We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I guarantee it, unless you have aerated them. If you haven't aerated in a while, I'd recommend going over it all a few times. The more, the better. The machine can be a bit physically-challenging, but it is sort-of fun.
Between now and September is a perfect time to do it. A single thunderstorm will eliminate the plugs, and the grass will look great afterwards - especially with some rain and some fertilizer. However, I would not fertilize in midsummer except for an irrigated or dampish wetlands lawn.
Readers know that I do it every year, and my lawns are lovely and healthy and full of worms despite dogs, horses, kids, the occasional truck and tractor, etc. Do parts of my lawns burn and go dormant in mid-summer? Sure. That's normal for them, without irrigation. A lawn is a garden. Lawns are dumb things to have, but they beat weeding.
Not trying to be a smart aleck. Why would the ground under my lawn be compacted? There is no traffic over it. Plenty of root action going on, and freezing and thawing in the Winter loosens the earth as well.
My son and nephew ran a landscaping business for several years, in the summers while at university. They tell me that lawn aerating and lawn de-thatching are two of the most lucrative frauds of the landscaping business.
I shouldn't really call it fraud, because the boys tell me they were simply unable to talk their customers out of either one.
So they bought two new, gorgeous, big, roaring, thundering machines, an aerator and a power rake, raised their rates and were inundated with demand. And money.