We've been invaded. Every morning this week I've walked out the back door to find our gradually-greening lawn filled with holes and piles of the dirt that came out of them. This pox-marked landscape looks more like the moon than an extension of a neatly-groomed golf course. The culprit? Armadillos.
Like a marauding gang of zombies they arrive under cover of darkness to attack the unsuspecting blade of grass while they sleep. Actually, the grass is an innocent bystander; the armadillos are after grubs and other insects living just below the surface...hence, the holes.
It isn't just our yard; it's every yard in our little corner of the subdivision. My neighbor has fought this battle repeatedly in past years but we've mostly escaped. Not this year; we're all awakening to find lawns that look like miniature bombs were dropped in them in the middle of the night. I suspect the clear cutting of the pine trees just beyond the golf course has disturbed the normal living/eating patterns of these prehistoric-looking possums on the half-shell. There's either an entire herd of them spreading their destruction from yard to yard or a few very hungry and very busy ones.
The traps are out. The guy across the street has one, and the house next to him and the one after that too. My neighbor has two traps out now. He's caught a few over the years, mostly when the poor-sighted armadillo wanders into the trap by accident. No one is complaining; it's one less armadillo in the neighborhood.
My approach is different. I've put down a healthy dose of bug-killer under the theory that if there isn't anything under the surface for them to eat, they won't dig in our yard. It's a formula that's worked pretty well in the past but then, we've never had this big of a problem.
I took the above photo while the sprinklers were watering in the pesticide. I love all the green in the grass and the trees, the freshness of the water spraying and the even the lens flare from the sun. And I'm totally ignoring all those little shoots on the bushes that will need trimming soon. Ah, Spring...the list of things to be done in the yard never end. I just hope the daily array of new holes does.