City Las Cruces Animal Control officers are encouraging City residents not to attempt to trap skunks or interact with any wildlife that could be roaming through their neighborhoods.
Because of less rainfall and increasing drought conditions this year, skunks and other wildlife have been seen in yards searching for food, water, or shelter. Skunks tend to be most active after dusk, through the night, and until dawn.
The City’s current practice is to only pick up animals captured in private cages. Due to COVID-19, the City is not releasing cages for citizens to use.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services, skunks become problematic when they raid garbage cans and bird feeders, eat pet food, and live under porches or anywhere that offers shelter close to a residence. Skunks also dig in lawns, golf courses, and gardens.
Skunks also will sometimes kill poultry and eat their eggs. To keep skunks from denning under buildings, residents should seal off all foundation openings with wire mesh, sheet metal, or concrete. Sealing all ground-level openings into the buildings, closing doors at night, and using tight-fitting lids and straps to eliminate foraging in garbage cans are other tips residents can use to ease problems with skunks.
Residents are also reminded it is illegal to poison animals, and it is also against the law to discharge a firearm within the City limits.
A USDA Wildlife Services fact sheet, with information and suggestions about dealing with wildlife causing problems, can be found online at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/wildlife_damage/content/printable_version/fs_living_with_wildlife.pdf.
To report problems with wildlife, or for information about possible solutions to resolve wildlife problems, call the City of Las Cruces Animal Control, at 575/528-4100. Additional information is also available by calling USDA Wildlife Services at 866/487-3297.