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  • Long Beach Educational Article of the Month - How to identify Long Beach skunk tracks

How to identify Long Beach skunk tracks

Who doesn't know what a Long Beach skunk looks like? These bushy, black and white little creatures are nature's most formidable little stinkers. There are several ways to determine if you might have a skunk problem. Skunks don't actually have to spray to have a lingering odor about them. There will always be a slightly distinct odor if they are around.

Another sure way to know if you have California skunks is the holes that are left behind. Skunks are skilled diggers and often dig holes in their search for food such as grubs, larva, small lizards, and snakes. They also use their sharp claws to dig their burrow.

Long Beach skunks are primarily active during the spring and summer months. They do not hibernate, but their activity is drastically reduced during the fall and winter months. They will dig burrows under trees, logs, and because of their superior digging skills, they can even burrow beneath concrete slabs.

Because they are creatures of opportunity, they often find places that other animals have created. These areas also include the crawl spaces of homes and even under decks of people's homes. Because of their digging, it is often easier to spot their tracks in the freshly dug dirt or mud. Each foot of the skunk has five toes. However, there will not only be skunk toes; there will be five claw marks preceding each of the front paws. This is because the front feet are primarily the ones used for digging.

In a lot of cases, the pad of the track might not be visible, leaving behind only the toes and the claw marks. This is due to the way skunks walk. They are shufflers with a slow gait. While skunks vary in size, their paw prints are often a lot smaller than one would assume. If you think that you might have a skunk problem, take a walk around your property. The unusual smell of a skunk can actually travel for miles. So, you might just be smelling one instead of dealing with a problem.

However, if you smell it for several days at a time, it's time to walk around your property. Inspect places like the foundation of your house and under wood piles. If you see spots that have been recently dug out, you might have a skunk. Be careful upon inspecting the holes too closely. Skunks are nighttime animals and typically stay in their dens or burrows during the daylight hours.

If you've found the tracks and have decided that you do have a Long Beach skunk problem, call your local wildlife control center. They will send a trained professional out to assist you in the safe removal of the animal.

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