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A Minor But Stinky Nuisance in Los Alamitos: Skunks

Unlike last year, a city official received a handful of calls about the fuzzy critters. Check out a list of things you can do to help keep your home skunk-free.

There might be a few more skunks in Los Alamitos now than last year.

Cassandra Palmer, support services manager for the city’s police department, said she has received a couple of calls about skunk issues in the city since Jan. 1 compared to zero in 2011.

In fact, just this year, Palmer said, five or six skunks were found under the Civic Center.

Skunks are such a minor nuisance that, unlike coyote sightings, Palmer said, she doesn’t keep track of track skunk sighting locations or calls.

And, Palmer said, if there are more skunks, that can be a good thing: it could mean there aren’t as many coyotes, which feed on the animals.

“There is a correlation between the increase in a rodent population and the decrease in their (coyote’s) population,” Palmer said.

Long Beach Animal Care Services, which serves Los Alamitos and Seal Beach, also does not track the number of skunk calls either, according to manager Ted Stevens.

Stevens said that while he doesn’t have any specific statistics, he said he has recently received an increased number of reports of raccoons, gophers and skunks in LBACS coverage area which includes Long Beach, Seal Beach and Los Alamitos.

“My officers get sprayed pretty often,” Steven said.

Stevens said that LBACS normally only responds when the skunk is sick, injured or in a trap, but if Los Al or Seal Beach residents find a couple of skunks and don’t know how to get them off their property, he advises people to call his department for advice, at 562-570-7387.

Stevens said that LBACS tries to relocate skunks within a few miles of where they are found.

Here’s some tips to keep your home free of skunks, courtesy of LBACS and the Humane Society.  

  • Don’t leave pet food out for too long.
  • Keep garbage can lids closed tightly.
  • Skunks like to crawl under homes, so if you have any openings to your home plug those up.
  • Don’t scare them. Hazing may work on coyotes, but it’s a great way to get yourself sprayed.
  • Usually if you leave them alone, they’ll leave on their own.
  • If you have overgrown bushes, consider trimming them back, so skunks don’t have a place to hide.
  • If you see a skunk that is sick, injured or in a trap call LBACS 562-570-7387
  • Consider a nontoxic skunk repellent.
  • For more tips on living with skunks and other urban wildlife, click here.

And if you take a pic of a skunk going along its merry way, send it on down to Patch. They’re stinky but they’re cute.  

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