To solve a skunk problem, we start with a complete assessment of your property to determine where the skunks are living and how they’re gaining access. Skunks do not climb so they tend to make their home at ground level, commonly below porches, decks and sheds. We then perform a careful and humane removal, including any babies.
Once we humanely remove the skunks and their babies we can begin clearing the den site of any damaged property, nesting material or debris that was gathered by the skunks and could be contributing to odour problems.
To prevent a future skunk problem, our technicians install protective barriers designed to keep skunks out. This usually involves digging out around the perimeter of the deck, shed or porch and burying a heavy steel mesh deep into the ground. Our workmanship and materials are backed by a lifetime warranty.
While skunks are arguably adorable creatures with their black fur and distinctive white stripes, many Hamiltonians would be anxious to see one on a walk through their local park or enjoying the quiet of their backyard. The skunk diet is varied, and they’ll happily raid your garden or your garbage bins in search of leftover food. This leaves homeowners in Hamilton with small or large properties vulnerable to an unwelcome striped visitor.
While skunks are known for their distinctive spray, throughout Hamilton they have become one of the most prevalent carriers of rabies. Since the 2015 rabies outbreak, 112 out of the 330 animals that tested positive for rabies in the city have been skunks. The City of Hamilton Animal Services department responds to calls related to injured or sick wildlife but does not manage nuisance wildlife on private property. Property owners are responsible for managing nuisance wildlife on their property.
Skunks commonly make their home under decks, sheds and porches, which leaves pet dogs particularly at risk for a run in with a skunk. Denying skunks access to below decks, sheds and porches is the best way to prevent an encounter between your dog and a potentially rabid skunk. Skunks in Hamilton are not typically aggressive, but during spring and summer, mother skunks are highly protective of their babies and if startled by a dog they are likely to react by spraying.
A skunk’s strong paws and claws allow them to burrow under sheds, floating additions, decks and porches. Structures that sit just off the ground are a cozy favourite for skunks who are not strong climbers. Skunks do not tunnel so the signs of their digging are usually found right next to the structure they are calling home. You may also be alerted to their presence if the smell of their spray spreads into your living space. Hiring wildlife control experts in Hamilton is the best way to remove the worry of coming in contact with a rabid skunk, while ensuring a spray-free removal.
As leaders in the humane wildlife control industry, we understand the importance of wildlife removals that prioritize safety. Our partnerships with the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA as well as the Burlington Humane Society give us the opportunity to speak at events each year and help educate Hamiltonians on how to handle wildlife conflicts and better understand the urban wildlife in their communities.
Skunks are well adapted to urban environments so you may spot them searching for food in just about any part of the city. They are most active during the spring and into the fall, but once winter arrives it is time to seek shelter. Skunks prefer a hidden place that protects them from the weather and predators. Hamilton skunk problems often arise during this time as the cold weather leads skunks to an ideal den site underneath decks, sheds and porches. Skunks dig up lawns, gavel and garden beds to gain entry into these desirable areas that mimic their natural den sites.
Skunks slow down considerably in winter, however they do not hibernate completely. This state of inactivity is called torpor. During this time, they are asleep more than they are awake. Their metabolism drops significantly, which allows them to live off of the calories stored in the extra fat on their bodies when food sources are scarce. Late in the winter, skunks begin to emerge from their dens, with males in search of females. Mating season starts in March, after much of winter’s snow has melted, and lasts through April. Litters of skunk babies arrive in late spring. Safely and humanely extracting a mother skunk and her babies during spring and summer is a tricky process that requires our Hamilton experts in skunk removal.
It is impossible to get rid of all the skunks in any neighbourhood by trapping and relocating them. If one group of skunks found your deck, porch or shed appealing then it is just a matter of time before another will occupy the space. The best way to keep your property free of skunks is to deny them access to the places they like to call home. Skedaddle specializes in installing skunk-proof barriers around structures on your property to keep skunks out for good.
Skunks use their spray as a defense mechanism. They are typically shy and gentle animals that startle easily. In an encounter with a human, their priority is getting to safety. Though they can be quick to spray when threatened, they usually give warning signs. This includes stomping their feet, raising and flicking their tail and bending into a U-shape with head and tail both facing you.
Since the 2015 outbreak, the city has documented and published the number of infections in Hamilton’s urban wildlife. The highest number of rabid skunks testing positive for the virus in the years documented was 76 in 2016. Of all parts of the city, Lower West Hamilton was found to have the most rabbit skunks.
When a female does not want to mate with a male, she emits the odour skunks are famous for. This makes mating season a particularly smelly time of year in areas where skunks live! Skunks living or mating under a deck or shed can cause the odour to spread into the home, making immediate removal the best solution.
Although there are 12 species of skunks, the striped skunk is the only one you’ll see in Hamilton. Only two species of skunks are found in all of Canada: the striped skunk and the western spotted skunk. The western spotted skunk is only found in British Columbia.
Skunks have between four and seven kits in a litter. Female skunks will select a hidden den site to birth and raise their babies, most often leading them to decks, sheds or porches. Kits are born bald, but their distinctive fur pattern is exhibited in their skin pigmentation. They are also born blind, as their eyes are sealed shut. They open them after about three weeks.
Female skunks are protective of their offspring. Many can become defensive with improper wildlife control techniques. Removing a mother and her babies takes special care, which is why any efforts in humane wildlife control utilize special measures to ensure the safety of the whole family during the removal process.
A female skunk shuns her male breeding partner immediately after mating. She does not allow him near her at all during the pregnancy and will raise the kits on her own.