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How to Prevent Burrowing Pests from Damaging Your Lawn and Your Denver Sprinkler System

July 24, 2019

You take great pride in your lawn. But that doesn’t mean you can get by with a few simple mowing sessions and the occasional weed treatment. Sometimes, pests and unwanted critters get in the way and change the look and feel of your lawn. While all of them are a problem, burrowing pests put your lawn and your sprinkler system at risk more than most. There are a few things you can do to keep your lawn safe and prevent premature Denver sprinkler repair appointments when you least expect them. 

Get Rid of Bird Feeders
Sure, birds may add color and make your yard feel like a wild paradise, but other critters want their food just as much as they do. Get rid of your bird feeders immediately. This will reduce the amount of food available to unwanted pests and can help keep them out of your yard in the long run. And don’t worry. There are plenty of natural food sources in your yard for the birds to enjoy. They won’t avoid your house just because you took away the birdseed. 

Build a Barrier
Yes, burrowing pests can tunnel underneath a fence, but that doesn’t mean that fences are not helpful in preventing an infestation. Think of it this way…unwanted critters like to scope out their prospective territory before building a home in it. They like easy access and love having several escape routes in case predators show up. Fences make that incredibly difficult. Consider installing a sturdy fence around the part of your yard you want to protect most. This can be a decorative fence at the front and sides of your property or just a small barrier around your garden and landscaping beds. 

Let Your Pets on the Lawn
Both dogs and cats are predators in the eyes of burrowing pests. Even small dogs are able to scare off unwanted critters in a matter of minutes—have you ever seen a squirrel run away from a teacup chihuahua? It happens all the time! Use this to your advantage. Let your pets out on the lawn and allow them to mark their territory. A little urine won’t damage your lawn, but it will set up an invisible perimeter around your grass. Pests will smell your pets and want to stay away. After all, you have a hunter on the property and the last thing they want to do is live in a yard where something might eat them.

Schedule Regular Sprinkler System Inspections
When dealing with pests, preventative maintenance is key. The sooner you discover damage, the better prepared you’ll be to fix the problem before it gets too bad. Schedule regular inspections throughout the year for your sprinkler system. Your technician will inspect the lines, the electrical components, and the sprinkler heads for damage commonly caused by burrowing pests. If anything is wrong, they’ll make the necessary repairs to keep your system running smoothly. As an added bonus, the inspection may just interrupt any burrowing pests thinking about nesting in your yard. 

Spray Soapy Water
Pests are incredibly sensitive to scents and odors and what we find enjoyable is often enough to keep them away. Grab a spray bottle and fill it with a few ounces of scented dish soap (mint and citrus scents work best) and dilute it with water. Then, spray the mixture on your grass. It doesn’t take much. You don’t have to saturate the lawn or repeat the process every week. Just spray the turf and watch for signs of pests. Most will leave in a few days. If you still have a few stubborn critters taking up space under your grass, call your pest control expert and let them take over the removal process.

Look for Burrows
Every few weeks, take a look at your lawn. Look for dirt piling up on the grass itself. Look for torn up turf and any strange hills popping up in your grass. If you notice anything strange or out of place, don’t try trapping or poisoning the critters on your own. Instead, call your pest control expert and let them handle the job. An active infestation can grow rapidly if it’s not taken care of fast. 

Consider this: pests burrow under the ground. This means they can get beneath your house and threaten the integrity of your foundation. The faster you address the problem, the safer your house (and your lawn) will be.

Check for Droppings
Droppings in the grass can be surprisingly useful. Every pest species has distinctive droppings. Use this to your advantage and identify the type of pests you have. In Colorado, the most common burrowing pests are rabbits and prairie dogs, both of which can damage your grass quickly. 

Prairie dog droppings are typically oblong and light brown in color, even when dried. They’re often found near the entrance to burrows rather than spread throughout the lawn. Remember, they like to stay down in their burrows as often as possible.

Rabbits, on the other hand, spend most of their time above ground. This means you’ll find their droppings throughout your grass and garden. Look for small centimeter-long pellets. You may notice grass bits and plant matter in the pellets, making it even easier to identify. 

Take a picture of any droppings you find and show them to your pest control expert when you schedule the appointment. This will help them develop a strategy to get rid of the problem quickly. 

Don’t Put Off Repairs
It’s always easier to prevent damage than to repair even minor issues after they happen. The best thing you can do for your yard is to stay on top of routine maintenance. Partner with a pest control expert and let them set up a protective perimeter around your home. And don’t forget to schedule a sprinkler system tune-up at least twice a year to make sure everything is working properly. We can always fix problems, but we’d prefer to help you keep them from happening in the first place.