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View Full Version : What has happened to this turf? Pics inside....


fiveoboy01
03-16-2010, 01:59 PM
A customer who I do dethatch/aeration/shrub work for called me yesterday about her lawn. They do the mowing, and it's a pretty nice lawn as far as the health of the turf etc.... I really don't know what this is or what is causing it, there are what appear to be lumps of dead grass all over the place.

It's confined to a smaller area of the lawn - under the clumps there is still grass there so I'm not convinced anything needs to be done other than raking for now. What are all the little "trails"? Customer thinks it's from mice or something, I really have zero clue what causes this. Snow has been completely melted off for a few days now.

Any advice on what I can tell the customer and what action I should take(if any at this point)?

Thanks guys. Pics:

http://fiveoboy01.smugmug.com/photos/811861226_bHFKX-L.jpg

http://fiveoboy01.smugmug.com/photos/811862109_skehL-L.jpg

http://fiveoboy01.smugmug.com/photos/811862930_XFJsX-L.jpg

http://fiveoboy01.smugmug.com/photos/811863791_737A2-L.jpg

http://fiveoboy01.smugmug.com/photos/811864600_8QBrg-L.jpg

greenbaylawns
03-16-2010, 02:20 PM
Weird. Did a snow plow push snow on to it maybe and move the sod while it was on the verge on freezing? I see a street is why I asked. I have nothing.

skeller257
03-16-2010, 03:24 PM
I'm gonna say mice for the trails, but I've never seen mice leave the grass like that.

greenbaylawns
03-16-2010, 06:12 PM
I going to have to say Mice to. I found this at my sons school today and after further review I think to it was mice.

Outdoor_Maintenance_2010
03-16-2010, 06:22 PM
yep thats mice alright,
just rake it reseed,water and fertilize

RodneyK
03-16-2010, 06:35 PM
Have the same thing in my yard and was just trying to figure it out myself. Mice was on my short list. Good timing on the post! Thanks for the answers.

cozymonkey
03-16-2010, 09:54 PM
Looks similar to what we call vols in colorado. Vols are pretty much a long mouse. Just like it was said before rake, reseed, and water. Something I have found useful and humane is that if you catch these guys before they make so many trails. Find the main trail they use and put some tabsco sauce in it. They get it on their feet and eventually in their mouth, makes them uncomfortable and they don't want to live somewhere uncomfortable so they will just move on to the neighbors lawn.

RigglePLC
03-17-2010, 07:35 AM
Meadow voles. similar to a mouse. Make nests and runs under deep snow--especially if near some shrubbery where they can hide during the summer.

Runner
03-17-2010, 07:58 AM
Yep! Every year at about this time we get a few thread on here asking about this. Shrews are another term for these little tail-less field mice.

fiveoboy01
03-17-2010, 11:51 AM
Thanks guys. I'll rake it and see what comes back, then seed if necessary.

Is there a way to run these guys off somehow? Seems to only be an issue over the winter.

White Gardens
03-17-2010, 04:57 PM
Meadow voles. similar to a mouse. Make nests and runs under deep snow--especially if near some shrubbery where they can hide during the summer.

Bingo. It's Voles. Slow and stupid little critters.

White Gardens
03-17-2010, 04:58 PM
Thanks guys. I'll rake it and see what comes back, then seed if necessary.

Is there a way to run these guys off somehow? Seems to only be an issue over the winter.

As soon as the local predators come out they will be gone.

bigslick7878
03-17-2010, 08:06 PM
Never seen anything like that, crazy.

cozymonkey
03-17-2010, 09:03 PM
You can run a mower over real quick and see how many of them you can pick up. Nevermind bad idea I hate it when that happens, makes a bigger mess.

fiveoboy01
03-20-2010, 03:18 PM
As soon as the local predators come out they will be gone.

Ok, I guess my question was more along the lines of is it possible to prevent them from showing up in the winter? I'm guessing not.

Anyways I appreciate the replies. Now I know what causes this:)

MOB
03-20-2010, 11:05 PM
Definately vole damage. Voles love junipers in the summer and cause this damage under snow banks in the winter. The good news is that although unsightly in the spring, voles usually trim the grass off above the crown and the grass will usually recover without reseeding. Just rake up the dead grass and let it regrow,

RodneyK
03-26-2010, 06:54 PM
Article from Purdue on this subject.

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2010/03222010_voles.html