Skunks – a Stinky Situation

March 10, 2015

Even before you can spot the unique black and white pattern of this critter,  you usually can smell the powerful, pungent odor alerting you to the presence of one of the most hated pests around – the dreaded skunk!  Believe it or not, skunks are not all bad. The skunk is important when it comes to pest, insect and rodent control. They often eat mice, beetles, crickets, wasps, bees and other creatures. This balance in the ecological world, however,  is not important to the homeowner who has discovered a skunk under their home, deck or shed.  Let’s look at ways to avoid attracting skunks and most importantly the solution to this stinky predicament.

Identifying a skunk problem.

  • Skunks become active in the early spring when the weather begins to get a bit warmer.  As nocturnal creatures they are out hunting for food usually between the hours of 11pm and 5 am.  You may smell or see these very easily distinguished animals.
  • If you do not see the skunk you may notice: holes in lawn as they dig for grubs, skunk tracks (five toes on each foot with visible claws) and pilfered trash cans.

Damage Caused by Skunks

  • Obviously the biggest problem for most homeowners dealing with a skunk is the unmistakable smell.  A skunk’s sulfuric spray has a range of up to 10 feet, and its odor can be detected up to 1.5 miles. Most importantly once a skunk has sprayed it is not an easy smell to deal with or get rid of easily.
  • Skunks can carry contagious diseases, viruses and parasites that can be transmitted to humans and/or pets through a bite. Skunks are the primary carriers of rabies.
  • Skunks have strong forefeet and long nails which make them excellent diggers. They dig holes in lawns and gardens in search of food like grubs and earthworms.

Tips to Avoid Attracting Skunks –

  • Remove all food sources. Grubs are a delicacy for skunks,  so treat for grubs yearly to stop attracting skunks to your yard.
  • Garbage Maintenance – Keep bags and cans of trash away from house and securely closed.  Skunks are primarily carnivores and will eat anything that smells like rotting meat such as steak, chicken, hot dogs or other items that can be found in your trash cans.
  • Fill in holes from opossum and groundhogs burrows that are in your yard.  Skunks tend to take over these holes and make them their burrow.  They then mate and have babies in your yard!
  • Seal up areas like low lying decks and storage sheds.  These areas are a warm safe haven for skunks.  Enclose the foundation of these areas to avoid making an easy home for the skunks.

 

This smelly situation is not one you want to try to remedy by yourself.  Call Pest-End to help you come up with a solution to your skunk problem. Not only can they aid in skunk trapping and removal but also skunk exclusion after they have been removed from your property.

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