Skunks keeping wildlife experts busy during mating season

SUFFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio- One animal is busy trying to find a mate before Valentine's Day, but many people are finding themselves as the unlucky third wheel.

Their lack of luck is resulting in booming business for removal services like Smith Nuisance Wildlife Services. FOX 8 caught up with them in Suffield Township.

"February and March are skunk-mating season and so it's a busy time of year for us," explained Chris Smith, the company owner.

Skunks are the one animal most people try to avoid, hence the increase in calls Smith says his company has received lately. He says skunks like to den under decks, sheds or porches. The best way to protect your property is to barricade the area with a fence but Smith admits sometimes it doesn't work.

"I had a customer who had a skunk that came in through the dryer exhaust vent and worked its way through the duct into the dryer," said Smith.

His son, Sam, recently joined the family business and has been busy trapping skunks.

"We have an adult skunk right here," he said. "As far as not getting skunked goes, you just gotta be patient, you gotta really read the animal, can't really explain it; you got to learn by experience."

Smith says if people ever come face to face with a skunk it could be game over for their sense of smell.

"It matters how much that skunk sprays and what surface they spray on and that kind of determines how long that smell will linger," said Smith. "It can linger in a bad case for months."

He says the best recipe to get rid of the smell is to mix water, hydrogen peroxide, Dawn dish soap and baking soda. Using it on the sprayed surface within 20 minutes of the incident is when it's most efficient.

If you spot a skunk, Smith says it best to calmly walk away and maybe call the experts before the smell of love sticks.

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