Lawn Has Inch Wide Trails - Knowledgebase Question

Haddon Heights, NJ
Question by tessrose
June 14, 2000
My lawn has inch wide dirt trails. One is over 20 feet long. Soil is compact, no tunnels underneath to be found. I have not seen any displaced dirt anywhere. I found some grass that appears to have been cut/chewed at ground level. I noticed trail under bird feeder, moved feeder and new trail appeared under new spot. I have seen more chipmonks this year than ever. Are the two related? It looks like someone left a garden hose on grass too long, except grass is not dead, it's gone! I hope you can offer me some direction, we replanted our lawn last fall.
Thank you- Amy Roseberg


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Answer from NGA
June 14, 2000

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I would have expected a rodent of some sort being attracted to seeds falling from the feeder, but the rodent (such as vole) would usually leave a tunnel. I suppose it is possible a rat or chipmunk is wearing a track along the grass, but I have never actually seen this happen because they usually scurry in varied patterns. I have seen dead strips as you described though, and they were the result of someone walking along with a sprayer of herbicide in hand that was turned off but leaking slightly. With a little detective work, I hope you can figure out what is causing it. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.

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