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Homeowner FAQ: What is digging holes in my lawn?

Holes in your lawn? You may be dealing with one of Canada’s most dreaded triple threats!

So, you’ve been waiting all winter for the springtime thaw, but now that the blanket of snow covering your lawn has melted away, the sight of a mucky, muddy, pockmarked lawn makes you want to scream “let it snow”. If this has been your experience this spring, there’s a very good chance that you have a very big problem…three actually. Your lawn may have fallen victim to the much-maligned tag team of grubs, skunks and raccoons.

While not so much an alliance as they are predator and prey, these pests can deliver a serious one two punch to your grass. However, fear not, your lawn may be down, but it’s not out.

What Are Grubs

Grubs, also called white grubs are not mature pests themselves, but actually the larvae of certain types of beetles. In Canada, the most common grubs are the larvae of June bugs; although Japanese beetles and European chafers can also be found in Canada.

Most grubs are a white or off white in colour, with brown heads and leggy, c-shaped bodies measuring anywhere from 2 to 4 cm in length.

Signs of Grubs

Grubs and beautiful lawns simply do not go together. Meaning, if you value your home’s curb appeal, you’re going to want to get the grubs out of your lawn.

If your lawn has fallen victim to a grub infestation, dead-looking patches that feel spongey under foot are among the first things you’ll notice. Along with these spots are those unsightly holes. These are usually what really send up the flares for most homeowners.

While spotting a series of 3 to 4-inch-deep holes in your lawn it can be a major indicator that you have a grub problem, the grubs themselves are not the ones doing the digging. This is where the skunks and racoons come into the picture.

Grub Hunters

While this may sound like the ultimate mashup of HGTV and Food Network programming, your local episode of grub hunters will not feature John Catucci, nor would be homeowners searching for $100k mansions. Rather, grub hunters refers to the nightly foraging of your local skunk and racoon population.

Thanks to a highly tuned sense of smell, these furry marauders are able to detect grubs buried beneath your lawn’s surface and will tear the lawn apart in search of their evening meal. Unfortunately, this isn’t a one-time occurrence. Once your lawn is identified as good hunting territory, these pests may return night after night.

The Best Defense

There is no shortage of grub eradication products available at home improvement stores and garden centres across the country. However, the best defense against grubs is a good offense. In this case, it means maintain a strong healthy lawn. This is because the stronger the lawn is the more tolerant it will be against grubs.

To really battle back against grub damage, hire a lawn care professional who offers grub control services. Not only can they help eradicate your existing grub problem, but their additional lawn care services can help promote a stronger, healthier lawn.

For more information about getting rid of grub or hiring a lawn care professional, visit the Lawn Care listings here on

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