A couple of weeks ago we were awakened by the smell of a skunk outside the house. It was hard to get back to sleep but by morning the stench was gone.

Apparently in parts of Burlington County residents are complaining that there are more of the stinky critters around than they can remember in recent years.

Someone posted this on social media in my area recently about what happened to their dog.

It finally happened. Bodi was skunked Thursday night in our fenced-in backyard. I don't ever remember seeing skunks when I first moved here over 20 years ago. When I first moved here in 1999, I had 2 border collies, and they pretty much used the backyard all hours of the day and night they were never sprayed and that was up to 2012. I went to PetSmart Friday morning, 15 min after they opened, and I was the 3rd person to buy skunk shampoo. The customer in front of me was buying it and she had mentioned her dog was sprayed before.

Skunks are active this time of year and you may wake up to the ridiculously unpleasant odor of one right outside of your house. Or even worse, you or your pets get sprayed by one.

There are some solutions that work, but it won't be easy. There are some things you can do to make your property less attractive to skunks.

— Remove wood, rock, debris piles, or any other cover that would attract foraging skunks.

— Cover window wells with plastic or metal mesh covers.

— Close off the space beneath porches, decks, and outbuildings to keep skunks from denning there. Skunks will dig their own dens, but will also use spaces under sheds, decks, porches, trailers, and crawl spaces if available.

If you can't do that then keep the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and laundry detergent handy. Be careful not to get any near or in your eyes!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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Changes in NJ county populations since 2020

Census Bureau estimates of the change in county populations since the 2020 Census on April 1, 2020 also provide a glimpse into COVID-era trends, as that's roughly the same time the pandemic began. The list below sorts New Jersey's 21 counties by their total change between the Census and the July 1, 2021 estimate.

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