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Avoiding Skunk Encounters During Their Mating Season

There’s nothing quite as repulsive and stubborn as a skunks stink. Very few stenches can live up to the smelly repercussions of a skunk encounter. There are some steps that you can take to ensure that skunk encounter does not become unpleasant. Skunk encounters have caused many to contact animal removal services in Canada. If you can do anything to prevent skunk encounters you’d jump on it right? Well, this blog is dedicated to just that.

Skunk Behaviour-The Basics

Skunks are usually inactive in the winter as they avoid the cold by settling into warm and cozy dens, usually tunneled into the ground.  Sometimes these dens have multiple (two to eight)skunks living in them. Nursing skunks have been known to share dens.

Midway through the winter though, the merge from their slumber and rest to seek food and prepare for mating. You can, therefore, expect to see skunks up and about from around February each year.  This is also when mating takes place, which results in litters of kittens being born 60-75 days later.

The Infamous Skunk Spray

Skunks are likely to spray when they are startled or feel threatened. Mother skunks are very fierce protectors of their kittens and will spray perceived threats to protect them.  When mating is not on their agenda, female skunks use their spray against approaching male skunks. When launched, the skunk spray typically shoots on in an arch towards the target and can reach a distance of up to 15 feet.

Keeping  Skunks Away

Ideally, you should take a two-part approach to avoid skunk encounters. The first is to keep away from skunks and to discourage them from entering your space. The second is to fortify your space against skunk entry.  Have trained expert wildlife technicians check the areas around your shed and deck to ensure that skunks have not burrowed beneath the structure and that they have not made their way in through cracks and holes. Where potential entry points exist, they should be sealed off to prevent skunks from getting in.

Are you Inadvertently Feeding Skunks?

Skunks are omnivores as they consume both meat and plant-based foods. This means that pretty much everything you have lying about is likely to attract them. A skunk’s preferred diet consists of fruits, nuts, and seeds on the vegetarian side and mice, shrew and carrion on the carnivorous side. If you have these things lying around in your garbage bin, they will attract skunks. Skunks are unlikely to frequent spaces that don’t offer them food, so keep them away by removing this attraction.

Skunk Barriers

Barrier technology helps to keep skunks away from your property.  Deck and shed barriers are very useful for this purpose. To effectively exclude skunks, barrier technology should be installed and maintained by experts like Skedaddle.

Avoiding the Infamous Spray in a Skunk Encounter

If all else fails and you come face to face with a skunk do not panic, stay calm. You have to make every effort to avoid startling the animals as it is when startled that they tend to spray.  You can use the behaviour of the skunk to predict when the animal will resort to spraying and in so doing, avoid getting the smelly liquid on your person. The skunk’s first action will be to face the threat and stomp its front feet.  Other actions include scampering away, hissing and raising its tail. If those fail, the animal will turn and spray, usually as a last resort. If you can retreat quickly and quietly before the foot stomping phase that would be great but the foot stomping should serve as a warning that the spray is next.To prevent skunk encounters altogether you should get experts such as Skedaddle to skunk-proof your property and provide animal removal services to get rid of skunks on your property.

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About the author:Marcus is the owner and operator of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control – Milwaukee. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Marcus combines the academic training (M.S. Wildlife Biology, UW Madison) with the field training and skills to be successful in resolving wildlife conflict for home and business owners.

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