Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I have varmits that are ruining my lawn during the winter (under snow). They make trails and destroy the lawn about 4 inches wide. I can find no holes only the trails and dead grass flipped to the side of the trails. Any ideas? We are going crazy trying to figure this out. We have never had this problem until last year.
Rate This FAQ
I suspect voles have moved into your lawn. Perhaps you live near an open area that was cleared for development last year, and the voles were forced to move, or their population increased suddenly and they are spreading out. If you feed birds, voles use that food through winter. They can do a lot of damage to trees and shrubs if they chew on the bark through winter - many trees and shrubs die because of vole damage.
Now that the snow cover is gone (I hope!), the voles will move to groundcovers or tall grasses for cover. If you don't have much of that, they will probably be prey for some sort of predators as they move towards a new area with some type of protection. In other words, unless you have groundcover in your landscape or a nearby pasture with tall grass, you probably don't need to do anything to control the voles. If you have groundcover, consider removing it or thinning it out so it is less protection and less appealing to the voles.
Look at these online publications for more information about voles: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/NR_WD_009.pdf
Your primary concern right now may be how to repair the damage to your lawn. Vole runways usually fill in by mid-spring, but I'd advise core aeration to help loosen the compaction they caused. You wouldn't think such tiny little feet could compact the soil, but they did it while the soil was very wet, so the effect of their travel is worse. Here is a link to info about lawn aeration: http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/hgic1200.htm
Note the statement within the publication above regarding timing of aeration: "choose a day when temperatures are mild and soil is moderately moist, which makes the soil easier to penetrate. Avoid aerifying a wet soil, as it is messy and leads to further compaction of the soil as well. If the soil sticks to your shoes or if the core sample you take sticks to your probe, you should wait until it dries out some before starting the job."
Here is a link to the USU publication "Basic turfgrass Care"; it will tell you when and how much to fertilize your lawn. Use the recommendations for "high maintenance lawns" to hasten regrowth. http://extension.usu.edu/files/gardpubs/hg517.pdf
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I have seen ads for canada green grass seed. It talks about it's resistance to drought, and the fact that is a very hearty grass. Do you have any info on this grass seed?
- About the end of July, some of my Hostas start turning yellow and eventually almost white. These get more sun that the rest. Is that the problem or do they need more fertilizer at some point.
- We want to plant a couple of trees in our front yard that don't get very big (about 10 to 15 feet high). Can you suggest any are not messy and don't send up runners? If you have literature on selecting trees, could you send me a link?
- I live in East Murray, West Holaday, Salt Lake County. We have a large pine tree and want to plant some flowers under/near it. The plants would be along a fence that runs to the east of the tree. Some, very little west sun in the evening. Any suggestions? I would love some long lasting flowers.
- I have an 8 year old Norway Spruce. It has a section at the base where the needle grow is restricted and the stems look whitish. The rest of the tree has green plush growth and it is about 12 ft high now. It had this problem when I brought it home from the nursery but I thought it would snap out of it. What is this and is there anything I can do?
- How can I tell if the spider I found is a hobo spider?
- I have a mature elm in my backyard that was probably planted when the house was built in the 70's. We bought it 3 years ago and I have noticed that something is eating away at the bark. There is a reddish-brown streak (almost like what you would see in a human that has blood poisoning) that runs up the bark. I cut off one of the lower limbs that the problem had progressed to. The bark is very "mushy" and looks decayed. Chunks of bark fall off at the affected areas. I cannot see any bugs that may be causing this but I suspect that is the cause. This tree has 2 main branches that extend from the bottom and this is where the main damage seems to be. I am concerned that the tree could "split" at this point if it becomes weakened. I need to know the cause and treatment.
- I would like to put a barrier inbetween my lawn and my side yard where we have quakies to keep the suckers from coming up. What can I use and how deep do I put it into the ground? Also, they are next to my neighbors driveway, how far do the roots travel and should I barrier that side as well?