Skunks Continue to Damage Yards, Cost Homeowners Hundreds

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GRANITE BAY-

Some residents in Granite Bay say they are troubled by skunks ripping apart their lawns and gardens.

Vince Matranga lives in “The Residences,” a gated community across from the Granite Bay Golf Course. In the last year, he said he has had to spend more than $500 fixing his landscaping.

“That one there I had to replant. This one I had to replant because it was dug up considerably,” Matranga said, pointing at several shrubs. “You cans smell it inside the house, even if you have all the doors closed.”

He soon took matters into his own hands, placing spoonfuls of peanut butter in traps, and waiting.

“We just don't know exactly where they are coming from, but we just want to stop this invasion of the skunks,” Matranga said.

Wildlife experts said young skunks tend to venture off this time of year, back to the place they were raised.

“You have a bunch of teenagers trying to make it on their own now with no apartment, no house to go to, because they were run out of the place, they were staying with mom,” Jeff Duke of Duke’s Wildlife Control said. “So they keep on coming to the same area.”

In the last year, the Matrangas have purchased six, three-pound tubs of peanut butter, specifically for skunk control. As a result, they have caught 14 skunks.

“The trappers for Placer County come and pick it up,” Matranga said. “I'm not sure what they do with them, I don't want to know. I just want them out of my neighborhood.”

Experts said there is not much else he could do to deter the skunks, except to protect his property from all angles.

“If you have gardens, and you want to keep them out of your garden so they don't eat all of your flowers or your veggies, fence it off,” Duke said. “And make sure all your vent screens are in place all the way around your house, so they can't get in your house.”

If that does not work, Matranga said he has extra peanut butter on stand-by.

“If they keep coming to my house, they are as good as caught!” he said.

Matranga said Placer County Animal trappers will come to his home tomorrow to pick up the animal. Experts said most animals trapped in this manner will be put down.