Mating season has begun for several backyard pests, including skunks, which can be a problem for homeowners because of where the animals choose to settle.
"Skunks – and all animals – just don’t know the difference between a rock and your HVAC," saidwildlife removal expert Jeff Meltzer. "They’re just looking for a place to stay and now it’s mating season and they’re setting up shop."
HVAC systems and under homes and decks are the first places Melzer, who owns and operates Wild Things Wildlife Removal, looks when he's called to a home. But he said often, people don't know what they're dealing with despite the telling smell.
"They’ll say I thought something was burning so we called the fire department or we thought there was a waste spill under the house so we called a plumber," he said. "And they’ll tell them no you’ve got a skunk."
Mating season will happen until about March.
Then, weeks later, baby skunks will begin popping up. Meltzer said there are some precautions you can take to protect your home, including cleaning up after pets, never leaving food outside, and eliminating bird seed.
But if your home is victimized by a skunk, Meltzer has some advice.
"Number one thing if your house gets bombed is ventilation, ventilation, ventilation," he said. "Open windows, open doors, even if it’s cold out."
Meltzer also recommends shutting off AC units, removing cold air return vents, and setting out apple cider vinegar. But he said more importantly, you should call in professional help.
"A wildlife problem will not go away on it's own," he said.