September 13, 2022

3 Signs You Have Grubs in Your Lawn (Are Raccoons and Skunks Digging Up Your Grass?)

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3 Signs You Have Grubs in Your Lawn (Are Raccoons and Skunks Digging Up Your Grass?)

Are raccoons and skunks digging up your lawn or blackbirds pecking away at your grass? These critters might be seeking grubs! Grubs are the larvae stage of a beetle, typically a June Bug or Japanese Beetle. They have fleshy, worm-like bodies with brown heads. (Don’t they sound pretty?!)

 A few aren’t an issue, but an army of grubs can damage grass and attract lots of critters who will dig up your yard to find a tasty snack. Getting rid of grubs is often the best way to stop skunks or raccoons from digging up your lawn. 

Signs You Have Grubs in Your Lawn 

  1. Raccoons, skunks, and moles dig in your grass, searching for their next meal. 
  2. Your grass feels spongy in spots (like fresh sod) because grubs eat away at the roots.
  3. There are dead patches in your grass that peel away like loose carpet. 

If you have any of these signs in your yard, chances are you have a grub infestation. To be sure, peel away a section of grass to see if any of these little bugs are hiding in the soil. 

How to Protect Your Lawn from Grubs & Critters 

Use nematodes to destroy grubs. 

The most effective way to control grubs is to apply nematodes (a beneficial parasite) to your lawn. Shipped in a powdery solution, nematodes are living organisms, so you need to buy them fresh, store them according to package directions, and use them before the expiry date. 

To apply, lightly water first, add the nematodes into a watering can or hose sprayer, and then water again. This application will force the nematodes down deeper into the soil where the grubs are hiding. Be sure not to saturate as you can wash them away. 

Depending on how many grubs are calling your lawn home, you may have to repeat the application a few times to get them under control.  


Time your application for the best success!  

The best time to apply nematodes is during late spring/early summer when soil temperatures have warmed up, and grubs are in a life cycle where they can be easily targeted. 

Make your lawn and garden less appealing to raccoons, skunks, and other critters. 

You’ve got the nematodes on your side, taking care of the grubs. Now it’s time to focus on stopping the raccoons, skunks, and moles from digging up the lawn! To repel these critters, you want to make the area less attractive by playing with their sense of smell, taste, sight or sound. 

  • Apply bloodmeal, wolf, coyote, or fox urine, so they think predators are near. 
  • Use Tomcats Rodent Repellent as a smell and taste deterrent 
  • Place an owl statuary in your garden 
  • Add a speaker with talk radio to your garden 

Repair the damage and beautify your lawn 

Once the ground is firm enough to walk on -the fix is on! You have two options, depending on the shape your lawn is in. If it needs a lot of help, you’ll want to remove damaged areas, top dress with lawn soil and lay new sod. If damage is minimal, you can over-seed with a good quality grass seed in mid-spring.  

Even though they are tiny, grubs in your grass can cause significant destruction (with the help of the raccoons, skunks and birds who want to eat them!). Regularly evaluate your grass and keep an eye out for signs so you can treat the problem as soon as it starts! 

Frankie’s recommended products for dealing with grubs:

Scotts Turf Builder CLICK IMAGE
TomCat Rodent Repellent CLICK IMAGE

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