Resolve Conflicts With Your Wild Neighbors

If your dog gets spritzed by a skunk, here's an instant fix:
  • mix together in a bowl 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • Apply to dog with a towel
  • Then bathe and rinse dog
The solution also works on clothes and objects sprayed by the skunk - just dunk them in. A word of warning: hydrogen peroxide may give a dark-furred animal "highlights," or may bleach clothing. Be sure to mix the formula fresh and use right away.

Woodpeckers & Woodchucks
Get rid of those birds drilling holes in the side of your house and the woodchucks digging in your yard (and geese for that matter) by hanging shiny mylar balloons (get ones that have a "face" on them with big eyes) from windows or downspouts or tie them to garden posts. The woodpeckers, woodchucks and geese will think the balloons are predators.

Squirrels or Raccoons at Your Door
If squirrels and raccoons are venturing onto your patio or deck and coming too close to your door for comfort, remove all food sources, such as cat food or birdseed. If they keep coming back, run the vacuum cleaner for a few minutes. That sound is particularly frightening to wild animals, and they will scurry away.

Squirrels or Raccoons in Your Chimney
A chimney cap will prevent such situations. If you have a squirrel down in your chimney, it ventured in by mistake (and can't climb back out), perceiving your chimney as a hollow tree. Make sure your damper is shut, so the squirrel can't get into your house. Lower a 3/4 inch diameter rope down the chimney/flue from the roof - or hire a handyman to do it for you. The squirrel will climb up it and out. (Drape the other end of the rope down the side of your house. When the squirrel's out, you can pull the rope down without getting atop the roof again.)

If you have raccoons in your chimney, they mean to be there. They are capable of shimmying up the chimney, but have chosen yours as a "nice private den to raise their babies." The good news is they will move out in 6 weeks. If you can't wait that long, set up a "harassment system." Play loud hard rock music and put a bowl of ammonia in the fireplace at dusk (again, make sure the damper remains shut). Between the noise and odor, mama raccoon will relocate. Then hire a chimney sweep to clean the place out and install a chimney cap, pronto.

Skunks In The Window Well
A window well cover is the answer. But if you have a fallen skunk to deal with first, you can get him to walk.

Method 1
Place a roughened board at a 45 degree angle into the window well. Make sure the board is long enough to act as a ramp to the top. A towel or carpeting around the board provides better traction for the skunk, who is not a good climber. Place fish-scented cat food, Twinkies or brie cheese at the top of the ramp to entice the skunk. Skunks are nocturnal (active at night) and may not leave the window well until night. (This method also works well for opossums).

Method 2
Tie a rope around a rectangular kitchen garbage can. Put the food in the bottom of the can. Put the can on its side and lower it into the window well with the open end facing the skunk. The skunk will walk right in to get his feast. Then gently tip the can up and raise it - elevator style - to ground level. Gently lower the can on its side again to allow the skunk to amble out. It's prudent to wear gloves and try to stay out of the skunk's sight.

Additional Information
For more information, contact the Willowbrook Wildlife Center at 630-942-6200, or visit DuPage County's website or the wildlife hotline's website.