White Grubs, Voles, Moles and Crabgrass: Oh my!

Challenge: Voles

Voles resemble house mice, but have a rounded nose and head, a shorter tail and smaller ears.  Their diets are primarily green plants and seeds. However; in the winter they travel in tunnels beneath the snow.  The end result: when the Muskoka snow melts, you are left with tunnels of pushed up thatch, grass and sometimes soil. 

Solution: De-thatch or aerate your lawn in the spring and over-seed.  With proper watering practices, fertilization and mowing, your Muskoka lawn will be green and healthy in no time!  

Challenge: Moles

Moles can be a problem in Muskoka. These dark brown velvety fur rodents, push small piles of soil up from their tunnels throughout your lawn.  They have tiny eyes and ears, and large front paws for digging.  Their diet consists of primarily earth worms, but they also eat grubs and nuts.

Solution: Rake them out and over-seed, the key is to not only get rid of the moles. But ensure that the upturned soil does not smother and eventually kill the surrounding turf.  If you have moles, contact Earth Elements to put the right steps in place to repair the damage and rebuild a strong lawn.

Challenge: White Grubs

White grubs are the larval stages of scarab beetles. These translucent creatures feed on the roots of lawns and other plants.  This feeding alone can cause wilting or death in irregular patches on your lawn or turf areas.  However; if grubs continue to eat on your lawn, they will now become a food source for rodents. This is when secondary damage occurs from moles, skunks and racoons digging up the lawn to feed on the grubs. Treat the grubs and the rodents will be gone.

 Common white grubs that can be found in Muskoka are the European Chafer, June beetle, Bluegrass Billbug, Black Turfgrass Ataenius and recently the Japanese beetle.  

Solution: Nematode (hyperlink to blog on nematodes) application: example, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.

Nematodes are a beneficial insect that impact grubs by using them as a food source.  As an added bonus, these microscopic insects will leave both the turf and the other rodents alone. 

Challenge: Cutworm

Cutworm larvae are a black, brown or grey colour, dull and hairless worm up to two inches in length.  The larvae appear as early as June with damage appearing throughout June and July.  They live on the soil and thatch layer, feeding at night on stems leaves and roots of lawns.  The adult moths, which are light grey and brown, lay eggs on the leaf blades in early spring.  Damage appears as yellowish brown patches with hollow holes in the center of the lawn.