Skunks have an important role to play in the ecosystem, including eating pests that destroy garden plants and crops. Therefore, they are beneficial as long as they stay off your property. However, once they get into your yard and decide to stay there, they can become a nuisance. Skunks on your property are a good reason to call wildlife control in York, but how can you be sure they are there? Learn how to recognize the signs of skunks on your property and how to distinguish them from signs of another animal.
Why Are Skunks Attracted to Your Backyard?
Skunks that make homes in backyards are looking for two things: shelter and food. These are basic needs that a skunk is driven to fulfill, and if your yard offers easy access to both, it may be enticed to move in and stick around for some time. Skunks’ favourite foods are fruits and insect larvae, but they are omnivores that can eat many other things, including garbage.
A skunk that builds a den on your property is probably a female looking for a safe place to raise her babies. They are burrowing creatures that prefer to dig a hole for a den underneath a sturdy object that provides some protection. This may be a rock or a log, or it could be your deck, porch, or storage shed.
How Can You Recognize Skunk Damage?
In addition to digging a burrow, skunks also dig holes to find food. However, they are not the only animals that may dig holes in your yard. Rabbits and raccoons may do so too. How can you tell whether the damage to your lawn is being caused by a skunk or something else?
If you find shallow holes in your yard that are circular and approximately three to five inches in diameter, they were probably made by skunks. Using their sharp front claws, skunks pull up chunks of dirt to get at the grubs that they locate by smell by walking with their noses close to the ground.
A den that is close to the ground is more likely to be a skunk’s than a raccoon’s as raccoons typically build dens higher up. The entrance to a skunk’s burrow is approximately eight inches wide. It may be so deep that you cannot see into it, and it is inadvisable to try by getting closer. Look around the entrance to see if there are hairs left behind from the animal coming and going. If there seems to be a lot of hair, the animal may be a raccoon rather than a skunk.
What Can You Do To Deter Skunks From Your Property?
The most effective means of skunk deterrence is to remove sources of food from your property. Nematodes are tiny, non-segmented worms that feed on grubs before the skunks can find them, and adding them to your soil is a natural way of getting rid of them without attracting skunks. You should also clean up any fallen fruits or nuts from trees in your yard. Keep compost bins sealed tightly and avoid putting anything in there that may attract skunks by its smell.
While a skunk can dig under an average fence, planting hedges may prevent them from getting into your yard. Planting strong-smelling plants may deter skunks because the fragrance interferes with their ability to find food. Skunks may also be deterred by the smell of urine from a predator such as a coyote, which you can buy from a garden store. You may also be able to scare skunks away from your property using a mechanical scarecrow or motion-activated yard lights.
Why Should You Call Skedaddle for Wildlife Control in York?
Our skunk removal process removes the animals without harming them so they can relocate to a new den. We seal entry points so the skunks can’t get back in, and we clean up where they have been. Learn more about our services.