The columns, called ''chimneys'', are made by crayfish as they burrow into the lawn. Although most species of crayfish are aquatic, a few live on land near water. Some of these burrow into soil to reach water, pushing the excavated dirt out of the hole behind them.
If the chimneys are simply destroyed, the crayfish in the burrows will make more. Kill the crayfish with an oxidizing solution made of calcium hypochlorite powder or granules (available in stores that sell swimming pool and spa chemicals) and water. Pour the liquid into each crayfish hole and seal it by pressing the soil with your foot. Repeat treatment if new chimneys appear. Prevent new infestations by draining nearby standing water if possible.