We are having yard issues. Through many winters we've experienced vole damage...

Asked May 2, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

We are having yard issues. Through many winters we've experienced vole damage and I believe I found a dead grub this spring when the snow was melting. Besides the trails left by the voles, I'm seeing many dead spots (photo 2) in the back yard - we do have a male dog but I don't believe the spots are from his urine. The voles only attacked the back yard this winter (evidence of about 2" trails of eaten grass roots) & now I'm seeing some different damage in the front yard where the grass has always been thinner, this year it looks terrible. There seems to be narrow trails (about a 1/2" wide - photo 1) and some droppings as well (photo 3). I've attached several photos for your review. Please help! I don't know what to do. Thank you in advance, Amy Vinar

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

This was a really good year for voles, with the deep and persistent snow cover.
The dead grub isn't an indication of voles, but the dead spots might be caused by grubs feeding on the roots of the grass.

Here is a link (a PDF) that describes voles - their activites, damage and some control methods:

And is is a link that describes turf damage from grubs:

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.

What product do you think is the most effective for insect problems in our yard? Grub-ex by Scotts?


I Amy,
Well, first I must know what kind of grubs you are finding in your lawn. You must do some detective work before you can be sure that there are more than one or two of them.
Here is a link that will help you do that:

And here is a list of the chemicals that will be effective - once you have identified the insect:

Once you have determined the proper chemical, you can go to any good garden center and either ask the staff, or read the labels on the products to see which one has the formulation you need.

Please make sure that you read and carefully follow the directions on the container. Improper use of these products will cause far more damage than they can cure!

I hope this is helpful!