As spring approaches, skunk mating season arrives

Striped skunks exist as the most common skunks in Moore County. Keep your eye peeled on local roadways as the native mammals enter mating season and become more active. (File Photo)

Something’s in the air around Lynchburg and we guess you could call it love. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource agency, official skunk mating season doesn’t arrive until late February but as Moore County temperatures continue their above average trend, the little critters seem to be celebrating Valentine’s Day early.

You need only sniff the air or look along local roadways to know it’s true. The problem with this love fest is that if they decide to honeymoon under your crawl space or in your HVAC system, then you’ve got a problem that often require professional help.

Wildlife experts says there are a couple of things you can do to avoid attracting Pepe Le Pew and his stinky Juliette. One, remove bowls of dry pet food and bird feeders from outside your home and barns. If you temp skunks with a ready food source, they’ll happily set up camp. Two, make sure your HVAC units are sealed and not easy for a skunk to enter. It’s also important to make sure that all crawl space entries are securely closed.

Skunk couples breed once a year typically and mom gives birth to a single litter with four to six young. They tend to become more active during mating season, so you’re more likely to encounter one and he or she might be pre-occupied. When threatened, a skunk can spray its scent up to 15 feet and the pungent odor can spread up to a mile away. If you or a pet gets sprayed, the folks at the Lynchburg Vet Hospital say they’ve loaded up on Skunk Off Shampoo.

“The trick is to leave the shampoo on the pet for about five minutes before rinsing, then use the spray,” says Lynchburg Vet Hospital’s Wendy Morton. “Add a little bit of the shampoo to the washing machine when you wash the towels you use to dry the pet after the bath.”

Female skunks who aren’t interested in mating will spray the males to let them know to get away. Based of the smells of late, there’s a lot of skunk rejection happening in Lynchburg. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}