Skunk Removal in Ottawa | Skedaddle Wildlife Control skip to main content

SKUNK REMOVAL PROCESS

ASSESS AND REMOVE

Assess and Remove

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. Since skunks do not climb our inspection will focus on the ground level den sites like porches, decks and sheds. We then perform a careful and humane removal, including any babies.

clear and clean

Clear and Clean

Once we humanely remove any skunks and their babies we will move on to clearing the den site of any damaged property, nesting material or debris that was gathered by the animals. We can then begin cleaning, disinfecting and deodorizing the area to eliminate any risk of illness, irritating odors and attractants for other wildlife.

PREVENT AND PROTECT

Prevent and Protect

To prevent a future skunk problem, our technicians will get to work installing 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.

 


Reviews from Our Ottawa Clients

Skunks in Ottawa

 

Aside from their overpowering odour, healthy skunks pose very little threat to Ottawa residents. They are shy animals and can scare easily. Skunks do not have very good eyesight and, as many dog owners know, they can be quick with their one method of self-defense when they are caught off guard. Well-suited to the urban environment, skunks build their dens under decks, sheds or porches, which can lead to conflict with pets and homeowners. Removal of skunks from these hard to reach areas can be difficult and oftentimes smelly. It takes the specialized skunk removal skills of our Ottawa technicians to get the job done safely, humanely and permanently.

Skunks Hunker Down for Winter in Ottawa

For Ottawa skunks, winter is a time for slowing down, staying warm and most importantly – finding a den. This leads skunks to the underside of homeowner’s decks, sheds and porches. The areas below structures mimic the natural den sites skunks find in the wild. They provide shelter from Ottawa’s harsh winter temperatures and a later a nesting site for babies in the spring. Although it is easy to imagine that skunks would be more at home in the woods of Ottawa’s Greenbelt than a residential neighbourhood, the abundance of porches, decks, sheds in the city make the former more attractive. With large claws that are great for digging dens, skunks can easily burrow their way to the underside of a structure to rest the winter days away. They usually add a finishing touch of leaves and grass to make the space more comfortable and help insulate their cozy den.

Once inside their dens, skunks remain inside for the majority of winter. Due to their short legs, they have trouble walking through deep snow and seldom venture into the cold. The food sources that they rely on during spring, summer and fall are rarely available in the winter anyways, meaning they must reserve their energy and rest until the snow melts away. Rather than going into a true hibernation to survive the winter months, skunks go into a deep sleep called torpor. This state allows skunks to decrease their metabolism, heart rate and body temperature significantly. On particularly warm winter days, skunks may leave the den for food or water, which leaves pets and homeowners susceptible to skunk conflicts on their Ottawa property. You may also become aware of their presence if the smell of their spray spreads into the living spaces of your home. Wildlife control experts in Ottawa are trained to remove skunks with skill and patience to prevent spray.

Spotting Skunks in Ottawa

Skunks thrive in Ottawa’s urban and suburban environments. Despite human presence, these areas offer large concentrations of shelter and food. Skunks can be found thriving from densely populated urban areas like Centretown, to the city’s outlying suburbs. As new housing developments continue to be built around Ottawa you can be sure that skunks will eventually move in and make their home among the residents. Abundant food sources are one of the main reasons that skunks are drawn to residential neighbourhoods. They are not picky eaters and as omnivores are not reliant on any one particular food source. Ottawa’s residential suburbs are covered in well-manicured lawns that make it easy for skunks to dig up and feast on the grubs and worms that live in the turf. Skunks are so at home in the capital that even the Ottawa International Airport is no stranger to a skunk activity. The airport’s location in the south end of the city straddles Ottawa’s urban-rural divide and has had its operations interrupted on a number of occasions over the years when unlucky skunks have been struck on the runway by planes taking off and landing.

Once Ottawa’s thick layer of snow begins to thaw in the early spring, skunks become active, emerging from their dens in search of a mate. Ottawa’s first skunk litters begin to arrive in May and June and usually number between two and ten babies. Although skunks are nocturnal creatures, when they are caring for their new babies in the spring, mother skunks can often be spotted outside their dens during daylight hours. Spring and summer is when you are most likely to see a skunk scurrying across the road or wandering your neighbourhood in search of a meal. Many homeowners in Ottawa find skunks closer to home, living under their property and raising their newly born kits. Skunks are not only attracted to gardens and lawn grubs, but also unprotected garbage and recycling bins. In the summer of 2022, one Sandy Hill resident spotted a helpless skunk with its head trapped in a jar. The skunk had been rummaging through bins and had become stuck trying to get at the last bits of peanut butter at the bottom of the jar. Fortunately the story had a happy ending as the skunk’s head was eventually freed without any spray. It is important for Ottawa residents to take the necessary precautions to prevent attracting skunks to their property in search of an easy meal. Protecting garbage and rinsing out recyclables, not only helps protect your home, but can also prevent injury to wildlife in your neighbourhood.

Skunk Removal Process

During spring and early summer, skunk babies remain inside their den for the first six to eight weeks after birth. The birthing season makes the removal of skunks from below sheds, decks, and porches more complicated. Immobile babies need to be located and removed by hand, no small feat when access is likely to be limited. Skedaddle technicians go the extra mile and crawl into hard to reach spaces to safely remove litters of skunk babies As leaders in the humane wildlife control industry, we understand the importance of wildlife removals that keep family units together.

With the babies removed, the next step is to install a skunk-proof barrier around the perimeter of the structure they have been occupying. This not only makes sure the current groups of skunks are locked out, but also ensures the space is skunk-free for the future. Keeping skunks out normally involves digging a trench and burying a heavy gauge screen in the ground that cannot be dug under. We can then rely on the mother’s maternal instinct to motivate her to leave the deck, shed or porch so she can reunite herself with her babies. Once outside and with her access blocked, she must then relocate her litter to one of her other den sites in the area.

The truth is that skunks in Ottawa are here to stay and it is impossible to get rid of all the skunks in the city 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. Skedaddle specializes not only in removing skunks but also installing skunk-proof barriers around structures on your property to permanently deny them access to the places they like to call home. Protect your dog and prevent smelly skunk odour from disrupting your life with Skedaddle’s proven skunk removal services.

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Skunk Facts

Skunk spray is known to be powerful and can linger for weeks or months under certain conditions. When skunks are living below your deck or shed there’s a considerable risk of an eventual spray and the unpleasant smell making its way into your house. Humane wildlife control technicians have the skills and knowledge required to safely remove skunks from your property.

FACT:

Spring can be a particularly smelly time of year when skunks are around. The reason is due to the frequency with which females utilize their spray to let a male know she is decidedly uninterested in his advances!

FACT:

When a female does mate with a male, she has nothing more to do with him after the act is complete. She goes through her entire pregnancy alone and raises her babies on her own as well.

FACT:

If a female skunk has babies with her, she is very protective of them. This is one occasion when a skunk may become aggressive and removing a mother and her offspring takes particular care.

FACT:

The striped skunk is the most well-known of the 12 skunk species on the planet, and it is the only resident of Ottawa. One other species, the western spotted skunk, is the only other type found in Canada but makes its home in British Columbia.

FACT:

Pets and humans who get sprayed by a skunk may have to live with the odour for a long time. It can take days or weeks to completely be rid of the smell, especially if it isn’t treated. The longevity can be blamed on the thiols, a component of sulphur, present in the spray.

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