That’s one of many dug-up planting strips we’ve noticed lately. You might have caught crows in the act of doing the digging; one reader asked us recently why they were “tilling.” By chance, we found the answer while covering this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting for our smaller site White Center Now. Marta Olson from the King County Noxious Weed Program was asked about it while talking to NHUAC about an unrelated topic. The crows are after “chafer beetles,” she explained, describing those bugs as invasive non-natives that have been spreading after first turning up near Sea-Tac. We hadn’t heard that before, so we’ve been researching. Here’s some scholarly info from just north of the border. The basic explanation is that the beetle’s larvae love grass roots, and crows – among others – find the larvae irresistibly delicious.
West Seattle, Washington