With the arrival of spring and warm weather, most people start cleaning up their yards. Branches and dead leaves that fell over winter need to be cleaned up, and dead grass needs to be raked. However, you don’t want to rake or mow your yard too early. You could end up causing serious harm to newborn animals!

I know it sounds strange! I wouldn’t have thought about it, either. However, many baby gophers, skunks, moles, and chipmunks are born around early spring. Some live in nests in leaves, and some live just below ground.

By raking and cleaning up your yard, the nests and burrows get disturbed, and the babies have to find a new place to live well before they are ready. Some of the baby animals will die of exposure or be discovered by predators before they can find a new nest.

Isn’t that awful? Also, by raking or mowing, you may accidentally kill or injure newborn animals. I know everyone is ready to start getting their yards ready for spring. However, before you rake, mow, or clear away brush, take some time to check for places where gophers, chipmunks, and other small creatures may live.

Walk around your yard and look for newly dug holes. Check brush piles for nests. If you see evidence of animals, just give them a little bit of time. They grow up so quickly, it won’t take long!

With just a few minutes of caution or waiting a little bit, you can allow these baby animals time to grow up and go on their own way.

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