Help! Lawn damage

We have been at this location for 9 years with no previous problems. This y=
ear we re-seeded in late September and now have discovered overnight two la=
rge areas of extensive disturbance to the turf. I first suspected moles or =
voles, but on closer examination I see a large number of small pieces of tu=
rf that have been scuffed aside, but there are no tunnels beneath them. It =
looks like a large-ish animal, like a big dog or something, has torn up the=
lawn. But there are no footprints, and there is no sign of claw marks (the=
soil is soft and damp), and there is no history of dogs running loose in t=
he area. I have no idea what is causing this, but the damage is extensive a=
nd I don't know how to control it. We have a new puppy, so poison is out of=
the question. If anybody has any ideas I'd appreciate hearing them.
Thanks
Dave
Reply to
Dave
year we re-seeded in late September and now have discovered overnight two = large areas of extensive disturbance to the turf. I first suspected moles o= r voles, but on closer examination I see a large number of small pieces of = turf that have been scuffed aside, but there are no tunnels beneath them. I= t looks like a large-ish animal, like a big dog or something, has torn up t= he lawn. But there are no footprints, and there is no sign of claw marks (t= he soil is soft and damp), and there is no history of dogs running loose in= the area. I have no idea what is causing this, but the damage is extensive= and I don't know how to control it. We have a new puppy, so poison is out = of the question. If anybody has any ideas I'd appreciate hearing them.
Here are some pictures - I tried to post them earlier but a Comcast problem= interfered.
formatting link
Reply to
Dave
possible culprit, but skunks would be my primary suspect.) This time of year they are working hard to fatten up, doubly so as they probably had a tough time of it over the summer. They tend to avoid thick, uniform stands of turf and concentrate on areas where the turf is thinning, patchy or otherwise varied.
Reply to
Pat Kiewicz
lem interfered.
where the turf
Interesting - we do smell skunks around here regularly, but I haven't actua= lly seen any. Wonder how to deal with them, if the culprit turns out to be = skunks. Maybe if I catch them in the act I could run toward them, yelling a= nd waving my arms? I don't see how that could go wrong...
Reply to
Dave
They generally come out at night, though I've occasionally run across baby ones at dusk and the sometimes one that's found rich picking that will still be out chowing down near dawn. (Be extremely wary of any skunk you see in broad daylight. There is an very good chance they are rabid.)
Even the tiniest skunk will be unimpressed by yelling and waving. It will calmly lift its tail and look back over its shoulder at you. Even stamp its back feet a few times. Baby skunks are actually *extremely* cute when they do this. Still capable of giving you a dousing you won't soon forget, but damn cute.
The best prevention is to have a thick, uniform stand of turf. They really prefer easier digging and know thin turf is the best place to look for bugs.
Reply to
Pat Kiewicz
interfered.
where the turf
seen any. Wonder how to deal with them, if the culprit turns out to be skunks. Maybe if I catch them in the act I could run toward them, yelling and waving my arms? I don't see how that could go wrong...
As Pat points out, skunks are fearless. You back off, not them. You can actually catch them in a Hav-a-hart trap and dispose of them if you have the nerve. You throw a tarp over the trapped skunk and haul it away and release it by opening the trap from a distance.
From discussion, I suspect dogs. I have not seen that much lawn damage from skunks and other critters.
Reply to
Frank
roblem interfered.
hey are working
ver the summer.
eas where the turf
ctually seen any. Wonder how to deal with them, if the culprit turns out to= be skunks. Maybe if I catch them in the act I could run toward them, yelli= ng and waving my arms? I don't see how that could go wrong...
Interesting discussion. I still don't know what, if anything, I can do abou= t this. I think I'll set up a motion activated camera and see if I can catc= h anybody in the act.
Thanks to all! Dave
Reply to
Dave
problem interfered.
ar they are working
over the summer.
areas where the turf
actually seen any. Wonder how to deal with them, if the culprit turns out = to be skunks. Maybe if I catch them in the act I could run toward them, yel= ling and waving my arms? I don't see how that could go wrong...
out this. I think I'll set up a motion activated camera and see if I can ca= tch anybody in the act.
Squirrels also dig holes to bury nuts in the Fall. But since it's apparently happening at night, that would rule them out. Skunks and raccoons dig for grubs. I'd suggest lifting a square foot section of turf in a few places adjacent to where the digging has occured. If you find grubs, that would suggest treating for them could solve both the grub problem and the digging. Depending on where you are, it's late to treat for grubs now though.
Reply to
trader4

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