It stinks in Milford.
At least that’s what many residents are saying as their yards become seemingly overtaken by skunks, day and night.
“Horrible,” Darby Rose wrote on the Milford Patch Facebook page, “seems to happen every night now!”
“They are making a mess of my lawn,” added Marian Schrader.
Rose, Schrader and others left Facebook comments Tuesday in response to a user-submitted post on Milford Patch titled “skunks!!!!”
In the Opinion Board post, Jim Bickford asked if fellow residents are experiencing the same “skunk problems” he’s been subject to in recent weeks.
“They seem to be everywhere, even in the daytime,” he wrote, "and the road kill is unbelievable."
So what’s going on?
The skunks are foraging for food to put on weight for winter, explains Shelley Dawes of Milford Animal Control.
“We’re seeing a lot of them right now,” says Dawes, adding that their ubiquitous hold on Milford might not dissipate until November or December – depending on when the cold settles in.
Dawes says the skunks are mainly looking for grubs under bushes. And while to see one rummaging around during the day is unusual, it’s not necessarily cause for alarm.
“They are nocturnal but they go out during the day,” she says. A skunk that wanders out in the daytime could have just been disturbed in its sleep and searching for another place to crash, she adds.
Signs of rabies
Be wary, though, if the skunk is staggering, looks ratty or seems overly friendly, as those are signs that the animal might be rabid, Dawes says.
Although the majority of skunks don’t carry rabies, if one with the aforementioned symptoms begins to take residence on your property, you should call the Milford Police Department at 203.878.6551. They'll send an officer out to do the dirty work.
As for skunk deterrents, Dawes recommends moth balls, ammonia-soaked rags or deer repellent, although the last option is known to emit a foul smell of its own.
For more information, see this article by the Humane Society of the United States: ‘What to Do About Skunks’