Something is digging up customers yard...

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, May 8, 2009.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    I have a customer with a BEAUTIFUL emerald zoysia front yard. The back yard however is a different story. It is a myers zoysia, still can't understand why the two varieties... anyhow... the back yard is being TORN APART by coons, opossums, who knows...

    I know they are digging for grubs.


    1. Is this a sign of higher than normal grubs.

    2. How do I get rid of the pests... they back up to a wooded lot...

    3. Why aren't they touching the emerald zoysia or the fescue that the dog stays on?
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    You already know the answer

    The coons or whatever are there because of the food source, the bugz that the coons or whatever are feeding on are there because of the food source and so on
    it may even be a protected area where they can feed easily, any changes recently in the neighborhood?

    The only reason that you are seeing it is because the site is out of balance
  3. Hi DeepGreen

    Bill is 100% correct about the soil being imbalanced.

    Without looking at the site, I would suggest top dressing with some high quality/locally produced compost. A soil test will tell you the OM% and roughly how much compost to spread. Apply 1/4" until you reach +/- 7%

    Address compaction too.

    All of that biology in the compost will be antagonistic to those grubs. They will find somewhere else to feed if conditions are tough enough for them.....think itching powder in the sleeping bag.....

    As a rescue treatment (sounds like you need to do something NOW), you can apply two different strains of nematodes which can help a lot. This is not really a sustainable fix, but I have seen it work very well. We distribute them. Go to this link for comprehensive info. Let me know if you need any other help.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,813

    And get the radio fence. So...the dogs can stay out. They will chase away the critters.
    Of course you can always use traps for the invading animals. Be kind of course. Some of them would no doubt appreciate relocation to a nicer neighborhood.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Just one question..........are there really grubs there? This may sound like an obvious question, but I have seen damage of this kind without grubs being present. Sometimes they dig where it is easiest to dig. Sometimes they dig in what is VERY healthy soil for worms. Sometimes it is other insects in the turf and not grubs. Why the front and not the back..........? You answered the question, it is the back that backs up to woods. The front is the FRONT. That usually means street side, more people, etc.
  6. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    True, and I am planning on going back out there to do a basic brub test... I just can't figure out why they are only in that area, I glanced over at the neighbors house and didn't notice anything too far out of place. And the line between the two turfs is very distinguished but I feel a major reason for this is a dogwood is covering a majority of it and there is not much sun light to speak of. However, there is an area that goes along the neighbors driveway that is hurting as well... I basically have only been there twice. Once was when I was doing the estimate and I was in a little hurry... and the second was when I was aerating/treating and I noticed all the dig/claw marks that made it obvious that something was digging around. I know it isn't their dog, it has it's own fenced in area and stays inside, and I didn't see/notice any other dogs either in the general area.

    It will be interesting to see what it looks like when I am back in the area and able to get a look at it again.

    I see some of these deterents for a "quick fix" and was wandering what your thoughts were on these. I am afraid it will smell and I am not a big fan of things that smell... as neither are my customers.
  7. Doon't worry about nematodes. They will not smell.
  8. waterman1971

    waterman1971 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    I bet it's armadillos digging. They are doing the same to me right now. We live trap em.
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    That would be fun. What do you use as bait?
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    start with some nematode's and then maybe put some Castor oil or hot pepper wax to drive the armadillos away, at the same time, compost will kind of be like a dont shite where you eat thing for the dillos

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