CHICAGO (CBS) — The smells of rain and fresh grass aren’t the only signs of spring. The strong aroma of skunk is frequently in the air.

“They’re out there; feeding, and breeding, and trying to restore their body fat that they lost over the winter,” said Rebecca Fyffe, with ABC Humane Wildlife Control in Arlington Heights.

Fyffe said this is the time of year when skunks become more active, and that increases your risk of a close encounter, especially at night, since they’re nocturnal.

Skunks also are efficient diggers, and can settle around your home.

John Hagan, owner of Animal Control Specialists in Arlington Heights, said if you suspect there’s a skunk nearby, “Check your front stoop, back stoop, patio, shed, deck; and if there is a burrow dug underneath it, the first thing you want to do is take any dirt, gravel, or bark mulch, or any debris that’s around and fill in the hole. You check that the next morning and if it’s dug out, you know an animal’s currently living there.”

At that point, he said, it’s best to call a professional.

If you have pest problems, you can get answers on Fyffe’s website, abcwildlife.com.