Hi, I writing to ask your expert opinion to kill grubs in my yard. I live in NW Ohio right on Lake Erie and every year in late summer and fall skunks rip up my lawn feeding on grubs. I've tried many different products that are supposed to kill them, but the skunks keep ripping up the lawn. I spend a lot of money on fertilizers and water keeping my lawn healthy and green only for the skunks to destroy it at the end of summer. Please help me with this problem.
Lucas County Ohio
Hello from OSU Extension! Have you seen grubs in the soil under your grass?Skunks can also feed on earthworms and soil insects. Checking the lawn in May for grubs is ideal. Dig an approximate 12 inch by 12 inch square of sod up, peel it back, and count how many grubs you are seeing in that square foot. If you are using an irrigation system, you can handle 10 grubs per square foot. If it is not working, the number drops to 5 grubs per square foot. Then, use a grub control product like Grubex or Bayer Season-Long Grub Control the first week of July (see link below to an article recently written from MSU with some great info).
If your real problem is skunks, especially if you are not seeing any grubs, here are some hints. Scoot Mole or Mole Med are castor oil products that can be sprayed directly on the grass to repell skunks.
Do not feed pets outside or leave birdseed where skunks can find it - they love to come in after the fact and clean up any thing left behind. You can encourage skunks and other wildlife to hang around by having food available.
A soil test could also help with the fertilizer recommendation , rather than just fertilizing. This is especially a good idea being by the lake and issues with phosphorus and nitrogen running off into site. There are many public and private labs that can test your soil.
Thank you Amy for your response! Last year I was so frustrated that I went to a bulk food store and bought large amounts of red pepper to put on my lawn. It seemed to work, but wasn't sure if it was that or if the season was nearing frost. I'll try your recommendation.