Something Digging up My Grass

Asked October 19, 2017, 5:51 PM EDT

Some animal is digging the grass off my lawn. There are some holes dug but mostly it looks like they've just scrapped the grass away and exposed the soil underneath. We have foxes in the neighborhood in a huge pile of logs stacked in a neighbor's backyard which has been there for 7 months--with no sawing activity. Sometimes I see paw prints that match up with those of a fox, on my driveway. This seems to have started when we had four large trees cut down and had resulting large piles of stump grindings left in place. Could this have triggered the digging activity? Could someone come out and look at this? Each night brings new destruction. The digging areas are expanding.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This digging damage sounds like the work of a skunk going after grubs. It's common behavior for skunks, but occasionally other critters will also dig for grubs, such as raccoons, opossums, or possibly fox. It has nothing to do with removing your trees.

Fox, in particular, are very beneficial wildlife. They are predators of white-footed mice that carry Lyme disease, so fox are important in keeping down the incidence of Lyme disease. You do not want to discourage the foxes.

There are a lot of grubs in the soil this fall because the soil was so moist this summer and that favored baby grub survival. Since the weather is staying so warm, you may have success reseeding your lawn if you do so immediately.

When weather stays warm in fall, grubs continue to eat instead of burrowing deeper in the soil to escape the cold, so this provides more opportunity for wildlife to dig and eat grubs.

Grubs like to lay their eggs in moist soil. So, in dry periods like we usually have in a Maryland summer, they will be attracted to the lawn with irrigation. Another good reason not to irrigate lawns.