Beautiful lawns say a lot about a home, and there is no argument that quality landscaping adds value to homes. Yet, many organisms damage lawns and landscaping. Keep reading as we go through some of the top lawn and yard pests.
Moles and voles are two digging lawn pests that come to mind quickly. Another digger is the cicada killer wasp, and cicada killer wasps dig small burrows in lawns to lay eggs. These three pests can do considerable damage to lawns and landscaping.
Moles and Voles Are Tunnelling Pests
Moles and voles tunnel. They may make mounds of dirt in the lawn or cause near-surface tunnels that uproot grass or plants. The mounds of dirt and tunnels erode, causing water to drain down the holes rather than into the lawn.
Voles are famous for chewing the bark off your shrubs and trees during late fall and into spring, causing mature shrubs and small trees to die. They are also fond of the roots of grasses, which can cause issues with lawns.
Moles, on the other hand, eat insects and smaller organisms, such as earthworms. Their pest activity comes from the long tunnels they create as they hunt for insect grubs in the top layer of soil.
If you have a large population of voles or moles, it will likely attract snakes, which feed on small rodents. So, beyond keeping your lawn beautiful, it is helpful to remove populations of tunneling rodents so that they do not attract snakes to your yard.
Shrews are tiny mammals and, for the most part, are not a pest. They do not create tunnels but will use the tunnels created by moles and voles. Shrews are hunters, and they prey on insects and earthworms. Shrews are venomous but not a danger. Instead, they use a toxin in their saliva to subdue their prey. Their bite is painful, and they can kill small animals, such as mice. Therefore, it is unlikely that you would notice an infestation of shrews. They are shy creatures who stick to hedgerows or underground tunnels.
Skunks will also cause damage to lawns and landscaping. They use their powerful claws to dig up grubs from lawns. Beetle larvae are common subterranean organisms, and skunks do an excellent job at keeping those insect populations under control. The problem with skunks is three-fold:
- They can spray and cause a stinky mess with pets and humans.
- They dig up the lawn, garden, and even flower pots.
- They are a mammal and therefore able to contract rabies.
Skunks will also happily make a meal out of pet food. However, as nocturnal creatures, you do not see skunks very often in the daytime.
How Do You Control Lawn and Yard Pests?
There are a couple of ways to control pests that bother your lawn or yard.
- Use our monthly pest control service to control pest populations as they emerge.
- Mechanical traps can be efficient for some pests, such as voles.
Because these pests have such a range of diets, baiting for all of them is not very successful. However, for larger mammals, such as skunks, trapping and other deterrents can work.
To learn more about specific lawn and yard pests, give us a call.