View Full Version : Piles of dirt...HELP!


durbancic
06-21-2009, 12:47 PM
We bought our house last April and moved in last June ('08), so we've only been living in it for a year now. Before we bought the house, it had been emptly for approx 2-2.5 years. A couple weeks ago I discovered these random piles of sand/dirt in my garage and was wondering if anyone has any clue what they could be from. I live in northeast Ohio. I did a little bit of researching online and saw some things about possilby moles or gophers. Also, someone else had a worm problem, but I don't know if that would produce these piles of dirt. The floor is brick, so the sand is probably the sub-floor underneath. We also recently discovered some rats/mice, but not sure if that would be related at all. The walls are cement block, but it definitely seems to be coming from the floor. I have some pictures attached....thanks for any input!

GSSFC
06-21-2009, 01:09 PM
A brick floor? How the heck do you do anything in there! Is that common?

Personally if it were me, I would remove the brick and sand and pour a concrete slab over a 6" layer of crushed stone.

Tim

kbs2244
06-21-2009, 01:38 PM
That is way too much dirt for moles.
They are small and like to be under grass o they can eat the roots.
Rats don't burrow much.
So I would guess gophers.
Do you have a University Extension branch close by?
Those guys can be a real help with critter and weed problems.
And it is free.
Your tax dollars at work.

rocketman
06-21-2009, 02:24 PM
Gopher... Look for a little tan sucker possibly with yellowish, black and white stripes.

Too much material for ants, and mice/rats don't excavate like that.

He has an outside entrance or 3. Look for those as well. Set and bait a trap for the little fawker. The absolute best way is a pressurized carbon monoxide system exterminators use. They find all the nest entrances, pressurize the nest with 125psi of CO and voila, no muss no fuss, pre-buried dead rodents.

RPH
06-21-2009, 09:11 PM
Could be rats, had them at the farm on the new building. Would burrow under the slab. I got a corn meal poison from the local grain mill. Killed them before they could take 3 steps.

Icy Mike
06-22-2009, 02:25 AM
any tracks or droppings?

nsbsolem
06-22-2009, 09:18 AM
RPH said it, and you said you have discovered rats. For each rat you see there are 10 you don't see. Yea look for droppings and try going out when it's pitch dark without making a sound and flip on the lights and see what runs around. Watch out so one doesn't drop down on you from above exposed framework. They chew everything.

twostory
06-22-2009, 09:43 AM
I would call a professional.

I belong to a club, with a big club house building. We had a rat problem, tried ourselves to solve the rat issue for a few years. Finally, we hired a professional. He charged a few hundred $ for the initial visit, then $50 a month for a monthly check up.

Our rat/squirrel issue is gone, the professional really made a difference. He is a local guy, not a national chain.

g.corey74
06-23-2009, 08:10 AM
The stone by the cut off 2 by 4 must be 1 1/2" by 2". If there are no holes that big under the sand, I would guess someone dumped some 5 gal. buckets for the containers.

kartracer55
06-23-2009, 09:08 AM
Call Bill Murray. He's got you covered

g.corey74
06-24-2009, 08:37 AM
I reread your op and I may have missed the point. Were the piles there when you moved in or did they appear later?
Another buckeye

durbancic
06-24-2009, 09:31 AM
These piles were not there when we moved in. The have appeared since sometime after last fall.
I have seen droppings, and have attached them in this post. I myself did not see the rodent on the workbench, so it could have been a gopher, like others have said on here. I have put 3 traps in the garage, 2 mouse and 1 rat, hoping to nab something. I know that the sand is coming from below, I have had no sand in my garage- in buckets or in bags.

T56 Impala
06-24-2009, 10:17 AM
Turn the lights off. Get a black light. Go around the area and the walls of the garage. If anything glows, it means rats. The marks will look like lines along the walls that glow in black light. Rats have no control over their bladders and leak constantly. Urine glows.

