Skunk invasion: Illinois town in panic as pungent predicament looms

Will skunk wranglers get the chance to take care of a stinky dilemma?

Residents in Vernon Hills, Illinois are up in arms about a possibility of a skunk invasion.

In 2017, officials instated a removal program to trap the animals. But now, residents want to know if it will come back.

Rebecca Fyffe is on a mission. She tracks down skunks and traps them. She also took a moment to explain the process.

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"We would [leave] tasty bate - probably liver sausage,” Fyffe said. “And then the skunk is going to go into the trap, step on this petal or pan, and then, [the] door closes and skunk trapped."

She’s with ABC Humane Wildlife Control and Prevention and this is the beginning of their busy season for skunk control.

"People generally tell us they smell something and don't know where it is,” Fyffe said.

The striped critters have become such a problem in Vernon Hills that in 2017 the village started reimbursing homeowners up to $75 dollars per trapped skunk removed by a licensed trapper.

"Last year, we collected about 71 animals total," John Kalmar, the village manager, said.

He said the program worked so well that residents are hoping it returns this year.

"With this sudden flare-up of sightings, calls and things like that … we felt like we should talk to [the] board about reactivating program," Kalmar said.

If you have a problem with skunks where you live Fyffe said it’s best not to try and trap them on your own.

"Skunks can carry rabies,” she said. “The incidents of rabies in skunks is very low right now. It's a generally a pretty healthy population. But they can. So people need to be very careful not to handle skunks.”

The board is considering the prospect of bringing back the program; however, nothing has been confirmed.