"We are at wits end here," said Kelli Trejo, a resident of Batavia Highland. "We've been in our house for 12 years now and have never experienced anything quite like it."
The Highlands are not alone. According to the Daily Apple website, skunks are out more often this time of year as the do what's called "the fall shuffle." Apparently,
the fall is when the young leave the nest, and they all "go wandering off, looking for food and searching out good places to make their winter dens."
For more information on skunks, read this article by the Illinois Cooperative Extension.
In the Highlands, Trejo said it's "so bad that we can no longer go out from dusk until full sunrise (not just dawn). Our pets have been sprayed in our fully fenced-in (albeit, chain link) yard twice in the last three weeks, and we had to return home from an early evening walk through the neighborhood because another family out walking their dog had just been sprayed."
Trejo tried to find out what to do about it, but ran into some governmental baton passing.
"The city says it's a police matter. The police say it's an animal control issue and animal control says we need a private trapper to come out," Trejo said.
Generally, municipalities don't deal with skunk containment. According to Aileen Simons' blog for Sun-Times Media, the village of Buffalo Grove doesn't offer assistance.
The city of Evanston offers advice on its web page, and if a particular neighborhood experiences an inordinate amount of calls, the Animal Control Bureau staff shares this information with the Health Department and other appropriate city staff.
"Identified areas can then be canvassed with informational flyers sharing tips about how to control a wildlife problem. Animal Control staff can also focus their efforts in the area," Evanston says.
Trejo points out that skunks are well known rabies carriers, and she sees the skunk invasion as much a public health and safety issue as it is an inconvenience.
"With Halloween next week, I'm especially concerned," she said.
Do you have any advice for the Batavia Highlands folks? Have you experienced an increased number of skunk issues this fall? Let us know in the comments section or post a comment on Batavia Patch Facebook or Geneva Patch Facebook pages.