Who doesn’t love the very first signs of early spring, when the weather finally starts to warm up and you can see the snow melting away. Winter is just leaving which also means that some of the first spring pest animals are going to be arriving soon. Being prepared for their arrival, or preventing it all together can be the difference between a healthy spring yard and a not-so-healthy one. Below is a list of some early invaders and what you can do about them.
Technically, voles don’t really arrive in early spring because they never left over winter in the first place. But the minute the snow melts down, you are going to see where they’ve been busy digging tunnels. As they scurry around under the snow all winter, they leave grooves and trails in the dormant grass. Sometimes it’s not permanent damage but you may need to get a little seed out to refill the gaps as the spring growth comes in.
You’ll see squirrels in the very early spring for the same reason as the voles, because they never left. As soon as the snow starts to go, squirrels will become a lot more active and they’ll be moving all over the place as their routes and paths open up. Though they don’t fully hibernate, they do sleep a lot in the winter so you may not have noticed them too much, even if they somehow managed to nest in your house. Once they’re up and about, you’ll want to look out for digging in the soil or grass as they start looking for more food.
The best way to deter squirrels from wreaking havoc in your spring garden beds is with an all natural scented repellent. Otherwise, you’ll want to put up wire screens over the gardens to keep them from digging.
Early spring is when hungry deer are the most desperate for food, and they are more likely to start invading your yard to find something to eat as soon as the snow goes. At this time of year, you probably won’t have any flowers or vegetables up yet so they are not really at risk. But shrubs or trees that have exposed leaves or bark can be very tempting to a deer. Since this is the time of year when new growth is just starting, too much nibbling can quickly kill your plants or at least stunt them badly for the season. Like with squirrels, you want to get some appropriate repellent for deer and get the packs in place before the animals settle in.
Really early spring does have the benefit of being (mostly) insect free, but the above animals can be a real nuisance at this time of year.