Village may hire its own trapper to remove troublesome skunks

— At the Aug. 20 meeting White promised Spadafore, “We’ll definitely consider it,” and the mayor instructed Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims to make a note of the complaint. During its budget process next spring, White said, the village will see what it can do.

Town trapper ‘overwhelmed’

Trustee Nick Kochan pointed out that part of the problem in 2008 involved a Third Street neighbor who was allegedly feeding the skunks, a practice strongly discouraged by wildlife experts. Backyard compost heaps also attract foraging wildlife.

Four years ago, Trustee Dennis Hebert, who lives on Third Street, experienced personal confrontations with skunks on his property.

“My real concern is for the small children living next door,” the trustee said. “Sooner or later, someone’s going to get bit.”

Often referred to as polecats, skunks are among nature’s most despised creatures because, as a defense mechanism, they discharge a nauseating musk from their anal glands. Skunks are capable of spraying their musk several times with accuracy to about 10 feet.

Persistent predators, skunks will hunt and kill mice and small rabbits and will tear up lawns in their constant search for grubs and other subsoil insects. Their digging activities can cause severe damage to gardens and yards.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 1,494 cases of rabies in skunks in the United States during the year 2006, and that figure has risen in intervening years.

After policemen killed two skunks here last year, the village attempted to have the carcasses tested for rabies, White said, but county agencies declined. “We had a similar response when we were finding dead crows all over the place,” the mayor said. “There should be more concern at the county level.”

Until the village decides to employ its own trapper, Liverpool homeowners plagued by skunks have only one recourse: to call the town of Salina at 451-4210 to request the services of its animal-nuisance wildlife trapper.

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