SPOKANE, Wash. — Skunks that call the Inland Northwest home don't always stay in the wilderness. Many end up roaming neighborhood streets and taking up residence under people's homes.
The Grays, who live in Spokane, have been struggling to get rid of a skunk that is invading their yard.
"It's almost like clockwork when she pops through," said Spokane resident Delaney Gray.
Gray has been monitoring the skunk's activity with motion sensor security cameras installed outside their house. The skunk has been roaming their yard at night and entering a hole under their garage for weeks.
Skunks are attracted to places that make good dens, so you can make your yard less appealing to them by doing these things:
- Get rid of any potential food sources like pet food or unsecured trash cans.
- Install motion activated lights, because skunks do not like bright lights.
- Block any holes in decks or under houses that could lead to potential skunk dens
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says that most skunks will leave within a few days if the above steps are taken. But the skunk at the Gray home is unusually persistent.
"We were hoping to get a shot of her coming up and going, 'Oh the hole's closed up.' And then problem solved. But then this week she's right there," Gray said.
In that situation, WDFW says to trap the animal or hire a professional to trap it. It is illegal to transport wildlife, including skunks, without a permit, so trapping an animal without a professional may not be helpful.
Gray's biggest concern is that their dog Luna will see the skunk and try to attack it, leading to a potential spray from the skunk.
If a person or animal does get sprayed by a skunk, the best way to get rid of the smell is to soak and scrub with tomato juice.