Skunks are a huge problem in Wheeling, village officials reported Monday.
Trustee Kenneth Brady asked whether Wheeling could consider hiring a trapper as Vernon Hills has, but Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said trapping on public property could put wandering pets at risk.
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"Everybody in the village of Wheeling is talking about skunks," Brady said at the village board meeting. "In my neighborhood you can't leave your window open."
Sfondilis said the village will post on its home page a link to tips for discouraging skunks from setting up residency near homes and a list of trappers that residents can hire.
Trustee Mary Krueger, who obviously has had experience with her dogs' getting sprayed, said Vernon Hills' recipe of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid dish soap is very good for washing dogs who have been sprayed. She recommended using care with chemical repellents. The Vernon Hills website is Vernonhills.org.
Skunks hate light and noise, said Krueger, adding that her neighbor carries an empty water bottle and squeezes it to make a crinkling sound when she walks her dog at night.
Closing sheds and other places where the animals can hide, reducing food sources such as bird feeders that drop tidbits for the skunks and getting rid of lawn grubs that the animals eat are steps to take, officials said.