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Holes in the lawn – causes and effective countermeasures

Holes in the lawn - causes and effective countermeasures

If holes turn the lawn into a crater landscape, every lawn mowing becomes a bumpy ride. The following lines reveal who caused the damage and how you can defend yourself against it.

How to identify the culprit

Holes in the lawn appear at any time of the year. In order to be able to take effective action against the offenders, they must be clearly identified. The most important clues to the usual suspects are listed in the following overview:

  • Countless small holes a few millimeters in diameter: earthworms
  • Indentations of 2 cm (.8 inches) in size: birds or hedgehogs
  • 3-5 centimeter (1-1.5 inches) pits that end in an underground tunnel: field mice or mice
  • Holes under a mound of the earth: mole or vole

If there are superficial depressions with scratched soil around them, a badger, raccoon, or fox was hunting here. This is a rare form of damage to the lawn, which usually does not repeat itself.

These holes do not require countermeasures

Although they are not pretty to look at, they promote the growth and vitality of the lawn. We’re talking about earthworm holes. The activities of these soil organisms make an irreplaceable contribution to the aeration of the soil and the formation of humus.

The indentations of hedgehogs and birds have a similarly beneficial effect. These arise because the beneficial insects are on the hunt for pests.

If you are bothered by the sight, rake the earth with a little compost and spread lawn seeds on it. Loose pieces of grass are pinned back together without further ado.

Scaring away moles and voles 

In the eco-friendly garden, no animal visitor is sentenced to death for digging a few holes or raising a hill. Instead, moles and voles are encouraged out of the garden door using the following methods:

Acoustic scare

  • Stick metal poles with T-handles into the ground, tie up empty tin cans and let them dangle
  • Position solar-powered ultrasonic scare devices at the holes
  • Stick bottomless glass bottles upside down in the entrances so that the wind whistles in them

Drive away with bad smells

  • Insert cloths soaked in vinegar essence into the holes
  • Pour hard alcohol into the tunnels
  • Soak scraps of clothing in petroleum and stuff them in the aisles
  • Remove mounds and place fish heads in the indentation

Butyric acid has proven to be the ultimate in exiling moles or voles. The nauseating-smelling liquid is commercially available and is applied to as many holes in the lawn as possible using a cloth. Their sensitive olfactory nerves encourage the rodents to flee as quickly as possible.

Mole is under nature protection

In contrast to the vole, the mole is protected from being stalked in accordance with the Federal Nature Conservation Act. The talented tunnel builder must not be hunted down, caught, or killed. Only gentle expulsion from the garden is tolerated.

Tips and Tricks

Did you know? The soil of a molehill tops any commercially available potting soil. The small hand shovels of the cute fur-ball carefully sift through the soil and thoroughly loosen it.

In addition, the substrate is rich in nutrients and humus, ideal for the luxuriant growth of your container plants.

I studied horticulture at the University of Guelph and in my free time I plant everything that has roots on a piece of land. The topic of self-sufficiency and seasonal nutrition is particularly close to my heart. Favorite fruit: quince, corner, and blueberry Favorite vegetables: peas, tomatoes, and garlic