Grass damage - Pests??
I have been having damage to my lawn for a week now with no end in site. I have asked advice from many sources but nothing has worked. I have applied mole-ex to my lawn along with bait boxes for voles but so far damage has continued. I had my grass aerated in the Spring - fertilized- grub control and had a nice lawn until about a month ago. Started looking a little yellow but thought maybe it was over fertilized. Last week the damage in the first picture showed up so I was told I have moles or voles and then put the mole -ex on lawn along with a fungus control suggested to me by gardening place. After that all the other holes and damage has continued day after day. I am besides myself and don't know what to do. Please help!!!!
Macomb County Michigan
If, when you step on the lighter colored trails through the grass, they are raised areas of soil and they can be pressed down, then these are mole tunnels.
If there are no tunnels around the holes to press down, holes visible at the surface could be squirrel damage. Voles typically develop protected runways through tall grass, (and under snow cover in winter) along the surface of the soil. Keep grass mowed to 3.5 - 4 inches in height.
Your pictures look like mole tunnels. Moles eat insects of all types so, killing grubs doesn’t make moles move away.
The most effective control for moles is trapping. With some practice and following these tips you should have success. There are castor oil - based repellents for moles that can help when used and re-applied according to the label. Here are links to info on mole management:
Video on properly setting mole traps –
Details on vole control-https://ag.umass.edu/turf/fact-sheets/vole-damage-to-lawns
Also, links to lawn care and repair should you need them-
The squirrel damage will subside once the ground freezes- as will the mole activity. Populations of all animals and insects fluctuate year to year. You may have a lower population of moles next year. I hope this helps. Thank you.
I forgot to mention, if the holes are appearing overnight, and have no tunnel beneath them, they are caused by something nocturnal, and it could be skunks. Skunks are very active right now putting on weight for the winter.
Here are a couple more references to keep on hand-