(Lawn uprooted by raccoons/Photo by Britney Irvine - Facebook)

A North Saanich couple woke up on Saturday morning to find their front yard had been dug up by overzealous raccoons looking for a late night meal.

The underground meal that crows, raccoons, skunks, and other small animals love to feast on is that of ‘white grubs’, found typically in the fall. These small 2 to 4 cm larvae belong to beetles typically the June bugs in Canada.  

In recent years, infestations of these lawn grubs have also been caused by invasive species such as the ‘European Chafer beetle’ and the ‘Japanese Beetle’. 

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Small mammals typically pull back lawns to search for the infesting insects during the late summer and fall months when the mature grubs begin to surface.

While grubs and beetles are harmless to humans and animals, some species can damage lawns on their own by chewing through the grassroots.

When the grubs do emerge, raccoons unearth the lawn in a haphazard fashion to teach their young how to hunt for the larvae. Once the grass is dug up, other predators such as robins and crows capitalize on the feast, eating whatever is left.

Canada.ca has listed a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of lawn grubs and protect your green space against hungry critters who may be looking to turn your lawn into a fine dining venue. 

According to BC-based business Garden Works, using products they sell such as “Nemalawn”, which is filled with nematodes, is also an effective way to battle the grubs.

Nematodes are roundworms that prey on grubs and other lawn pests by attacking them with bacteria that effectively kills them in days.