Judging from the droppings, I'd say you have a rat problem. I was a food safety inspector in my working life. I have see more rat crap than you can imagine. Once you follow the glowing trail, you can find out where they are coming in. You can then decide how to deal with the problem. If you have kids or pets, you need to think carefully about what you use to get rid of them.

We used Coumadin. Yep, the blood thinner. They would eat the paste it was in and leave. Within 4 hours they simply bled to death in their own den. You can trap them, or even shoot them if you wish depending on you city statutes that is. The best, cheapest way to deal with it is to hire a pro.

BigE
06-24-2009, 03:59 PM
I don't think that is the result of critters - unless the hole the sand is coming through came from one. The sand is spread out and wet in places. It looks like you've got a water problem that is flushing the sand out from under the house/brick and onto your floor. What does the outside of the house look like where it meets the ground? You might have some drainage problems creating hydraulic pressure against the wall pushing down and underneath it which flushes out the sand. You may also have a natural spring under your house. Just a few thoughts.

35mastr
06-24-2009, 06:17 PM
I don't think that is the result of critters - unless the hole the sand is coming through came from one. The sand is spread out and wet in places. It looks like you've got a water problem that is flushing the sand out from under the house/brick and onto your floor. What does the outside of the house look like where it meets the ground? You might have some drainage problems creating hydraulic pressure against the wall pushing down and underneath it which flushes out the sand. You may also have a natural spring under your house. Just a few thoughts.

I also think this is your condition.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You also have a rat problem from the size of those droppings. But they do not excavate like from what you have shown. Peanut butter in snap traps works very well. Just put where you see the most droppings and you will get them.

jamesemery728
06-24-2009, 06:51 PM
I don't think that is the result of critters - unless the hole the sand is coming through came from one. The sand is spread out and wet in places. It looks like you've got a water problem that is flushing the sand out from under the house/brick and onto your floor. What does the outside of the house look like where it meets the ground? You might have some drainage problems creating hydraulic pressure against the wall pushing down and underneath it which flushes out the sand. You may also have a natural spring under your house. Just a few thoughts.

I also agree, you may have a water problem.

oldgoaly
06-24-2009, 07:56 PM
Rats and you have a nest of them, they aren't just passing thru. You need a mouser of a cat (one in ten cats will kill rats) or poison packs. If you have kids make sure they can't get near that area, poison or the rats are bad for them. I hear they love peanut butter, that's what they used in the movie Willard. You could keep them as pets, name one Basil !!! (a Fawlty Towers reference) tt

Jaguar Fan
06-25-2009, 08:33 AM
Moles are too small to cause the sand problem. It might be a vole, but it is hard for me to imagine a vole would be interested in anything under your brick floor. They look for food -- tasty grubs & whatnot -- and those are not under your house but rather in your lawn.

So, I'm leaning towards the water problem.


The droppings are from rats. They poop while they walk. Do not use rat bait that they sell in garden centers -- I did & I regret it. I don't recall the poison, but it is supposed to make them go outside & seek water -- it dehydrates them until they die. But, in my case, they didn't go outside. They died somewhere behind the sheetrock in the garage -- and the place stank like dead rats for weeks.

I have a big rat problem; I have a service that comes. They just use snap traps with a bit of peanut butter as the bait. It seems to work well.

I had a specialty rat guy come out once -- he said the main thing I needed to do is completely close up every external entrance to underneath the house, which in my case was a lost cause. Rats can get in, he said, through a hole that is about the diameter of a dime. And, of course, if the garage door is open, they can just walk right in.

