Skunks aren’t malicious animals and can even be beneficial by eating harmful pests. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that you or your pet should try to make friends with a skunk. When people and pets keep a respectful distance from skunks, it is safer for everyone. If you find them on your property, skunk removal in Whitby is an effective way of preventing an encounter.
Why Should You Avoid Skunks?
Everybody knows one good reason to avoid skunks: The stinky spray that they use to defend themselves from potential predators. The smell is so strong that can irritate the eyes and the mucous membranes, and without any intervention, the smell can last for weeks. Clothing that has been sprayed by a skunk may have to be disposed of. Many folk remedies for getting rid of skunk smell, such as bathing in tomato juice, are not effective. The skunk smell can be removed with a solution of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and a little bit of dish soap mixed in water. However, it may take several cycles of scrubbing with the mixture, rinsing, and repeating before the smell is completely gone.
Another good reason to avoid skunks is that they can carry diseases and parasites. Skunks are among the animals that most frequently carry rabies. It isn’t as common for them to transmit rabies to people and pets. They typically use their defensive spray against perceived threats before they have a chance to get too close. However, if a skunk is cornered and is unable to spray, or spraying doesn’t work, they may bite or scratch in self-defence. Skunks can also carry parasites such as fleas that may spread to people or pets. Flea bites are miserably itchy and may spread diseases of their own.
Furthermore, encounters with people and pets aren’t good for the skunk either. You may mean the animal does no harm, but the skunk doesn’t know that, and the encounter can be stressful for it. A skunk that feels threatened may be compelled to use its spray. After a skunk has used its spray, it takes its body another 10 days to manufacture more, during which time the skunk is vulnerable to predators.
How Can You Protect Pets From Skunks?
Skunks are nocturnal, so it is rare to encounter them during the course of a normal day. Most people already know to stay away from skunks, so if a person gets sprayed, it is usually because he or she came across a skunk unaware. It is more common for pets, especially dogs, to get sprayed by a skunk. Dogs are curious and protective of their territory. Skunks typically give warnings that they are about to spray, but dogs may misinterpret these signals. When a dog lifts its tail, it is an invitation to sniff, but skunks do it so they can take better aim.
Always keep your dog on a leash when on a walk, especially if you are walking in wild areas where skunks typically make their homes. Before letting your dog out at night, turn on the outdoor lights. The sudden flash of light may startle any skunks that may be in your yard and cause them to run away. With your yard illuminated, you can check that it is clear before letting your dog out. Don’t allow your dog to stay outside all night.
What Can You Do To Keep Skunks Out of Your Yard?
Skunks are omnivores that can eat a wide range of foods, but their favourite foods include fruits and vegetables, grubs, and garbage. You can avoid attracting skunks to your yard by picking garden plants promptly, keeping it clear of garbage, and treating your soil with nematodes to kill grubs. Skunks like to dig burrows under decks, porches, and sheds. You can prevent it by using metal mesh to seal off these areas.
Rather than risk an encounter with a skunk yourself, contact Skedaddle for effective and humane skunk removal in Whitby.