Skunk Population Rises in Palatine

The skunk population continues to climb in the Northwest suburbs, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Skunk populations hit an all-time high last year, the Chicago Tribune reports a total of 9,510 skunks were reported in the city and surrounding suburbs. According to the Tribune, based on reports from local groomers and animal control companies, the number of skunks continues to climb in the Northwest suburbs.

According to the newspaper, owner of Critter Control in Palatine, Brad Reiter specializes in skunk problems. The Chicago Tribune reports Reiter has been trapping up to 15 skunks a day not only in Palatine, but also in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove and other surrounding communities. 

A skunk will give many clear signals before it sprays; according to animal control, a skunk will stamp its front feet, arch its back, and shuffle away. If you don't leave right away, the skunk will turn around, raise its tail, and release the smelly musk, a sulfur-alcohol compound. According to animal control, the skunks' spray not only stinks but it can also burn and cause temporary blindness if sprayed directly into the eyes.

In case people or pets in Palatine get sprayed, the Village recommends this mixture to get rid of the smell. 

  • 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent
  • Mix these together and bathe ("shampoo" in or rub down) the spray victim thoroughly.
  • Be sure to use this mixture immediately after it is created, as it is unstable.
  • Rinse with tap water afterward, and repeat if necessary.
  • For spray in the eyes, flush with water as soon as possible.
Ellen October 12, 2012 at 02:57 AM
I don't know why you wouldn't want to get rid of grubs without the government telling you to. The skunks and other animals dig up the lawn to get to the grubs.
Wally October 12, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Who counted 9,510 skunks? I saw one dead on the road. Was that before or after the count? I'm so confused. I think we need a recount.
J October 13, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I concur...A recount is needed. Saw two dead in the middle of the road. Not a pretty sight and who pays to have it cleaned up? We, the taxpayers do. --As far as the comment that 'M' made, Buffalo Grove has the ability to limit the number of bird feeders. Does the home owner really need 3-5 birdfeeders in the front yard of a home that is less than 1/4 acre with more in the backyard? Wouldn't 1-2 suffice? (I don't want to get into the whole survival chain thing with the birds, squirrels, feral cats, skunks, coyotes,and.even foxes. Why would we want to encourage them to be around the area in the first place? ). Regarding grubs, people usually will try to get rid of the grubs once they find out about what is being done to their lawns so it would not need to be regulated by government. However, the people, feeding the birds(and cats) , don't seem to really realize that although they are pollenating their flowers, they are also negatively impacting the entire neighborhood when done in extremes.
Jerry I. October 17, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Hens love to eat grubs! But the Village won't allow that...
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