West Jordan neighborhood at wit’s end over ‘infestation’ of skunks, raccoons

Sep 13, 2022, 7:58 PM

WEST JORDAN, Utah — A West Jordan neighborhood says they’re experiencing a nuisance infestation that has them at their wit’s end in their own homes. They say skunks are spraying dogs and raccoons are wandering the streets.

Neighbors want something done to help the problem, and they’re hoping the city can step in.

In Amanda Ray’s backyard north of Sierra Newbold Park, fall harvest isn’t going to plan.

She spent some of the day tearing out her tomato and cucumber plants, despite the fact that she’s still waiting for some to ripen.

“I’m sad to rip them out because they’re just about ready; see how there’s a lot of them turning,” she said, pointing over to the tomatoes. “I’m going to rip out the cucumbers.”

Ray wants them gone because she’s worried about what else has been enjoying her garden lately. She’s been finding skunks hiding in the garden early in the morning and getting into tussles with her two dogs.

“They just keep coming, and they just keep coming, and they just keep coming,” she said. “And it went from a small problem to an infestation, is what our other neighbor called it.”

She and several other neighbors told KSL that families of skunks and raccoons have been making the rounds through the area over the past couple months, creating a problem that really stinks.

“It’s dog after dog getting sprayed in their yards,” Ray explained. “Mine got sprayed, the neighbors got sprayed, up street at least three dogs have been sprayed.”

Typically in the morning, Ray lets her dogs out to use the bathroom. But they keep ending up in confrontations with skunks, so now, she has to check the yard and walk around before letting them outside. One dog has been sprayed twice. Both were sprayed a week ago in the most recent incident.

She described how she tried several products and home remedies to get rid of the smell. It took a couple weeks, several baths, and the pups sleeping in the garage before they were OK again.

Sarah Armes, who lives just up the street from Ray, said her dog was also sprayed by a skunk while being let out in the backyard. She said several neighbors have been finding skunks or raccoons walking through their backyards, sleeping under sheds, digging under fences, and making their homes in window wells.

Armes called West Jordan Animal Control, but she indicated they told her wild animals don’t fall under the jurisdiction of animal control.

“They won’t do anything for skunks or raccoons,” Armes said. “So a private pest control said they’d come out for about $300 and trap like one skunk.”

That cost could add up to quite a bill, depending on how many animals are trapped. But Armes worries they’ll just keep coming.

“Meanwhile, they’re literally reproducing, and there’s families of skunks walking down the street,” Armes said.

West Jordan City Director of Public Information Tauni Barker explained that their animal control and services division is set up to take care of domesticated animals and address issues with ordinances.

Wildlife animals are a different issue, she said.

However, the city plans to look at how to address nuisance animals like raccoons and skunks, Barker added.

“The city is looking into different options to contract with wildlife resources to come and manage those in the city for us,” she said.

That can be tricky, she continued, because a contract would cost a lot of money.

Barker expects the city council to start discussions on the matter in mid-October.

One component to the issue both Barker and neighbors said is making things worse: People leaving out cat food for stray or feral cats.

A plastic container was discovered near the splash pad, in the bushes of a dry creek bed. Cat food filled one side, while hours-old milk that developed a film on the top filled the other.

“Bless their hearts. They think they’re doing a wonderful service for the city and for their neighbors, and in fact, they are attracting these raccoons and skunks right into the neighborhoods,” Barker said.

Not only is Ray hoping that’ll stop, she wants to see the city take action.

“Please just stop,” she pleaded to the people worsening the nuisance animal situation. “Just let us have our yards back.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Bry Hansen visits his son's grave in South Jordan. (Tanner Siegworth/KSL TV)...
Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

The number of Utah kids and teens dying by gunfire hit a record high in 2020

The state hit a devastating milestone in 2020, recording the highest-ever number of shooting deaths among Utahns 18 and younger.
10 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Hurricane Police Department/Facebook)...
Josh Ellis

Teen on e-bike dies after being hit by truck in Hurricane

A 15-year-old boy was killed in a crash between a bike and pickup truck in Hurricane.
10 hours ago
Scaffolding from an apartment construction site sits along 1300 South on Sept. 29, 2022. (Shelby Lo...
Josh Ellis

TRAX station, 1300 South reopen after scaffolding collapses during storm

Cleanup crews have cleared 1300 South and the TRAX Ballpark Station after scaffolding from a construction site collapsed during a storm Thursday night.
10 hours ago
Harmoni Memmott went through seven months of chemotherapy at Primary Children's Hospital to beat a ...
Ayanna Likens

Tooele 2-year-old beats cancer after receiving care at Primary Children’s

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and one Tooele 2-year-old battled cancer and beat it after treatment at Primary Children's Hospital.
1 day ago
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah mountain cabin community hoping for national historic designation

Historic cabin community hopes for national designation to preserve area's future.
1 day ago
Lauren Steinbrecher

Tourism conference looks at turning around drop in Utah visitation

Tourism in Utah is down by a significant amount, and people from across the state are strategizing how to turn that around.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
West Jordan neighborhood at wit’s end over ‘infestation’ of skunks, raccoons