Wildlife can bring wild times in the suburbs. I live in a typical suburb of a city in the eastern part of the country. We don’t have mountain lions and will get the occasional black bear. I haven’t seen any bears except on TV but we have plenty of other critters. Foxes and coyotes are around and the coyotes can go after cats and maybe even a kid. I haven’t heard of any attacks on humans. The best option is to avoid any confrontation with them if you happen to find them in your midst. In my area, the animal to fear most in the suburbs besides the rabid ones like racoons, is the skunk.
Skunks have nasty dispositions while possibly carrying rabies. Take this one guy that after one run-in with the beast now makes it a habit to walk to the bus stop every early morning with a small flashlight strapped to his neck as a safeguard. Another one walks with his cell phone light constantly swinging it from left to right with each step he takes.
As we stood at the bus stop, one of them told me about the time he saw an animal tearing through some trash bags. He aimed the flashlight at what he learned was a skunk. The skunk stopped and looked over at the guy almost like he was issuing a challenge. Before the man realized, the skunk was heading toward him. It was like the skunk was thinking, “you want a piece of me?”
So I happened to watch a few YouTubes and I saw one where a hiker encountered a pack of four or five skunks. As a result, he immediately turned and ran in the opposite direction. You would think that the skunks would let him run away. On the other hand, one skunk had a different idea and chased the guy through the woods. Apparently, skunks don’t take confrontations lightly from anyone it seems. They know they have some serious weapon provided by nature. They know we know it, too and that makes the skunk the animal to fear in the suburbs.
Ever wonder why your car stinks if you run over a skunk. I was told the skunk sees the car and they must think a quick shot from their scent gland will cause the large strange beast to turn and run. The skunk doesn’t realize the car has no nose and so the car gets sprayed killing it!
Being the case, should you see a skunk slowly move away and don’t yell at it or throw anything at it. The moment that you notice the skunk stamping his front feet, then you are doomed. This is a sign that the skunk is getting ready to spray you. Despite its small size, be alert when you see the skunk preparing this way to do battle. This designates the animal is one to fear in the suburbs.
Trust me if you get sprayed by skunk you will be living with that smell for a while. My neighbor’s dog learned that lesson and all the remedies both commercial and homemade didn’t help.
Prevention is the best defense when dealing with skunks! However, you may want to try mixing up a quart of hydrogen peroxide, one-fourth cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap like Dawn. You apply this solution with a washcloth to yourself or your pet. After leaving this solution on for a few minutes, you want to rinse and then shampoo. This is the recommended treatment from the Ohio Wildlife Center.
Just keep in mind the fact that peroxide can bleach the fur. For a black dog, you should dilute two cups of peroxide with two cups of water. This dilution won’t be as effective removing the stench, but will save the fur from over lightening. You also are advised to shampoo several more times and then following with a rinse of one cup of white vinegar.
You may also want to read my earlier post on natural remedies for smelly odors with some useful pet stench solutions with a wonderful DIY dry pet shampoo and carpet cleaning remedies.
Now some animals will be aggressive if you are getting close to their young or where they nest.
Like the Canadian geese who pass through here if you see their nests, they will defend it! But the turkeys that are roaming my woods have been known in my area to chase people in their yards! They may be in the mating season and have been known to charge people and if you defended yourself I heard some communities can charge you. Ok, some giant bird is chasing me in my yard . . . I’m defending myself if I can’t get away from it. I’ll pay the fine. What would you do?