Monday, September 21, 2020

 The neighbourhood crow - friend or foe?

Yes, the crows are back - and pecking hard at patches of damaged grass around Steveston.

Initially I had considered them to be the main offenders responsible for digging and scattering clumps of soil all over the lawn.

Instead I learned that, if anything, crows, raccoons, and skunks act as agents of pest control. They feed on larvae of European chafers that feed on grass roots - thus preventing them from reproducing and wreaking further destruction. 

Of course this doesn't help homeowners' effort to keep their lawns healthy and their properties attractive. And it is so disheartening to wake up in the morning and find that the area of damage in front of your house has grown overnight.

Fortunately there are things they can do. Here's a Vancouver Sun article that explains this infestation and what can be done about it. The City of Richmond also publishes a page on the European Chafer beetles on their website that provides helpful tips on keeping them under control.

 So next time you see a couple of crows tossing clumps of grass with their beaks, don't be so hard on them. Although it might not look that way, they are really on your side.

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