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Anyone recognize these holes in lawn?


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I just bought a house in MA. Yesterday I suddenly noticed big patches on the lawn which are yellow with no grass grow. When I look closer, there are many holes evenly distributed over the patches. Each hole is roughly a finger wide. The soil is very loose and soft when stepped on.

Does anybody recognize these holes? Any kind of pest that might affect the main house? Any treatment available?

Thanks a lot!

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Armadillos do something like that down here in the south. I don't know if they range that far north.

Marc

It's the first time I hear about Armadillos. Thank you for the information. That animal seems bigger than the finger-wide hole size. Maybe my photo didn't reveal clearly, there are hundreds of those black little holes with dry grass curling around the openings. I am not sure if it can also be some bug or termite or ants?

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Just because they live in the ground for 17 years doesn't mean we see them only once in 17 years. I see them much more often than that.

Marc

Exactly!

That's why I think it might be the lesser known, but every bit as dreaded "armadillo cicada", which has 16 year 8 month cycle.

Like it's larger cousin from the south, it also has a healthy appetite for Lone Star Beer. This would explain the burnt grass.

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My family lived in Malden for about 100 years before I was born in the next town over, Melrose. I can say with authority there are no armadillos thereabouts. Cicadas either, from what I've read, they're a little further south.

The very best pest exterminator company I know of is www.YankeePestControl.com is located on Main St. in Malden. Give them a call and tell 'em Jimmy sent ya.

They'll treat you right.

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Just because they live in the ground for 17 years doesn't mean we see them only once in 17 years. I see them much more often than that.

Marc

There are somewhere around 2500 species of cicada with many different life cycles. Some of the periodic species have a 13 year life cycle and some other periodic species have a 17 year cycle. A 17 year periodic cicada species is emerging this year with very large numbers.
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I've seen at least three cicada events since buying my current home 11 years ago. This year's event hasn't begun here yet. Does that mesh with your understanding of this insect?

Marc

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My family lived in Malden for about 100 years before I was born in the next town over, Melrose. I can say with authority there are no armadillos thereabouts. Cicadas either, from what I've read, they're a little further south. . . .

I grew up in Connecticut and we had no shortage of cicadas. Admittedly, CT is a little further south than MA, but the climate is about the same. I'm surprised you don't have them.

It's possible that the holes have nothing to do with the dead grass.

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I'm no cicada expert, but I dig this stuff and the maps I looked at when I first heard about this year's cicada orgy had the northernmost border of the event south of MA.

In any event, since the lawnholes are already evident and the cicadas ain't, I'm thinking we're talking about something else.

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It's not exclusive to the East. We have 17 year Cicadas here too, although they are on a different 17 year schedule; I have no idea why.

We had a major blast in about 1989, and another in 2006 or thereabouts. It's freaky when they get going.

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Indeed I didn't see or hear any cicadas nearby. I'll read more about grubs since they do feed on grass roots. And those tiny holes may be created when the beetles crawl out of the soil, which means I already missed the season to kill them with insecticide... Think I'll need to consult a local pest control expert.

I'll update again if I could get any definite answer.

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Just because they live in the ground for 17 years doesn't mean we see them only once in 17 years. I see them much more often than that.

Marc

There are somewhere around 2500 species of cicada with many different life cycles. Some of the periodic species have a 13 year life cycle and some other periodic species have a 17 year cycle. A 17 year periodic cicada species is emerging this year with very large numbers.

Bill is now an entomologist. Awesome.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, thank you all for your input. After moving into the house for 3 wks, I see many beetles around the house. They looks like Japanese beetles according to those online images. I also hear cicadas from the trees in the neighborhood. Besides that, some landscaping guys also guess that it could also be ants who made those holes. And I do see ants in my lawn, big and small.

So the conclusion is: grubs damaged the lawn, cicadas and ants made holes on it. And I got to take action on all three of them.

I spreaded "Trazicide insect killer for lawn", and I think I see less beetles on my windows at night. But the ants are still happy and active in the lawn. I tried all kinds of ant bait - No Use. And to prevent grubs, i am thinking about GrubEX in the late summer. Any other better options and good experience to share? :) Thanks!

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