Raccoon Solutions & Mowing Height For Grass

Question:

Last fall, we had a problem with raccoons as they tore up the lawn to feast on the grubs. I want to discourage the raccoons early on this year. Is there an easy way to tell if the lawn grubs have returned?

Answer:

  • Grubs are immature beetles found in the ground and are usually and white.
  • As the grubs mature, they begin to feed on the grassroots, killing the lawn patches in the process. The damage is visible from late summer through the fall. The damage starts typically next to cement or a hot concrete edge and quickly spreads outwards toward the lawn's center.
  • The dead grass easily peels off the soil surface, exposing the grubs. Grubs can still be present in undamaged grass; hence the raccoons return.
  • There is a simple test for the presence of grubs using detergent and water. With stakes and string, mark off two by two-foot squares.
    • Mix two tablespoons of liquid soap or detergent in a bucket of water and evenly pour the solution over the areas. I'd set up several test sites. The sites can be any area where the turf has turn brown and a normal area. Keep a close eye on the surface for the next ten to fifteen minutes.
    • The detergent agitates the grubs forcing them to the soil surface. Typically, more than five grub per quarter-square foot warrants treatment.
  •  The organic solution for grubs is to apply Beneficial Nematodes. Beneficial Nematodes kill all the soil insects except earthworms. They're applied with a tank sprayer. Beneficial Nematodes done early on will rid the area of all the soil insects and force the raccoons to look elsewhere for a food source.
    • Another solution is Bayer Season Long Grub Control. It can be applied as early as May or June and provides grub control over an extended period. These products do not provide immediate results, as they take seven to ten days or longer to be effective.
    • Unfortunately, the raccoons continue to be destructive, so be proactive and start your controls early.

Question:

 Why does my lawn have a brown cast to after it's mowed?  It was a newly sodded lawn last fall.  

Answer:

  • There is a simple solution to this problem; raise the mowing height on your lawnmower.
  • When mowing grass, you only want to remove one-third of the grass's blade to keep it green. There are two parts to a grass leaf. The upper part, which is called the blade, and the lower part is called the sheath.
  •  Now, you probably installed a type of tall Fescue as it's the predominant variety used in today's sod lawns. Tall Fescue is mowed high around three inches. If you cut it short, it has an unattractive appearance.