Don’t you hate when winter feels like it’s dragging on and on and on? You’re probably making deals with the sun, promising that you will finally (for real this time) take up jogging as long as it decides to facilitate an early melt.
But while we’re sitting here and dreaming of warmer weather, there’s someone currently in your yard that is enjoying the snow cover: Voles!
Voles are small rodents that are probably tearing up your lawn as we speak. They are active all year round, but the snow cover allows them access to the entirety of your yard while remaining hidden from predators. These herbivores will snack on grass, roots, and sometimes tree bark. Voles will burrow in the ground and make “roads” throughout your lawn as they munch on your grass. The sod damage can look quite hellish when the spring thaw finally reveals what these rodents have been up to all winter.
But don’t be alarmed! The damage usually appears worse than it is. Once all of the snow is melted, you should give you the yard a good raking. This will remove any dead debris and help blend the soil and grass. If some areas are worse than others, you can apply a grass seed mix to ensure rapid growth. If the damage seems unfixable, then give us a call and we can install new sod!
There are also a few preventative measures that can be undertaken before the next snowfall:
- Protect your trees by installing a tight mesh fabric around the lower portion of the trunk, and even a couple inches below ground if possible.
- Cut your grass extra short before the winter season so that the voles don’t have much to chew on.
- Try to keep objects off your lawn before the snow falls. Any pots, tools, piles of wood, etc., make attractive winter homes for our furry friends.
A little effort in autumn goes a long way toward avoiding spring headaches!