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Classified
04-07-2008, 07:09 PM
I just took over a number of commercial properties that have had seed planted within the past 1-2 years depending on the site. A few of the properties have this damage and its identical. The only thing is, they are in different locations and some is worse than others. Here is one of the worst spots. Everything lines up to me to appear as Vole damage but the only difference is the trails aernt very deep. They are just down to the soil layer, not in the soil itself. The brown grass is just sitting there, you can rake it up and there are new shoots of grass coming up but very thin.

Also, I beleive the little balls are the droppings. not sure, they are found where the evergreens look as if they have been trimmed.

Let me know what you think.

Classified
04-07-2008, 07:11 PM
More pictures

NattyLawn
04-07-2008, 07:15 PM
You got some nice vole damage. I don't know about the droppings though.

CHARLES CUE
04-07-2008, 07:42 PM
Looks like more than one critters those look like rabbit turds

mngrassguy
04-07-2008, 08:14 PM
Yup, I agree with both

Classified
04-07-2008, 08:49 PM
OK this is what I thought. Now, Voles eat evergreens right? That is also part of there "destruction"? I just looked in my Pesticide book also and that is what it said but Id like to doublecheck that with you guys.

Rabbit turds eh? I think you are right about that. I could not find anything about the droppings of a vole so im not sure on that. Rabbits dont eat evergreens do they?

Runner
04-07-2008, 10:28 PM
You have a combination of things going on there. Yes. ou have vole damage on the turf. However, the dropping are not vole droppings...they are rabbit droppings. Vole droppings are oval shaped and longer (about a 1/4", or so).
The damage to the shrubs could be physical damage from the rabbit(s) nesting in the shrub and laying branches over. When I say nesting, I don't mean actual "nest" to have babies (these are done in small holes on the ground during warm months). Check for chewing damage on the bark areas of the shrub. If it is below the snow line or level to where the snow line was, then it is more than likely from the voles - especially sub surface damage....they eat alot of underground vegetation and root material. As a matter of fact, this is why one species of vole is popularly known as "potato mice". They eat the tubers of potato plants and destroy them. During winter months, it is common for rabbits to chew on barks and woody materials such as exposed roses and such.
this damage (on the turf) will heal itself up rather quickly. Prune the dead shrubbery branches out of the shrubs. That will eventually have to fill in itself.

americanlawn
04-07-2008, 10:42 PM
Atta boy Runner I agree on both counts -- my vote is also for rabbit _____. Plus obvious Vole (meadow mice) damage. We have seen "above average" vole damage here cuz of the prolonged snow cover. It normally recovers without any additional attention. Take care, _________

If anybody wonders why the "_______" on any of our posts, there is a reason. Sad, but true.

humble1
04-07-2008, 11:22 PM
OK this is what I thought. Now, Voles eat evergreens right? That is also part of there "destruction"? I just looked in my Pesticide book also and that is what it said but Id like to doublecheck that with you guys.

Rabbit turds eh? I think you are right about that. I could not find anything about the droppings of a vole so im not sure on that. Rabbits dont eat evergreens do they?

are those yews, deer eat yews and their turds look like that about a med fistfull worth

tlg
04-07-2008, 11:24 PM
Yes to the vole problem in the grass. Yes to will rabbits eat evergreens. Rabbits will eat the bark off a variety of plants including trees and evergreens. The problem is significantly worse when there had been a lot of snow in a rough winter. Voles also will chew on the bark of low growing evergreens like junipers especially under a heavy snow pack.

tlg
04-07-2008, 11:30 PM
wow. That last post off mine was a little redundant. Looks like a few of you guys already answered the problem. Runner you were right on. I need to type faster I guess.

Classified
04-08-2008, 11:14 AM
Ok, well I really appreciate your help.

We have have had over twice our yearly average of snow this year.

Seems like everything lines up to be voles for the turf which I was pretty sure of and rabbits in the evergreens/yews. I didnt know rabbits do that which is why I was so puzzled about the yew damage because some of those branches that were cut off were pretty big for a little vole cut through.

