SAN JOSE, Calif. (Ann Rubin/KTVU) - There's the stench of trouble in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood.
And the culprits are black-and-white and stinky all over.
Neighbors report an influx of skunks tearing up lawns and terrorizing pets.
Darrell Cortez came face to face with one of the critters and quickly realized he wasn't the only one.
“I just happened to be on social media and I put it out there,” he said Monday night. “Is anybody having an issue with skunks in their neighborhood? And the blog, the posting just lit up and said Yes! Yes! Yes! Where do you live?”
Ashley Tellez says her dog got skunked.
It's not a good problem to have,” she said.
Nina Koepke says poor Oscar did too.
“We tried covering him up with nice smells that didn't do it,” she said. “You do not want to encounter a skunk is what it comes down to.”
Steven Hebert, with SWAT Pest Control, says the skunk population has exploded this year.
In fact, in San Jose, in one backyard, said he's captured 17 skunks -- 12 of them female.
“I've never in all my adult years, caught so many adult females in one location,” he said.
Hebert says the recent years of drought actually helped the skunk population.
And now, there's an abundance of food and the animals are out looking for their winter dens.
“In this case, that little drought we had shows how their population sprung back,” he said.
Karen Scherrer, a volunteer with the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley managed to snap lots of photos of the skunks she's captured recently.
But she says she paid the price.
“These guys that I captured, it was a comedy show with me and a net,” she said. “And I did get sprayed in the face. And it's blinding and it stings.”
Cortez is taking what he hopes is a safer course of action -- sprinkling cayenne pepper, chili powder and lemon scented dish soap near his lawn.
He's hoping that will keep the skunks from snacking in his yard.
“I have to get rid of the grubs,” he said, “ which will in turn get rid of the skunks. And if I do that, I think my problem is resolved.”