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What animal is destroying this lawn?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mooch91, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. sprayboy

    sprayboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 944

    Some pics up close would help.

    I am leaning more towards voles
  2. mooch91

    mooch91 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Up-close pictures attached.

    First is a picture of the "holes" that the animal is digging at spots across the tracks. Next to my size 10.5 foot as a comparison.

    The second is a picture of its "poop". I'm still thinking the size of this animal is larger than a mole/vole.


  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,727

    Yup. Bigger than a mouse or vole. Now I am leaning toward skunk.
    I don't suppose you have armadillos in your neighborhood?

    Look up--any sign of buzzards? Any feral pigs?

    Show us the sod peeled back--how many grubs per sqft?
  4. crb007

    crb007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Is there water nearby such as a creek or pond? Could be a muskrat.
  5. JeremyKuhn

    JeremyKuhn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    We have skunks and that is what they do in our yards, I don't have the tracks like that but the holes are the exact same.
  6. LawnMowerKing10

    LawnMowerKing10 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    Looks like voles to me because of the mini "runways"
  7. crgstvrs

    crgstvrs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    no way it is voles, poop too big. skunk, raccoon, an animal in that size range. those are not vole runways clearly in first pictures they are footprints of lager animal.
  8. mooch91

    mooch91 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Thanks guys. I'm convinced I've got a bigger animal on my hands. I'm thinking I'm going to have to punt on this one... the only thoughts I have for something like a skunk is trap and release or trap and kill. Don't really want to take the chance of getting a skunk in the back of my truck for a trap and release. And I don't have any ideas on how I'd do a trap and kill.

    Went back and saw the lawn today. The areas affected seem to have bounced back OK (not great, but no widespread death per se), but the thing seems to be moving out from there each night.

    I'm thinking my preventive treatment of imidacloprid is due...
  9. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Those "roads" in the grass are definitely not Skunk damage, although you've had something digging for sure. Those "roads" are from Vole damage and now that the warm weather is here it's not worth the aggravation of trying to deal with them. We see this quite a bit in the spring months as we come out of winter and the lawn will usually repair itself, especially if it's got Bluegrass in it.

    For what it's worth, Skunks would roto-till that lawn if they were finding grubs. So would Black Crowes. Small holes that were dug are o.k. because it's proving that no grubs are present (or not enough of them to invite Roto-tilling). If those animals found them, they'd go to town and you'd definitely know it. The coloring of the grass is a great indicator as well because the grass not affected by the "roads" of the Voles is a beautiful, vibrant Green - not normally seen when Grubs are present and snacking on the roots.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  10. crgstvrs

    crgstvrs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    The only way that could possibly be vole damage is if a cat ate the vole then crapped in your yard, unlikely. seems like it would be larger animal.

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