OTBL bloggers flock to back yards, lured by fruit and pet food

Squirrels were the talk in Mountain View. Coyotes scared residents in Saratoga. But something has been smelling in Campbell -- and it's skunks, several residents said.

``We here in Campbell are really blessed with them,'' said Julian Holcomb, a banjo and guitar teacher who lives on South Fourth Street. ``There's nothing like walking out of the house in the early morning to the ripe smell of skunk.''

Los Gatos and Saratoga had previously been known as the hot spots for the black and white critters, but in the last few years Campbell has become ``the skunk capital of Santa Clara County,'' said Laurie Frazer, wildlife specialist for the Santa Clara County Vector Control District.

``When I first took over the Campbell area in 1994, we did not get any calls for skunks. Over the past several years, Campbell has become infested with skunks.''

Vector control had been receiving one to two calls a week from Campbell residents, but Frazer expects the calls to jump when the mating season heats up next month. For now, a supply of ripened fruit and cat food left outdoors apparently is keeping them around.

``I think they're being attracted by the avocado trees,'' said John Linthicum, who lives next door to Holcomb near downtown Campbell. ``I go out and pick up the avocados every day.''

Smell more @ Mercury News.

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