More skunks roaming around in 2019, experts say


Have you noticed a foul smell that doesn’t seem to go away? Has your pet come back from a nighttime stroll smelling worse than usual?

There’s a good chance skunks were roaming your area.

John and Josh Pollard, owners of Elite Wildlife Control, said they have been called for skunk issues more often than usual this year.

The two even posting on Facebook in June that they’ve had a busy skunk season.

“We don’t post updates often enough, but we’ve just been so slammed with work from squirrels to skunks to raccoons to bats to rats and more,” the post said.

The Pollards said skunks usually become a bother during mating season, which is from January through February, and when those babies are weaning off their mothers during the summer.

They also said that like many animals, skunks are starting to become more urbanized.

“A skunk does not know the difference between a home and a tree. Nor does a squirrel or a raccoon,” Josh Pollard said.

The brothers said that besides the well-known foul spray, skunks can have rabies and damage homes.

“I think the biggest thing is them getting under your home, like folks that have a crawl space, because they can do damage under there. And especially during mating season, if one gets under there they will spray and that will just fill the home with that odor,” Josh Pollard said.

John Pollard said skunks love the crawl spaces under homes, any space near the HVAC units, under porches and other small spaces.

The brothers said though the unless a skunk is mating, surprised or scared, the animal won’t release their smelly defense mechanism if someone is simply standing still.

That smell though, just one reason why you want to call these brothers to remove the animal.

“It’s hard to describe it. It’s kind of like a, it’s sour and it’s pungent. Pungent and I mean, you can taste it almost,” Josh Pollard said.

Skunks are also attracted to certain foods, the brothers said.

One of them they use to attract the animals into the traps: Bird seeds.

The Pollards use bread with peanut butter and sunflower seeds to capture skunks.

How do they capture one without getting sprayed?

“Very, very slowly,” Josh Pollard said.

The key is not to surprise them.

The brothers said the other reason why they need to be called and a homeowner shouldn’t trap skunks themselves is because of state law.

Skunks cannot be relocated, nor can they be transported without a special permit, according to the brothers.

The Pollards also said there are plenty of misconceptions to deter skunks from visiting your property.

They said any skunk-deterrent spray doesn’t work; nor does lemon, mothballs, etc.

The Pollards said keeping bird feeders away from skunks is a good deterrent, as well as closing any crawl spaces under the home.

“If you do see a skunk in your yard, best not to corner it or go up to it. Keep your distance and let it move on,” Josh Pollard said.

They also said it’s best to call the experts.

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