It's mid-summer. Are critters digging up your lawn at night?

Don't worry - there are safe and effective ways to keep your lawn looking its best.

Have you ever woken up on a beautiful mid-summer morning, only to find your lawn covered in holes?

You aren't alone.

Neighbourhood critters - like raccoons and skunks - are active at night, and they may have happened upon some tasty snacks buried in your yard.

"I always say it's like a shrimp cocktail of grubs," Kyle Tobin, a lawncare expert with Lawn Savers Plant Healthcare Inc. told The Weather Network last summer.

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Animal digging is prevalent at certain times of the year, Tobin said. You can expect to see it in spring, and then again in the late summer and early fall.

This time of year, animals are probably looking for "white, C-shaped insects," Katerina Jordan, an assistant professor and turf specialist at the University of Guelph, told The Weather Network.

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It's normal to have grubs and other insects in your grass. Lots of soil moisture and comfortable temperatures support insect growth, so you're less likely to encounter population booms during dry spells.

If you have a grub problem - consider nematodes, a chemical-free pest control method that is effective, provided it's properly applied.

Paprika and chicken wire are other short-term methods to deter skunks and raccoons, Jordan said.

In the long term, focus on the health of your yard, because grass with a healthy root system is less prone to damage and faster to recover.

"It does take time," Jordan said.

"When you see neighbours with great lawns, more often than not, it's because they're putting the time in."

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This report was produced by Kevin Clarke. Thumbnail image: Pexels/anne sch.