I appreciate your help guys, thank you.

jbell36
04-08-2008, 06:21 PM
GRUBS...would grubs be out of the question? the fact that the turf is easily pulled/raked up gives me that idea...wouldn't the turf be raised a little more if it were voles?

the droppings definitely look like a rabbit...and they will mess up bushes like those yews...looks like two totally different problems, tis my two cents...

no_longer_lurker
04-08-2008, 07:10 PM
GRUBS...would grubs be out of the question? the fact that the turf is easily pulled/raked up gives me that idea...wouldn't the turf be raised a little more if it were voles?
the droppings definitely look like a rabbit...and they will mess up bushes like those yews...looks like two totally different problems, tis my two cents...

good question. But since he has had snow cover the voles are running along the surface of the soil. They are not real bright creatures. Being under snow they think they are under soil.
So when the snow melts you see their paths.

Its a common situation where we are located. Like someone already said once turf is fertilized and the growing season kicks in you wont be able to tell where they were.

NattyLawn
04-08-2008, 08:57 PM
good question. But since he has had snow cover the voles are running along the surface of the soil. They are not real bright creatures. Being under snow they think they are under soil.
So when the snow melts you see their paths.

Its a common situation where we are located. Like someone already said once turf is fertilized and the growing season kicks in you wont be able to tell where they were.

Aren't most vole species surface tunnelers?

teeca
04-08-2008, 10:52 PM
sounds like you need some good old zinc phosphide, read and folow the label, if misused, they can/will quit eating the stuff and control will go down.

mngrassguy
04-09-2008, 08:30 AM
sounds like you need some good old zinc phosphide, read and folow the label, if misused, they can/will quit eating the stuff and control will go down.

Nope, only if damage continues. They have prob moved on to tall grass now. Clean-up yew trimmings and "fluff: grass lightly with a rake. Mow/bag and fert as needed. damage will be gone in 2-4 weeks

This fall, Cut the grass short as late as possible, apply rabbit repellent to shrubs

no_longer_lurker
04-09-2008, 08:55 AM
Aren't most vole species surface tunnelers?

hmmm, I really dont know. But during the growing season we never see trails on the surface. Its only after snow melt

in my 20+ years I've only had one lawn that needed to treat for voles. That lawn had hundreds of tunnels all just below the turf surface. The turf was actually collapsing in.
So by no means am I The Vole Expert

NattyLawn
04-09-2008, 09:48 AM
hmmm, I really dont know. But during the growing season we never see trails on the surface. Its only after snow melt

in my 20+ years I've only had one lawn that needed to treat for voles. That lawn had hundreds of tunnels all just below the turf surface. The turf was actually collapsing in.
So by no means am I The Vole Expert

We only had 10 inches of snow all winter and the vole damage is bad on certain properties. They seem to like pachysandra beds for cover, and then tunnel out at night.

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
04-09-2008, 04:39 PM
I'm seeing a banner year for vole damage here in Indiana! ...Of course we havn't seen this much snow in a while:)

IMAGE
04-24-2008, 04:59 PM
I just cleaned up the mess that voles did to 50,000 sqft of newly sodded lawn. It was sodded last yr, and voles attacked it over winter. About half the lawn was gone, just a thick layer of dead grass laying over the ground. I bagged it all up, and got over 500 bushels of the junk off. They have a pest control guy that put out bait to kill them, hopefully it works.

I have seen alot of the vole damage in the same neighborhood, and was told that they come out of the fields and vacant lots next to this development over winter, and that they leave come spring, and that it is a recurring problem. I am trying to find a repellant for voles I can put down before next winter... just gotta get my applicators license first. I think there is big $$ in this :) hint hint

mngrassguy
04-24-2008, 05:52 PM
How tall was the grass over winter?

americanlawn
04-24-2008, 07:52 PM
Could be some kid spilled their Coco Puffs? :laugh:

mdlwn1
04-24-2008, 07:54 PM
Runner said it well.

teeca
04-24-2008, 11:19 PM
Nope, only if damage continues. They have prob moved on to tall grass now. Clean-up yew trimmings and "fluff: grass lightly with a rake. Mow/bag and fert as needed. damage will be gone in 2-4 weeks

This fall, Cut the grass short as late as possible, apply rabbit repellent to shrubs

you're so cool.. wish i could fix it over the internet with out being there.