Early Spring Lawn damage: Racoons, skunks, moles?
Are raccoons or skunks digging up your lawn? Are moles tunnel thru? Are black birds pecking away? If so you have grubs!
What are grubs?
Grubs are the larvae stage of a beetle typically a Japanese Beetle or June Bug. Grubs are fleshy thick worm like larvae with brown heads and white to grey bodies. In spring grubs are an early source of protein for many including skunks, raccoons, moles and more. The problem is as these guys eat them your lawn gets submitted to the destruction. The key to control is get rid of the grubs you get rid of the problem.
The most effective time to control grubs is in late spring to early summer by using nematodes. Nematodes are a parasitic insect that is watered in to the lawn. Several different companies offer nematodes for sale but in simple terms the way to apply them is to water the lawn first, water in nematodes after, and finally water the lawn again after application. This forces nematodes down into the water channels contacting grubs and infecting them so they can’t eat and eventually die! I admit this is not a total solution but a control measure and some times applications will be underwhelming and may require several repetitions. So the question is what do you do now to stop the damage?
Stopping the damage in early Spring:
The only way to stop the damage in early spring is to prevent the damage by repelling raccoons, moles and skunks away. To repel you need to make the area less attractive by playing with their sense of smell, touch, taste, sight, or sound! An application of blood meal over the area can help reduce damage as blood meals smell isn’t adored! Tomcats Rodent Repellant can be applied, this product encourages creatures to lick a treated area however what they get is a taste of a bitter substance that will have them running away.
Once ground is firm to walk on -the fix is on! You have 2 options. Remove damaged sod, top dress with lawn soil and sod or in mid spring over-seed with a good quality grass seed. See below for my recommended products.
Treat grubs in late spring or early summer!!
Frankie’s recommended products:
Tomcats Rodent Repellant
Miracle Grow Lawn Soil
Scotts Coated Lawn Seed