Ready to clean-up the yard? Check for wildlife first - InfoNews

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Ready to clean-up the yard? Check for wildlife first

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March 29, 2019 - 5:30 PM

As you head into your yard or garden this weekend to do some spring cleanup, the B.C. SPCA would like you to watch out for wildlife that may have set up home. They could be nesting or denning, and looking after their newborn babies.

For those who find a family of raccoons or skunks that have made a home in their yard over winter, B.C. SPCA spokesperson Erin Ryan said the family of critters will often leave on their own accord. People that need their new furry neighbours removed quickly, should contact an AnimalKind accredited pest control company.

Ryan said pest control companies accredited with the society's AnimalKind program use humane methods of removing animals. While some pest control companies may trap and kill the animals, Ryan said there is a variety of humane techniques that accredited companies use depending on the animal and the location.

The society advises before trimming and pruning trees to check for birds nests that could be hidden among the branches. The nests are often very well camouflaged - hummingbird nests can be as tiny as a toonie - and it pays to have a very close look before starting to trim.

Gardeners should use caution when clearing up piles of brush and windfall as these often shelter songbirds and can contain nests. Piles of brush also make good hiding places for rarely-spotted mammals such as mink and shrews.

Before heading out to mow tall grass take a look around as this type of undisturbed pasture is a popular spot for cottontail rabbits. The rabbits dig a shallow hole in the ground where they give birth to their babies and use the grass cover to keep the nest hidden from predators.

Damage to roof shingles, holes in the siding and vents that have come loose or fallen off may all be indicators animals like raccoons or squirrels have found a cozy place to live. The SPCA recommends homeowners check for animals before doing any minor repairs.

Anyone who discovers an adult animal trying frantically to enter a recently repaired area should remove the repair immediately and allow the mother to relocate her babies before continuing the work, the society said.

For those wanting to attract wildlife to their yard, B.C. SPCA has tips on that here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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