WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Pumpkins, apples and beautiful foliage are just a few things that the fall season brings.
But another thing you might be seeing more of this season isn’t quite so pleasant, or sweet-smelling.
They’re probably at the top of the list of animals you want to avoid. Skunks.
During the fall months the odds you will meet up with one increase.
“They also have to gorge up for winter just like any other wild animal,” explains Ken Frazer, Operations Manager for Animal Control of Westfield.
Skunks are scavengers and will eat anything they can find.
If you’re noticing that your lawn is suffering some damage you can blame that on their appetite too.
“People’s lawns right now are full of grubs, that’s why people are told to grub their lawns in the fall,” says Frazer.
Not only is skunk activity increased because they’re fattening up for winter, young skunks are also leaving their mother’s den and searching for one of their own.
But Frazer had a tip for us in case you encounter a skunk.
“Stay away. Go the other way. If you’re close enough to it and see him turn his back toward you, you want to get the other way as fast as you can,” he said.
If a skunk does decide to make it’s home on your property, there are a few ways to get rid of them.
“The best way that I’ve found is to go to your Walmart or your hunting store and ask them for some fox urine, and you spread that fox urine around,” Frazer told us.
Moth balls are also a good way to de-skunk your yard.
And if you have the unfortunate luck to be sprayed forget the tomato soup. Frazer says that’s an old wives tale.
He told us, ”the number one cure for it, well not cure but that completely helps it is what ladies use all the time. It’s called douche.”
Perhaps the best thing to do is avoid them completely and skunk-proof places in your yard where they could den.
Frazer says the best way is to create a wire barrier that goes 18 inches underground.
Frazer also warns people who feed animals outside to take away the food bowls once they are done.
If a rabid skunk eats from the same food, your pets could end up contracting rabies without you even knowing it.