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What has happened to this turf? Pics inside....

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by fiveoboy01, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    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:





  2. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Its mice or another small rodent. They make the tunnels under the snow. We dethatch whish gets rid of most the seed the areas that are thin.
  3. NkyLawncare

    NkyLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    Maybe a lot of snow covered in SALT was plowed onto the yard. I don't know but I know we have some dead patches from the salt that was on the snow that was plowed to our yard. I don't know if that would explain the tiny rut/trails that are running through it though.
  4. turf21

    turf21 LawnSite Member
    from MO
    Messages: 27

    x2 on the mice. you can dethatch and maybe aerate and then seed this spring. should come out looking like there was never a problem. good luck.
  5. IdahoGrass

    IdahoGrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Mice or moles. I think a lot of times this will happen more often if the grass is not cut short before snow.
  6. mike174

    mike174 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    It looks like mole tunnels that collapsed from the snow melt. Just my opinion...
  7. jrodgers

    jrodgers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    Definately moles or voles. They tunnel under the snow because they are safe from predators and its much easier for them to get around. I saw this alot this past week or so when the snow melted off.
  8. Snapper12

    Snapper12 LawnSite Senior Member
    from CE MO
    Messages: 259

    This is one thing only... Voles aka Field Mice.
  9. nysuz

    nysuz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    definitely mice, an early raking, and most should come back. We have a customer gets it every year. If it were moles or voles there would be tunnels. Mice travel on top of the turf and eat their way along.
    rake and overseed
  10. Snapper12

    Snapper12 LawnSite Senior Member
    from CE MO
    Messages: 259

    nysuz: Voles love to eat succulent root systems and will burrow under plants or ground cover they are particularly fond of and eat away until the plant is dead. Bulbs in the ground are another favorite target for voles; their excellent burrowing and tunnelling gives them access to sensitive areas without clear or early warning. A vole problem is often only identifiable after they have destroyed a number of plants. Voles and mice travel the same way. You would have to actually collect a specimen to determine if it is a vole or a mouse. A field mouse and vole look the same to me. You also treat them as a pest the same way.

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