No matter how well a gardener waters or fertilizes a lawn, some lawns can be completely ruined by creatures that burrow underground and feast on the lawn. Grubs and rodents are particularly bad for lawns and they can be quite resilient. That’s why gardeners have developed different ways of dealing with them over time.
White grubs are small insects that have white bodies and are usually shaped like Cs. In temperate zones in North America, these insects are the most destructive organisms to attack lawns. Other organisms that can be very damaging to your lawn include mice, rats, moles and voles. These animals often burrow among roots, potentially wrecking the environment for the plant and even damaging it directly.
White grubs are basically beetles in their larval stage. The most destructive grub, the annual white grub, turns into the tan chafer beetle. The eggs of the white grubs are laid and the damage starts to occur in mid August. The damage that the grubs do to the lawn will cause the lawn to turn brown. The white grub also attracts Japanese beetles, who can do a serious amount of damage to foliage in the yard. Raccoons and skunks come into lawns in order to feed on the white grubs.
Moles burrow underground and can create holes that might be eyesores. The tunneling of the moles can also cause damage to the roots of the grass, causing browning and dead patches on the lawn. The moles do not always use the same holes, according to Purdue University, so destroying the hole of the mole does not help. The moles do play a beneficial role of killing many pests, such as the grubs. Using insecticides on the grubs will drive away the moles since they will then have nothing to eat. In some states, the trapping of moles is not allowed.
Gophers tunnel similar to moles in search for food. These gophers also create mounds that are shaped like fans or kidney beans. The holes that are created by the gophers are actually used to create ventilation in the tunnels that the gopher travels through when the tunnels become too hot. The gophers like to feed a lot on the roots of perennial grasses, which make them bad for lawns. According to Purdue University, the only two effective ways of stopping gophers is to trap them or to poison them.
Voles are one of the worst mammals for gardens and the trapping of voles is legal in all states, as of 2010. These voles like to eat flower bulbs and gnaw on the roots of plants, killing them or making them very vulnerable to pests. Some species of voles can even severe the trunks of trees. Snap-style mouse traps are the most common ways to get rid of voles.
Rats and Mice
Rats and mice are more a problem indoors. But the rats and mice can also be damaging to ornamental plants when they burrow through roots. The best way to eliminate rats and mice is to eliminate potential food sources on the lawn, such as fallen fruit, nuts, seeds and bone meal.