Skunk sightings are on the rise

LAWTON, Okla._Southwest Oklahoma is in the middle of breeding season for skunks and it's causing these creatures to litter roadways and infiltrate homes. Now, officials are saying that obnoxious odor isn't the only reason why folks should steer clear of these smelly animals.

Breeding season usually runs from January or February to the end of March. Unfortunately, during this time, skunks are looking for their mates in all the wrong places, primarily near roads. But just because you don't smell that signature stench in the air, it doesn't mean one's not nearby, males are the only ones looking for a mate, females are looking for something quite different.

For us humans, this is a common response to seeing black and white fur run across our paths. But in the smelly universe of skunk-hood, all of the male's eyes are on one prize and one prize only.

"It's an animal thing. One male usually mates with one to thirty females," said Scott Brown, Environmental Pest Control.

That's a tall order to fill, meaning the skunks sometimes forget the rules of the road. Females tend to pose the worst threat to people, because they like to make your home theirs as well.

"Once they breed, the females want to find a den. So that's why you're getting more underneath your house. If you have a good food and water source right there by your house, they don't want to travel too far from that," said Brown.

Skunks carry more than just an awful aroma with them. Many skunks are also rabies carriers.

"Skunks are the number one rabies carrier. So we do want to be very cautious if we approach one," warned Brown.

In order to prevent your home from hosting a family of skunks Brown has a few helpful tips. Seal up any open holes or crevices around the house, make sure garbage cans have their lids on securely and eliminating food sources like bugs and worms can also help deter skunks looking to make a den.

While it's almost impossible to avoid hitting one on the road since skunks are nocturnal and mostly black, that doesn't necessarily mean you won't see one during the day. Officials said you shouldn't take any chances with any skunk and to leave any city trapping to the professionals.