Yes, raccoons do dig up lawns, and they also cause a lot of damage to grass, plants, and small animals. To keep raccoons away from your property and your lawn, kill the grubs with insecticides or nematodes.
It seems like living in a place with forest critters is hit-or-miss. For some people, they will never see a raccoon, skunk, squirrel, or opossum on their property for the entire time they live there. But for others, it is a daily battle. If you or someone you know is the latter, then you must stay diligent and do what you can to keep animals off of your property and away from your lawn.
If you are currently going through a raccoon situation, then continue reading below as we will explain what attracts raccoons to lawns and homes, why they dig up soil and grass, and what you need to do to keep the raccoons away.
What do raccoons do to lawns?
One of the most intrusive and destructive of all forest critters is the raccoon. They dig through trash, terrorize your cute little dogs and cats, and dig up plants and grass for absolutely no reason. And if the owner of the home they are destroying does not take care of them quickly, they can lead other raccoons to their favorite house and cause insurmountable and irreversible damage.
What attracts raccoons to lawns and homes?
First and foremost, raccoons are scavenger animals. When they enter a neighborhood, they will meticulously search through every backyard, patio, and street to find something to eat. It Is much safer for them to search through the homes of humans than to fight other animals whenever they want to eat.
Like all animals, raccoons sniff the air to find the scent of food in the surrounding area. You may be surprised at how many types of food attract raccoons. Not only do raccoons love trash, but they also love certain plants, both wet and dry cat and dog food, and birdseed. Although it is not healthy for raccoons to eat meats like chicken carcasses, shrimp shells, lobster tails, and these phones, they will eat whatever they can to survive.
If you have animals that spend some part of the day outside, do not feed them outside or bring in their food when the sun goes down. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so they like to scavenge at night. Also, find a trash can with a heavy lid or a latch so raccoons cannot lift open the lid.
Why do raccoons dig up grass?
Everything raccoons do is because of food, mating, or shelter. So if a raccoon is digging up your lawn and ruining the grass, they are looking for food to eat, or they want to dig a hole to create a shelter that they can sleep in on cold nights. If you wake after a long night’s sleep and see that there are holes and exposed patches of dirt around your lawn, know that is the work of a raccoon.
People only see raccoons at night because they are nocturnal animals. When the sun sets, they wake up from their sleep, come out of the hiding spaces, and scavenge for food anywhere they smell it. If your lawn is well-watered, fertile, and has good soil, then it will attract raccoons. It is because little bugs like rollie pollies, centipede, worms, and other critters are part of the raccoon’s diet.
To escape predators and the sun’s heat, most bugs come out at night. Raccoons search for grubs, which are bugs that look like white centipedes. In my opinion, they are quite ugly and should be removed from your lawn immediately upon discovery.
Healthy dark soil will attract other bugs like grasshoppers and crickets too. Dark soil also gives off a more earthy and rich smell than plain soil, and that earthy smell is also attractive to raccoons. So if you have good soil underneath your lawn, it will attract raccoons who will dig it up so they can find their nightly meal.
How to protect your lawn from raccoons
Don’t allow the destruction of your beautiful lawn by hungry raccoons. There are several ways to scare off raccoons and keep them off your property for good. As a precaution, never deal with wildlife face-to-face. Implement these tips before the raccoons come out at night so you don’t have to deal with a wild raccoon who might attack you.
If you have pets, keep them inside your home during the night, or else a rabid raccoon can attack them, and they will also get ready.
If there are grubs on your lawn
If you want to get rid of the raccoons visiting and tearing up your lawn, you must kill the grubs. This is quite tricky as anything that kills grubs will also kill other beneficial bugs. If you don’t care about the other bugs, then there are three things you can apply to your lawn to kill all of the bugs underneath:
- Neem oil insecticide
- Anti grub insecticide
- A general bug insecticide
If you want to stay in as many votes as possible while killing the grubs, then find a hardware or gardening supply store that sells nematodes. Nematodes are worms who love to eat grubs.
The best time to use insecticide for nematodes to kill grubs is during the late summer or the early fall. During this time, Grub worms are still in their infancy stage and close to the soil’s surface. If you do it in the spring, the grubs are too far into the soil, and the insecticides will not work. You should also add the nematodes to your soil during the late summer or early fall. You can’t see nematodes because they are microscopic, but follow the instructions on the package when they arrive to ensure they are applied directly to your lawn.
There is no reason to allow raccoons to run wild and destroy your lawn. Since the raccoons are coming to eat the insects and the grubs hiding underneath the soil of your lawn, you must kill the bugs in order to drive away from the raccoons. You can use a natural insecticide like neem oil, an insecticide specific to grubs, or you can use nematodes. It may take an entire season to restore your lawn to its full and green state, but you will not have any more raccoon problems unless the grubs come back.