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Can rodents damage my yard during the winter?

Posted by Stephanie Morgan on January 10, 2022 @ 9:00 am PST

Winter is a time when many plants and creatures hibernate to stay protected from the cold. But rodents are not those creatures. They are actually no less active in the winter than they are in the summer but the destruction can be more noticeable. They are burrowing, causing mounds in your yard or trails as they try to find food and shelter.

This can catch homeowners off guard, especially in the winter. There are a few ways rodents can damage your yard in the winter.

Below Ground

While rodents don’t eat grass or roots, they do tunnel underground and build burrows out of the sight of humans. The root systems of the grass in your lawn tend to be damaged, disrupted, or destroyed by rodents lurking under the ground. The root system that was once stable and healthy can quickly become unstable and cause the grass to die.

Killing the grass is actually not the worst thing that can happen to your yard due to tunneling rodents such as gophers and moles. The tunneling that is done by these creatures can cause detrimental erosion to your yard. If you have a sprinkler system, these rodents can chew through those lines easily causing the need for costly repairs.

Above Ground

The damage that is done below ground is only half of the story. There is plenty of damage that is done by various rodents above ground. Even in the wintertime rodents can cause long-lasting damage to your lawn. And we aren’t just talking about aesthetics. The health of your lawn is more important than the look of your yard but often the two go hand in hand. Rodents ruin the look by ruining the overall health of your yard.

One of the most obvious above-ground signs of rodents like moles and gophers are the unsightly mounds that look like small volcanoes that pop up all over your yard. The damage will spread quickly as they tunnel through and surface at different locations. You can trip over these mounds but you can also fall in the holes caused by the tunneling.

Moles and gophers are not the only rodents doing damage to yards in the winter. Squirrels are also a culprit. Since they often bury food they have collected for the winter, they will come back during the cold months to retrieve the nuts they have buried. This causes holes all over your yard and damage to your grass. If you have a squirrel problem then you also want to keep an eye on your trees and shrubs. These rodents enjoy chewing the bark and leaves off trees and larger shrubs.

Voles are active in the winter and cause the most damage with their back-and-forth surface activity. The snow or leaves will hide the trails but when the snow melts or the leaves are raked homeowners discover a rodent problem they didn’t know they had. Voles also like to chew on roots and other parts of plants causing significant damage. If you think you have a rodent problem this winter then leave the extermination to the professionals. We can take care of the problem once and for all. Call The Experienced Gardner today.

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