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Problems With Skunks

Think skunks are just a backwoods problem? I live a dozen blocks from the State Capital in Side Park and skunks have become a very real problem. It wasn’t so bad this summer when they would occasionally visit my yard at night and dig for grubs, but now it is a very big problem because it is every night and because they seem to be trying to move right into the house. Their nocturnal sprayings wake us up at night, so strong is the smell.

I called the city information operator, and was told that “unfortunately the city doesn’t take care of wild animal problems” however the operator had several numbers to pass on for trappers who would, for a fee, help me with my skunk problem.

The first number (800-700-8715) was Critter Control. They also have a national website: www.crittercatchersinc.com

At the second number (530-885-7378) Creature Catchers; I spoke to a private, licensed trapper. Very important that license, because as he told me, skunks are fur-bearing animals, and if I were to trap one, and if I were to try and transport it back to the real woods for release– I would be guilty of poaching!

This trapper charges $199 for the first 48 hours and a fee of $150 for each additional animal removed after that. He also told me that it was skunk-mating season, which was why they seem to be spraying each and every night.

My last number was (875-6603) Federal Trappers. I thought this was just another gimmick name, so imagine my surprise when the number was answered “Weights and Measures” an actual federal government agency. I did not get to talk to a federal trapper because I had called too late, of course on a Friday, so I will have to call again on Monday.

This problem started when the Davini Lane condominiums were built at 5th and V Streets. The skunks and who knows what else were displaced when the developers tore down the overgrown work shed and China Berry Trees at the ally end of the lot. That shed and the copse of trees had apparently been home to generations of skunks and other critters. One of the construction workers even told us about seeing one of the biggest skunks they had ever seen, just sauntering casually on down the street one day.

Shouldn’t’ the builders have taken care of the skunks when they displaced them to, apparently, their second home– a vacant lot at 3rd between V and W Streets? This second skunk hollow was in an old vacant lot that must have been left over after the city cleared the area to build the I-5 freeway. It has long been vacant and overgrown with a variety of trees, huge old palms, vines and weeds. Last year’s windstorms blew most of the trees over, and last spring the lot was cleared of all growth.

Again, shouldn’t whoever cleared the lot have done something about the skunks at that time? I know it is too late now for blame, and who knew what a problem these skunks were to become. I don’t know if building codes address the problem of wildlife displacement or if it is only when there is an environmental report? Seems a little late now for these questions, for now I am just focused on Monday and hoping the Feds can help with our skunk problem. 

 

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