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Animals digging up lawns.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Green Sweep, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    Just curious what you guys tell customers about animals tearing up the lawn looking for grubs. After we apply a curative grub control & wipe out the majority of grubs - skunks, raccoons, crows, etc. continue to tear up the lawn. Most people think that they STILL have a grub problem & want an insecticide re-applied. I usually tell them that by pulling up the dead turf, the animals are doing them a favor because the area needs to be seeded anyway. And I tell them that I cant stop the animals from digging & that the true problem - grubs has been taken care of. Just wanted to get some of your insights.

  2. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    Sounds like you've got the propert answer.

    - You can't be 100% responsible for everything that happens to their lawn.

    a.) A summer grub preventer next year.

    b.) Slit-seeding to fill in bare areas after animal activity finally stops.
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Tell them to buy a 22 and you will give them a quarter per pelt discount on any future applications.:D
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Just because the turf is dug up does not mean that you have a grub problem. I have seen raccoon damage start in early July in dense shade, where (and when) you would never have grubs in our area.

    Racoons are the major problem in lawn rooting in our area, and coons instinctivey know there is life in the soil. They do not eat only grubs. Grubs are a delicacy to them, as they are to birds, bears and many other animals - and to some human cultures. Coon damage here will usually start in July, when young are just starting to forage for themselves. If coon population is high, you will get a lot more rooting by them in turf and ornamental beds. A lot of coon roadkill any year in May-Jun => high coon population => be ready with traps on lawns in July.

    I have seen coons demolish a drought damaged turf area in Sept, because they had found grubs in dead lawn areas before, and must have assumed that there had to be some here. This was the worst coon damage I have ever seen, almost every square inch of dry area torn up, and there were no grubs there for sure.

    Get away from the idea that coon damage = grubs; it's just not always true. And if coon control is the problem, why even insert grubs into the equation. I just trap the coons. Easier to learn than trapping moles, and client sees above ground what you are billing for, rather than wonders if you really did control the hidden (grub) problem. Check for state regs on coon trapping. As a game species, especially in eastern states, their hunting and traping are often regulated by state law in some way.
  5. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    You also need to explain to them there is a threshhold for grub damage in the lawn--I believe it is in the vicinity of 12 grubs per square foot. No pesticide will eradicate each and every grub, if it was that potent, beneficial life (worms, bacteria) will be lost also. Tell them their lawn is not suffering from grub damage, but rather "animal" damage.

    If you do peel back 1 sq/ft of turf and find 20 or so grubs, then that is a grub problem.
  6. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Do they have mole runs in the yard? If yes, then animals including dogs are after the moles.

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