nsbsolem
06-25-2009, 10:14 AM
I think with all the great posts that are on this thread your mystery is solved. Rats it is, worms, gophers, ants, moles, voles are all outside animals and would not be under your floor. Holes Too small for woodchucks, definitely not water as it takes LOTS of water to move sand and water would not pile up sand.You would have a sandy floor where the water came up through the floor and flowed to the outside. Since it's a brick floor the water would come up everywhere and the whole floor would be sandy, and you would have water running out your doors.The sand is wet due to good old condensation~ humidity.
Rats are expert diggers, they poop, piss, chew, and dig, oh and multiply. As they multiply they will dig bigger and bigger excavations, kinda like adding on to your house when you have kids. After a while your floor will begin to break and settle and you will have to replace the floor if let go long enough. As to getting rid of them, I have never gotten rid of all rodents completely on my farm so I only wish I had some wise advice for you, good luck.

brownbagg
06-25-2009, 10:49 AM
what you need is a concrete slab, problem solved

durbancic
06-26-2009, 10:46 AM
what you need is a concrete slab, problem solved

I know, but being our 1st house, and we only plan on being here a few years, that is, unfortunately, out of the question.

I am going to call an exterminator we had come out last year & give us a quote on our ant problem, and will let you guys know when we have some progress.

Thanks,

Dan

CalGeo
06-29-2009, 02:47 AM
Re-read your original pest report. There should be some mention of rat infestations, this dosen't look like it's a new problem, too large.

cliftonlaws
03-06-2013, 09:50 PM
Please update. I have a similar problem. Although I have a concrete slab.

CNGsaves
03-06-2013, 10:08 PM
Guranteed that you have either mice or rats . . . . or both !!

Need to install one of those cool traps where you use a 5 gallon bucket with some antifreeze in the bottom. Then install wire through the handle holes and put a spinning pop can on that wire. Cover the pop can with peanut butter. Then build a handly ramp where those varmits can climb up to top of bucket then jump to their death trying to get the peanut butter.

Problem solved!! (at least for the varmits)

Then, you'll need to close up any possible holes where they can get into the garage through the foundation (ie bury tin or steel to block access).

boo coo tracks
03-07-2013, 12:44 AM
Get a cat or borrow a terrier type dog. Poison will get them for a short time but they will come back again & again.
Tracks

Lippyp
03-07-2013, 03:35 AM
I have an old brick floor over sand and it is most definitely not water pushing the sand up. I have damp problems and I just get puddles not sand.

uppster
03-07-2013, 06:55 AM
Chipmonks?

KEH
03-07-2013, 06:56 AM
Read thread above "effectively putting peanut butter in snap traps".

KEH

KEH
03-07-2013, 06:58 AM
Escuse me , I should have said the thread is in Free Parking.

KEH

dirttracker18
03-07-2013, 07:28 AM
For the recent posts suggesting help, you do realize this thread is almost 4 years old right? I would hope the issue is long since solved.

Last post from the OP was June 2009!

cyamaha2007
03-07-2013, 07:06 PM
We had rats in a old barn at our farm. They dug odd holes, and every where. These rats were the size of house cats (maybe not but i was 8 or so) The walls had oak siding on the inside and outside. This made a cavity for them to live in. When we started to knock the barn down droves of rats came running out. They really stood out against the snow. Once the barn was folded in on its self we lit it on fire and my grandpa and dad shot the rats as they ran from the heat.

pop pop
03-07-2013, 07:33 PM
For the recent posts suggesting help, you do realize this thread is almost 4 years old right? I would hope the issue is long since solved.

Last post from the OP was June 2009!

Clifton asked for an update.

6t7gto
03-08-2013, 07:09 AM
I sent an email to the OP. Maybe he'll come back to respond.

Jsf721
03-08-2013, 07:42 AM
Looks like a flood problem from the past. I \just saw alot of this recently after the Hurricane sandy flood. Be very careful of voids caused by the sand being washed out from under the foundation. My inlaws house dropped 6 inches and the slab cracked. about a 20-25K repair :(. we are in the process of fighting with the insurance comoany now.

theoldwizard1
03-08-2013, 10:56 AM
We had rats in a old barn at our farm.

Barn cat. I don't car how big they are. A barn cat will cause enough enough issues that even a raccoon will look for quieter surroundings.