Love is in the air, literally, when it comes to skunks in Illinois, and there a couple important things you need to be aware of so you don't fall victim to a skunk spraying soon.

What's That Smell?

For the last few weeks I have playing a game while driving that I like to call; "Is that Skunk, or Is It Pot?". (I'm only half joking).

Seriously though, now that pot is legal in Illinois, you can smell it way more often that you used to, but right now I smell it everywhere while driving to and from work. Is it really pot though? No, it's most likely skunks.

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Skunk Mating Season in Illinois

I once had a dog get sprayed by a skunk, and it's an experience I NEVER want to deal with again, so I'm working on my defensive game.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, we are smack dab in the middle of skunk mating season, which is likely the reason there's so much skunk stink in the air.

Mating occurs in February or March. After a gestation period of two to two and one-half months, the one to nine young are born. Young are raised under ground in a den, which is usually taken over from another mammal.

Female skunks let off a puff of musk to let males know they aren't interested in a love connection, and apparently a lot of female skunks in Illinois aren't into it this year.


How to Keep Skunks Out of Your Yard

If you start noticing holes in your yard, you may have a skunk problem, but there are some easy things you can do now to deter them according to;

  1. Patch holes around your foundation and install underground fencing around porches, decks, and sheds.
  2. Eliminate possible den sites by removing all debris, rock, and wood piles.
  3. Install outdoor lighting and/or motion-sensor lights to scare skunks away at night.
  4. Make sure all your garbage cans are secured and that no pet food is kept where skunks can reach it outdoors.

Some pest control websites will say to put moth balls and ammonia-soaked rags inside any holes you find in your lawn that you suspect were made by skunks, but that advice comes with a warning. Skunks or other animals may drag those items out of the holes which means your pets could eat them and that would NOT be good.

Good luck friends, and remember, it's not pot, it's probably skunks.

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