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Many creatures rip up lawns.  In Nova Scotia, moles, voles, birds, skunks and raccoons are often the culprits.  Though you might have some suspicions as to what is doing the ripping, the only way to be sure is to catch the lawn ripper in action.  This morning I was lucky.

Though usually nocturnal, this raccoon was still looking for a meal as the sun was rising.  Raccoons have the manual dexterity to peel back the grass and moss to reveal tasty grubs and worms living beneath the surface.  Their ripping actions can leave large enough areas bare that a lawn is damaged.

Moles and voles, being smaller creatures, do smaller damage.  They also typically make trails or furrows in the grass.

Northern Flickers are birds that will also make holes in the lawn by digging  for ants with their beaks.  Their holes are made by a digging action rather than a peeling back.

This little darling gave me a good look before deciding to head for cover in the woods.  It was probably also tired after a long night of foraging.

A former neighbor told me much of her beautiful lawn was peeled back by raccoons some years ago.  After many attempts to deter them, she ended up live-trapping the critters.  They were then re-located by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

I don’t take the appearance of my lawn too seriously, so the lawn ripper is welcome to the insects in my yard.  I just wish it would have the courtesy to replace the divots.

For more information on dealing with nuisance raccoons in Nova Scotia, visit Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources.

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