It is a good thing to know how to get rid of skunks on your property, but many people misunderstand why. Skunks are not aggressive creatures that go around spraying anything or anyone they can. In fact, the opposite is true. Skunks are shy creatures that try to avoid confrontation whenever possible. They have a limited amount of spray, and their bodies take time to make more, so they try to conserve it and only use it when they have no escape options.
Why and How To Get Rid of Skunks on Your Property
The stench of a skunk’s spray is bad enough outdoors, you don’t want to face it on the inside as well. Skunks are native to Madison so life in this city is incomplete without encountering them. But you want to limit the number of skunk encounters you have and ensure that they never ever take place indoors. Expert humane skunk prevention can help you to keep the offensive odor out of your Madison home.
Why Skunks May Make Dens on Your Property
Skunks tend to avoid other wildlife animals as well as people. Occasionally, however, they do wind up inside buildings. Actually, calls for skunk removal are more likely to pertain to a den under a deck, porch, or shed. Skunks are burrowing animals that like to dig dens underground to keep themselves and their babies safe. However, rather than digging a whole new den out in the open, they look for opportunities to dig under an existing structure that provides more security and protection.
Though skunks fear humans, manmade structures provide the stability skunks look for when seeking a den site. There are also other advantages of living near humans for skunks. If you have fruit or nut trees in your yard, grow a vegetable garden, or leave pet food sitting outside, you could inadvertently be providing food for skunks. Skunks may also scavenge for food inside your trash cans. Consistent access to food can encourage skunks to den on your property despite their fear of humans.
How To Know When a Skunk Is About To Spray
Skunks spray when they are cornered by a potential predator and cannot see any route they can use for escape. Rarely, a skunk may spray if you come upon it unawares and startle it. Usually, however, skunks give signals that they are about to spray, which can include the following:
- Making loud noises, such as hissing.
- Stamping their feet.
- Charging forward short distances.
- Raising their tails
- Pointing their hindquarters in your direction. For example, the spotted skunk does a handstand to take aim with its rear end.
How To Neutralize Skunk Smell
The old story about tomato juice neutralizing skunk odour isn’t true, but there are substances that are effective at getting rid of the smell. Some are household objects that you probably have on hand already.
Baking soda is mildly alkaline, meaning that it can neutralize the sulfuric acid in skunk spray. Add four cups of baking soda to a hot bath and allow it to dissolve before getting in.
One-quarter cup of baking soda added to one quart of hydrogen peroxide makes a foamy solution that you can use to clean the skunk smell from a dog. Bathe your pet outside so that when he shakes the water off, the skunk smell doesn’t spread around your home.
Skunk spray is oily, and dish soap helps to lift oil and grease away. Add one teaspoon of dish soap to your peroxide-baking soda solution.
Pet stores sell shampoos with ingredients that neutralize skunk odours that you can use to clean your dog after she’s been sprayed.
What To Do if You Find Skunks on Your Property
The last thing you want to do if you come upon skunks is panic. If you panic and frighten the skunk with your screams or sudden movement, you are increasing the likelihood of the skunk spray being released in your building. Imagine getting your carpeting, linen, or drapes soaked in that hard-to-remove smell!
What you should do instead is remain calm. Trying to capture it will lead to setting off its internal alarms, which leads to spraying and we don’t want that! The safest option to avoid potential conflict is getting in touch with wildlife experts for assistance with skunk control in Madison. If you’re wondering how to get rid of skunks permanently, they are your best bet.
A skunk that has taken up residence under a shed or porch may be persuaded to leave if you take certain actions to make the space uncomfortable for them. One way to do this is to place a battery-operated radio or another noise-producing device in the area. You could also put a light source there or place a rag or sponge soaked in apple cider vinegar there. You could even try combining these methods for increased effectiveness. You may have to maintain them for days or weeks in order to see the results.
You can use the paper test to see whether the skunks have relocated. The paper test is basically placing a sheet of paper in front of the suspected skunk den and then checking daily to see whether it has been disturbed. An undisturbed sheet of paper indicates that the area is skunk free.
How You Can Keep Skunks Away
To reduce the likelihood of skunks entering your premises you should eliminate the things that they find alluring. These include the edible waste in your garbage bins, fallen fruit on the ground, and unreaped vegetables in the garden. Skunks also love to feast on bugs and worms that may be living in your lawn. It is best to get your lawn treated to eliminate these skunk snacks and by extension reduce the likelihood of skunks visiting your premises.
Using the Help of Professionals
The experts at Skedaddle know how to get rid of skunks and keep them away. We install skunk prevention strategies such as fences that run deep enough into the earth to stop the animals burrowing efforts and keep them away from your Madison home, shed, or porch. Contact us for more information.