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mowerbrad
02-09-2012, 02:59 PM
So we've been having some problems with some sort of small critter in our lawn. I want to say it is a shrew, but I'm not totally sure??

We started to notice some problems late summer, I thought we had it under control but since the snow has melted I have noticed an EXTREME amount of damage done to the lawn. I need to do something about it, something that I know will WORK!!!

I know where they live and will be removing the low ground cover and replacing it with mulch/wood chips in the spring, but until then I still need to get rid of whatever critter is living out there.

Any ideas???

Here's some pictures of the damage...

integrityman
02-09-2012, 03:04 PM
hmmm. doesnt look like mole damage.... could be a vole? dunno. Is ground frozen so the critter can only go under the very top layer of turf?


maybe take a pic to local extension office for their opinion.

I google image searched vole damage: looks pretty close:

http://hort.uwex.edu/topics/lawns

BTW brad- hows the JD quick trak doing for ya?

orangemower
02-09-2012, 03:24 PM
I was thinking mole until I saw the pics.
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Ridin' Green
02-09-2012, 03:41 PM
Shrews and voles will both do that, but so will a field mouse. I had the same thing on my front lawn last winter. During one of the warm spells last winter when the snow melted off I saw the damage. It had taken some of the grass that had ben shaved off the edge of the lawn by the blade on the front of my CUT, and along gathering grass from tunneling (just like you have), had made itself several nests all along its tunnels in the turf. That one happened to be a mouse, but I had the same thing in my back yard a few summers ago, and I actually caught that one after a few nights of trying. That one was a mole/shrew/vole hybrid of some type. We googled several pictures of all three, and this thing had features of all three, that are normally only found on one or the other. I had killed quite a few moles and knew it wasn't just a mole.

I dug a small square hole just deep enough to allow me to place a regular mouse trap in it, with the top side of the trap just below flush with the bottom of its trail. I then covered the trap with a few pieces of grass (not many, something like 10-15 4" long pieces, and some small pieces of torn up oak leaf. I knew which direction it always came from to start its trail digging in my yard. It was kinda strange because it came at least 50' from my neighbors yard every night into mine before it started digging a trail. I could clearly see the trail coming from my neighbors yard into mine where it had pushed its way along between the grass stems/crowns and dirt, so I knew where it kept coming from. It only took one night to catch him like that. Since I knew which dirction he was coming from, it made setting the trap in the right direction in the little recess easy. For something like you have there, I would set one facing each way, end to end.

mowerbrad
02-09-2012, 06:19 PM
I've tried putting some poison bait by the tunnels, in the tunnels, etc., but that didn't seem to do anything. I've had some mouse traps out there but only for 2 days so far. I know that if I get rid of the stupid ground covering that we have in the landscape bed out front, I can get rid of their home...so I'm just waiting for a good time to throw a match in there and let it go. But I still need to make sure that whatever is in there is actually gone.

hmmm. doesnt look like mole damage.... could be a vole? dunno. Is ground frozen so the critter can only go under the very top layer of turf?


maybe take a pic to local extension office for their opinion.

I google image searched vole damage: looks pretty close:

http://hort.uwex.edu/topics/lawns

BTW brad- hows the JD quick trak doing for ya?

The quik trak has been a great little mower. I didn't get to use it as much as I was planning on, just because of how my schedule worked out last year. It did come in handy a few times when I had to put the 925 out of service for some minor things. I'm glad I held out for the updated 2011 version. I'm hoping to use it a little more this year, but I still don't know how busy I will be this year.

Thanksman
02-09-2012, 06:29 PM
I had a prob with field mice that resembeled that. want to know what it is before get a small hunting game cam from local sporting good store. Good luck with them critters. Let us know what you find out.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
02-09-2012, 06:34 PM
Vole - funny you even have damage as we haven't had much snow at all this winter, no where for them to hide.

roeslandscaping
02-09-2012, 11:23 PM
Earthquake? lol jk

calvinslawnservices
02-09-2012, 11:57 PM
Here is a way to get rid of them, take a piece of gutter cut it on one of the skinny sides and then fold the the pieces out ward. Then take two mouse traps and drill a hole in each one and take a nail and put it through it like a stake. Then take the mouse traps and put them right next to a hole opposite of each other. Then put the gutter over it and then secure it down, I used croquet hoops. The gutter directs them directly in to the mouse traps. I can take pictures tomorrow for you if you need them.

OUTLANDER
02-10-2012, 12:11 AM
if it is moles you can see alot of digging in the lawn area as they are mainly there to eat the worms, and grubs (so they can be an indicator of grubs in a way, cool)..i recommend mole stakes (sonic or not its up to you).....if it is vole the damage will be more concentrated to the beds as they eat roots of plants, and there will be plant damage present....it will be very difficult to ever really see these suckers they are fast like field mice. Although they are more likely to be active in the late summer/fall time of the year..(you can catch these with a small trap with peanut butter in the beds covered with mulch and hidden..they are smart)

integrityman
02-10-2012, 01:38 AM
Here is a way to get rid of them, take a piece of gutter cut it on one of the skinny sides and then fold the the pieces out ward. Then take two mouse traps and drill a hole in each one and take a nail and put it through it like a stake. Then take the mouse traps and put them right next to a hole opposite of each other. Then put the gutter over it and then secure it down, I used croquet hoops. The gutter directs them directly in to the mouse traps. I can take pictures tomorrow for you if you need them.

Sounds neat. Post some pics for dopes like me please.

This is one of those threads that turns out to actually provide useful info.

calvinslawnservices
02-10-2012, 11:57 PM
Here are the pictures, Its a pretty simple design but it works.

Here is the website, I found the idea on. I have bought the trap for moles from this site they work very well, I think I have taken four since I bought them this past summer.

http://www.traplineproducts.com/voles.html

mowerbrad
02-14-2012, 04:11 PM
Well I've been searching constantly trying to figure what the heck this critter is and I believe I have found my answer! I caught one of the stupid critters the other day in a mouse trap I placed along its tunnel, but I couldn't really figure out what it was. It looked kind of mouse like (about the same size but a little darker/browner coloring) and a little shorter tail.

While flipping through the TV channels today I happened to stumble upon a show on the National Geographic channel (which was about human sexuality). I just happened to catch the last couple minutes of it and they started talking about the Prairie Vole and showed a couple video clips of it and it looked exactly like the critter I caught the other day!

So I looked it up on the internet to find out more about it and it turns out that the damage I have in my lawn is exactly the damage that the Prairie Vole does. I've got some traps out along the tunnels, but there are so many of these stupid voles that they are now on both sides of the front lawn and in the backyard.

I think I'm going to have my work cut out for me to get rid of them!!!

Ridin' Green
02-14-2012, 04:22 PM
Brad-
Here's some info on breeding and what not for prairie voles. It describes the tunnels to be exactly like what yours are, so you may just have stumbled onto what you're dealing with. It even shows their range to be up to your area in the map.-
http://www.mnh.si.edu/mna/image_info.cfm?species_id=183

Glenn Lawn Care
02-14-2012, 05:04 PM
Field mice perhaps??

METRO FS
02-19-2012, 11:37 AM
It appears to be vole damage. I have some pics of moles, voles and shrews on my website if you need help identifying the animal.