DEAR JOHN: A few days ago I filmed a skunk just before sunrise. Not too surprised as over the years I’ve caught their strong scents.
Last night, just after midnight, my camera and lights went on in the back of my patio. I was surprised to see a skunk on my fenced patio. We have two dogs that we release for quick help at night and I definitely don’t want them to run into a skunk.
I see that you can buy a skunk repeller, but one solution was to install motion sensors, and as soon as the lights came on, the skunk would run away.
Should we worry and take action or just be on the lookout for letting them out in the evening?
DEAR MIKE: Letting dogs out day or night is a challenge, especially if you know you’ve been visited by skunks. I’m not saying never let your dogs out – you just don’t know what they might face. Usually nothing, but it’s better to take precautions.
Skunks tend to be nocturnal, coming out at dusk and returning to their dens at dawn, but you can’t always rely on a skunk. Sometimes they like daytime too, especially if they are looking for food, water, or a new home. While motion-activated lights work at night, they won’t chase away a skunk during the day.
Skunk repellants can work, but it depends a lot on the skunk’s determination. If they have a strong need to be in your yard, they will come anyway. The same goes for lanterns. It doesn’t take long for a skunk to realize that the lights aren’t really a threat to him.
The best way to keep a skunk out of your yard is to use a combination of repellant and light, maybe add a motion-activated sprinkler, and remove or minimize things that might attract them, like pet food, water bowls, and cozy items. areas below decks or sheds where they can burrow.
Always check your backyard before letting dogs out, especially at night when they are more likely to run into them.
It’s time to celebrate the Martinez Beavers with the 13th Annual Beaver Festival, taking place from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 25th at Susana Park, Susana and Estudillo Streets in Martinez.
A festival that includes a children’s parade, food, music, chalk painting, a stuffed beaver giveaway, a silent auction, and even a salmon mystery to solve. The event is dedicated to the decision taken 15 years ago that saved the beavers who settled in the Alhambra stream. Their natural tendency to build dams caused the streets in downtown Martinez to flood, and the authorities planned to capture and remove these creatures.
This is where a group of worried residents of Worth a Dam intervened, who found a mechanical solution to the flooding problem and saved the beavers and their dam. In turn, the decision to leave the beavers helped to restore other wildlife in the creek and swamp – a win in every way. Although the beavers left the area in 2017, possibly because the ongoing drought increased the salinity of the stream, other wildlife, as well as a spirit of cooperation, continued to thrive.
Contact Joan Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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