Thanks to Hollywood films, cartoons, and sitcoms, skunks get a bad rap, but are they really as awful as the big screen makes them out to be? Our Scarborough animal control team knows that skunks are not exactly a pleasure to have around — after all, they terrorize homeowners by digging through trash cans, tearing up yards and, most importantly, they stink — but we also know that the little creatures can be a big help.
Because of their stinky reputation, many homeowners are quick to assume that a skunk’s motivation is just as bad as its smell. The truth is, though, skunks can be of huge benefit to a person’s property when managed properly.
Skunks do not pose a threat to your home or your lawn. In fact, they actually snack on critters that do. If you can manage the skunk population to keep numbers down, and if the creatures are healthy, a skunk or two in your area can benefit your lawn by keeping property-destroying animal populations at bay.
For instance, skunks prey on rodents that may burrow under or into your home, get into your food and your pets’ food and destroy the foundation of your home. Rodents in the walls create a fire hazard, and they carry diseases that can spread to your family. Simply by eliminating rodents, skunks do you a huge favour.
Skunks also safeguard your yard. Skunks love to munch on grubs, which can wreak havoc on your lawn. If your lawn or garden isn’t as healthy as it could be, it may come as a surprise to you that a skunk can actually help keep it healthy. What do skunks like to snack on? Rats, mice, moles, gophers, beetles, grasshoppers, yellow jackets, spiders, black widows, cockroaches, and snails, just to name a few. For many homeowners, a skunk that keeps to itself is a benefit to have around than any of the above-mentioned pests.
Though allowing one or two skunks to frequent your property should not be a big deal, you should take certain precautions when it comes to skunk populations. Otherwise, you risk drawing out the worst in this particular type of wildlife.
The most obvious issue with skunks is their smell. Most skunks will not spray unless another animal or person threatens them or their babies. If you have skunks on your property, don’t let your dogs or cats run wild, and don’t go chasing after them. That said, some skunks spray to mark their territory. You do not want to let this happen, as once a skunk sprays, he will think it is his territory.
Skunks can also wreak havoc to your vegetable gardens, fruit trees lawns and even garbage bins. Though skunks aren’t notorious for digging through trash as raccoons are, some — especially those in urban settings — may search for a snack in your bins. Skunks in rural settings may just help themselves to your home-grown fruits and veggies, and in both rural and urban areas, skunks have a tendency to dig up lawns in their process of scavenging for food.
Finally, skunks tend to look for warm places to burrow in the winter. A popular spot is in the laundry dryer exhaust. If an animal gets trapped in the exhaust pipe, it could die and cause your home to smell. Worse than that, it could inhibit the dryer’s function and even lead to a house fire.
Humane Skunk Removal
If your skunk population is not out of control, and if the only real issue you have with the striped creature is the fact that it’s tearing up your yard, we recommend getting rid of the grubs. If this is not something you have the resources to do, consider installing a motion-activated sprinkler that will gently spray a skunk anytime it trespasses on your lawn. If you simply do not want to deal with skunks on your property, do not try to tackle the problem on your own. Not only do skunks spray, but they also carry disease. Let our Scarborough animal control team at Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control do the honours and safely remove the skunk family for you. Learn more about our humane skunk removal process today.