain amount of soil that eventually gets
passed out of the earthworm's rectum together with undigested organic material. Worm
poop (called "casts") is very high in nutrients which is why gardeners and farmers
love earthworms in their soil. In addition to being fertilizer machines, earthworms
tunneling through your soil do a great job aerating and breaking up compacted soil.
Most of the time, earthworms deposit their casts underground, but when the weather is
cool and wet, you often see their castings on the surface, which is what you see in the
picture you sent. Casts are harmless and fertile and can be raked out into your garden
or lawn or washed back into your lawn with a hose. While we're on the subject of
earthworms, did you know? Earthworms: have five hearts, breathe through their skin,
have light receptors that sense light and dark, have a brain and nerves that detect
vibration and even some tastes. Who knew?
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.