Let's face it – few animals strike more fear in the heart of suburban homeowners than the dreaded skunk. Skunks can be one of the scariest animals to have around a home, and for good reason. Everyone knows the dominant problem with these mammals - they stink! Skunks are likely to spray anything that they think is an enemy, and their unbelievably pungent spray can travel as far as 23 feet. Skunks will usually only attack when cornered or defending their young, and often spray pets who they see as a threat. Spraying is not the first method of defense, however. Skunks will growl, spit, fluff their fur, shake their tail, and stamp the ground. If the intruder does not leave, they will lift their tail and spray their famous skunk odor.
Skunk General Information
Skunks are nocturnal, so they are primarily active at night. They do not hibernate in the traditional sense, but they do remain largely inactive during the coldest months in winter when many gather in communal dens for warmth. Mating season is one of the only other times when skunks tend to socialize. Skunks have litters ranging from 1-7 young which are born between late April and early June. Though they typically prefer to dine on insects, earthworms, and grubs, skunks are omnivores and will consume a vast diet of both plant and animal matter. Skunks are opportunistic eaters, and their diets are flexible, often shifting with the seasons. They have strong forefeet and long nails which make them excellent diggers - and they often dig holes in lawns, gardens and golf courses in search of food. When no other form of shelter is available, they may even burrow under buildings by entering foundation openings.
How to Get Rid of Skunk Stink?
The faster you react the better. It is imperative to get skunk oil off of your clothes, pets, skin, and hair as soon as possible as it will seep in and the smell will linger. The most popular home remedies involve applying a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing detergent; or soaking affected items in straight vinegar.
Evidence of Skunks Around Your Home
You will probably smell a skunk before you see one. Even if they do not spray in your yard, they tend to leave a faint odor in the areas they frequent throughout their day. If you detect a skunk odor in late winter, it is possible that nearby males are fighting for available female mates.
Another sign of skunks on your property are round, shallow holes which are perfectly circular. Skunks are unique in that they dig just deep enough to locate grubs and other soil-dwelling insects. They may leave footprints in the loose soil. These footprints resemble those of a cat but with five toes.
At ARMADILLO WILDLIFE, we have more than 20 years in the business of trapping and removing skunks. Our experience has taught us that simply setting traps for skunks is far from efficient. While you may be successful in removing one or two skunks, others are likely to return if conditions remain the same.
Phase 1: Our expert skunk removal professionals will perform a complete inspection of your home and property to search for skunk dens. We will be looking for evidence of burrowing and nests, especially under structures and along your home's foundation.
Phase 2: Once we have completed a thorough inspection of your property, Armadillo Wildlife will review your customized action plan with you to explain our recommended plan of action.
Phase 3: Our skunk removal team will construct exclusion doors or barriers at all identified points of access. This may be more difficult with skunks than other animals, as they often live under decks which have wide-open access. Barriers will not only have to block access but penetrate down at least one foot to prevent skunks from digging around or under them. These one-way barriers will allow the skunks to leave, but prevent them from re-accessing your home. It is important to not exclude the mother skunk while her young are still dependent on her.
Phase 4: It is Armadillo Wildlife's policy to perform a second inspection of your property before finishing the project, to ensure that your skunk intrusion problem is sufficiently resolved.
There is More Than Stench To Worry About
Skunks can be quite destructive. They may prey upon small farm animals, ground-nesting birds, and they are known for their ability to dig significant holes.
The primary danger posed, however, is that skunks carry several diseases which can be harmful when transmitted to people, pets, or other animals. Distemper is spread when uninfected animals come in contact with the urine of an infected animal, although humans are not affected. (Dogs can be vaccinated to prevent this infection.) The main concern in regards to skunks and disease is rabies. Transmission of rabies occurs when the infected saliva of a skunk is passed to an uninfected person or animal. Rabies infection in humans can cause death, and you should seek immediate medical treatment if you have been scratched or bitten by a skunk.
Dealing with a skunk can be unpleasant and dangerous. If you suspect that you have a skunk on your property, call the experts at Armadillo Wildlife. Don't take on these critters on your own and risk getting sprayed or bitten - you are sure to regret it! Call our experienced team today to eliminate your skunk problem – or to address any rodent, mammal or bird wildlife control issue.
Armadillo Wildlife is proud to serve the Fort Wayne community, as well as Warsaw, Auburn, Angola, Syracuse, and surrounding areas.