There are a number of four-legged creatures that enjoy your lawn as much as you do. Furry marauders can do significant damage to your lawn if allowed to do their worst. The damage from some lawn pests are easier to repair than others, but it’s important to pin the crime on the right criminal or your best efforts may fall flat.
Dog urine is the equivalent of pouring undiluted fertilizer on your lawn. Your lawn can probably handle one douse, but done repeatedly in the same spot and your lawn is toast. You could immediately water down the area but that requires constant vigilance. Train your dog to keep their business to one area of the yard to reduce the damage, or better yet – take him for a walk!
Cat Digging & Spraying
Cats love soft dirt and sand and they’ll quickly turn your garden into a litter box. Male cats may use the side of your house to mark their territory and really, the smell of cat urine on a hot summer day is not a great smell. If the cat is feral you could trap it and deliver it to your local animal control. Citrus peels and citronella plants are said to deter them as well as mixing cayenne powder with water.
Raccoons will roll up or flip your sod looking for grubs. The time to get rid of grubs is in May/June (we’ll share more about that topic later). In the meantime, do your best to repair the damage each morning. Raccoons are smart and stubborn, so you can try sprinklers, netting, and sprays, but the only way to be rid of them for good is to eliminate the grubs. Plan ahead and treat your lawn so these masked marauders will leave your property alone.
Skunks will dig holes looking for grubs and other insects. While skunks will eat grubs, they’ll also eat a variety of insects - so do some research to find out what they’re feasting on and then get rid of the food source. These guys will leave if the food disappears. Your nose will likely thank you!
The damage to your lawn from squirrels is minimal, and they’re almost impossible to deter. Squirrels are often the furry scapegoats of the lawn damage set. They get blamed for rolling up or flipping sod (which is usually a raccoon), or digging holes (more likely a dog or skunk). If the damage is happening at night, remember squirrels are not nocturnal.
Lawn moles tunnel beneath the sod searching for grubs, insects, and especially earth worms. When the weather is cold they dig deeper following their food. Cats, foxes, hawks, and snakes are natural predators, but if those are in short supply, you’ll have to tackle the problem yourself. Thankfully, moles only reproduce once a year.
There are poison baits in the shape of earthworms, and tunnel traps you can use. Killing the grubs will help, but the moles may do some damage before they give up and move on. Moles do not hibernate and stay active day and night all year long.
Voles and moles are often confused with one another because both burrow and create tunnels. However, voles are rodents and they’re herbivores. They’re after your lawn roots, your flowers, bulbs, and trees more than insects and grubs. These guys reproduce quickly so you may face an infestation before you realize you have a problem. Again, if natural predators are in short supply you may want to consider purchasing traps.
Take back your yard and book a consultation from Nutri-Lawn Vancouver! Let our lawn care experts help you get to the root of the problem and ensure your lawn looks its best this season.