KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — As we approach skunk mating season, calls to remove the potential pests from homes increase, according to Alpha Wildlife.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says you can expect to see more of them as we near the end of February. During breeding season, many of them are seen killed on highways.
The TWRA says one way you'll know if they've been around your home is if you can smell them from indoors. They like to den in rock crevices underground and you might find them under your porch or deck, or even in your crawlspace.
Sue Edwards, an East Tennessee homeowner, recently had an encounter with a skunk.
"I couldn't believe I had skunks and I don't want them," Edwards said. "I could smell it. It was more of a faint smell but it was definitely skunk."
Brandon Majors, a wildlife control operator for Alpha Wildlife, has been helping remove wildlife from residences for about 10 years. When he discovers a skunk, there are certain steps he believes people should take in order for the removal to be efficient.
"You have to get rid of the problem animal before you can even attempt to get rid of the smell," Majors said. "If they're threatened or their kids are threatened, or they have no other alternative, you back them into a corner then they spray."
The TWRA says a skunk's spray has a range of about 10 to 15 feet. If they turn around and raise their tail at you, they could be sending it your direction.
"So, close off any openings around your house where skunks, raccoons or any other animals could get up inside there," TWRA Wildlife Information Specialist Matt Cameron said. "Because you definitely don't want a skunk living under your house."
Edwards says she plans to cover her lattice going up the deck and work on making her home safer.
"They can get in the spaces under your air conditioner and so I'm going to have those covered up, too," Edwards said.
The TWRA says skunks provide a positive service in nature because they eat insects, but if you have a skunk problem around your home, hunting season may be open year round depending the city and county you live in.
Majors says the best way to get rid of your skunk problem is to hire a professional.
For more information on skunks, you can visit TWRA's website.