Racoons Destroying Lawn

(Question)

I have a problem with racoons lifting up my lawn.  I put the grass back each morning and have added soil and lawn seed, but it has been getting worse over the last few weeks. How can I stop the racoons from destroying my lawn?

 

 

(Answer)

This is a frusting problem, and quite common at this time of year. Some people use motion sensor hoses that spray the racoons, others use physical barriers on the lawn (like chicken wire staked into place, or branches from prickly plants). Since the weather is warming up, I think the most effective control is removing the racoons food source.

It is likely that Japanese Beetle, June Bug or European Chafer Beetle are your problem.  All three appear as white grubs and emerge after the spring thaw to eat your grass roots. The racoons love them and peel away entire lawns in search of this protein rich food source. Once the weather is above 15 Celsius, you can apply beneficial insect parasitic nematodes to your lawn. Nematodes of the subspecies Heterorhabditis are most effective for treating all three types of white grubs. They are available at garden centres and there are a few websites which sell them online in Canada.

The nematodes infect the beetle larvae, also called White Grubs, which causes them to die within a few days. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully. Your lawn should be watered well after administering the nematodes, which have been diluted in water. They are sold in various sized containers, so have a rough idea of your lawn square footage so that you can buy an appropriate amount. The nematodes dont have a very long shelf life, and they need to be stored in a refrigerator, so its best to buy only what you need for one application.