Skunk Removal & Control
Skunks are usually classified as a pest species due to their odor, and occasionally, digging. The most common complaints include the following:
- Skunk is living under deck or porch
- Skunk has sprayed in the vicinity
- Skunk has sprayed a pet dog
- Skunks are digging holes in yard
- Skunks fell down window well/basement
For these reasons, many people wish to have this nuisance animal trapped and removed. However, trappers must take care to avoid being sprayed.
SKUNK REMOVAL: Your best bet is to trap the skunks in live cage traps. If the skunk has fallen down a window well or basement, you can have a pro snare if for you, or you can put a wooden board down the window well, and the skunk should be able to climb out.
SKUNK PREVENTION: Of course, you can help prevent skunks from using your property. They are often drawn to live under decks, porches, sheds and such. You need to install an exclusion barrier around the perimeter of the deck, so that they can’t crawl under. And of course, don’t leave out pet food, or any other food that will attract skunks.
SKUNK BIOLOGY: The Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) weighs from 4-10 pounds and is 24-30 inches long. Skunks are easy to recognize with their distinct black and white coloring. The Striped Skunk has two white bands that run from the head and down each side of the back. They do not form long partnerships, and mate in late February, and young are born in May. A litter may be five or six young. They follow the mother around, and after they are a year old, they depart to live on their own. They usually only live 2-4 years in the wild, but can live more than a dozen years in captivity.
SKUNK BEHAVIOR: Skunks are mostly nocturnal, and forage at night for a variety of foods. The are omnivores, eating both plant and animal matter, but really seem to prefer insects. They sleep during the day, usually in underground dens often dug by other animals. They do not fully hibernate, but activity is very low during the winter. The often communicate via scent marking, and males will often discharge during mating season. Skunks are well-known for their defensive tactic – when threatened, they will arch their back, lift the tail, and discharge a highly odiferous liquid from special glands near the anus. This sulphurous compound is not only offensive to the nose, but it can cause temporary blindness in an attacker. Many animals avoid skunks due to this defensive tactic, and it’s actually often birds like hawks and owls that prey on skunks, since these birds lack a sense of smell.
HOW DO I GET RID OF SKUNK SMELL? If you or your pet (usually a dog) is sprayed by a skunk, don’t bother with the old tomato juice bath. It doesn’t help. The best way to get rid of the smell is to combine hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid dish soap, and immediately shampoo the dog (or person) with that. If sprayed in the eyes, flush them with water.
NUISANCE CONCERNS: One of the largest concerns is the odor. Skunks very frequently inhabit human dwellings. They’ll live under sheds, porches, decks, etc. Read about skunk under a shed, porch, or deck They may discharge or scent mark these areas, creating an unpleasant odor. Many people don’t like skunks on the property, because of fear of stumbling across one and getting sprayed. There’s also the matter of pet/skunk conflict. Skunks often fall down basement window wells as well. In addition, they can actually do a lot of digging, and damage a lawn.