Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018
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Skunks raise a stink in Perrysburg

Here comes spring. Daffodils blooming. Kites flying. Skunks spraying.

In Perrysburg, those white-and-black animals that can leave behind a rather nasty odor already are causing warm-weather concerns.

Perrysburg Animal Control Officer Jeff Studer said the big animal issue in the city right now is skunks.

"The last three or four years for us the calls for skunks have gone up," he said. "Probably 50 percent."

Mr. Studer said it is difficult to estimate how many calls he will get for skunks because it varies depending on the time of year -- and this time of year he gets numerous complaints.

He said people will have their bird seed out, and the  husks fall from the feeder and attract beetles. The beetles lay larvae which lead to grubs, and Mr. Studer said the grubs attract  racoons and skunks. 

Animal control has received calls from residents about skunks under decks and sometimes people call because skunks have sprayed  their dogs. Mr. Studer said skunks can't see well so when a barking dog comes running, a skunk will spray.

"I have two golden retrievers and when I let them out I check to make sure there is nothing in the backyard," Mr. Studer said. "These warmer nights are a good time to encounter a skunk. Getting sprayed is really bad [for the dogs]."

With temperatures rising, Mr. Studer said, this is a busy time with more animal calls than usual. He stressed that bird feeders attract the animals and said residents need to "exercise common sense" with them.

"I understand people like to watch birds right out their window but people like to feed the birds too close to the house," Mr. Studer said. "Animals can easily get under the deck and some birds will hit windows." 

He said there are coyotes are in all 88 Ohio counties, and sometimes people are frightened when they see them.

Similar to the skunks, coyotes capitalize off of bird feeders. Mr. Studer said coyotes are good predators and they will follow larger animals that go to the feeders for leftovers and for the grubs. 

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com or 419-356-8786 or on twitter at @mthompson25.

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