The striped skunk is a mammal that is infamous for the strong odour it can emit. Not only can this species wreak havoc on your senses, it can cause major damage to your home. Although skunks are not aggressive animals, they seem to be aware of their own odorous potential, as they are careful not to spray on themselves when targeting a threat. Because distinguishing healthy skunks from those infected with rabies is difficult, professional removal is always necessary.
Skunks emerge from their winter dens in late February or early March, and they come out hungry and ready to mate. If they are around your home, now is the best time to have them removed—before one pregnant skunk turns into a family.
If you know what to look for, skunks leave some definite clues that they’ve been around your home. While you are outside, pay attention to any holes that have appeared on your lawn. Skunks eat grubs and will dig up your lawn in search of a meal. An unexplained hole with tracks near it could also mean that the skunk was trying to build a den. These types of holes will be larger in size and normally in a secluded area of your property. Of course, nothing is as sure of a sign that skunks are on your property than the foul odour they are famous for. It is one thing to smell their spray occasionally during the warmer months, but smelling it almost every evening is a strong indication that skunks have established a den somewhere on your property.
Although these animals are well-equipped to dig their own burrows, they like to take advantage of dens that do not require as much work, such as under your porch, deck, addition or shed. Once a female skunk has her babies, removing the family becomes more difficult as the babies don’t leave the den for 8-10 weeks after birth. Even if you or your pet never get sprayed, over time skunk digging can weaken structures.
Skunks are a carrier of rabies, and it’s often impossible to tell from looking at them whether they are sick or healthy. If you have these furry visitors on your property, let us come help. We specialize in humanely skunks from below structures and installing barriers to permanently prevent re-entry.
Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control’s wildlife removal strategy is humane, safe and reliable. Part of our process involves clearing and cleaning any contaminated material that can cause serious health risks. Your Wildlife Technician will advise you of any cleaning and clearing that may be required depending on the severity of contamination. This will help ensure that your home remains safe for you and your family.
Skunks are renowned for the horrible smell they emit when injured, frightened or mating. The odour can remain on pets and in ventilation systems for weeks or months. But these animals can also cause significant damage to buildings and landscaping.
FACT: Skunks will burrow out dens under any structure without a foundation, which can cause weaknesses in porches, decks, or sheds. They are nocturnal (i.e. active at night), and will chew or burrow through wood and siding.
FACT: They will often dig up lawns and gardens to find their food. A large portion of a skunk’s diet is made up of insects, grubs and garbage.
FACT: The smell from skunk spray can remain on skin and pet hair for days, weeks and even months. It often enters the ventilation system and will spread throughout the building very quickly. The noxious chemical emitted by skunks is very pervasive.
FACT: Rabies-infected skunks cannot often be distinguished from healthy ones. Rabies is transmitted through saliva from the infected skunk to humans and pets, often through a bite. The number of cases of rabies in skunks exceeds that in raccoons or foxes. Skunks have been found with rabies throughout Canada.
FACT: Skunk spray can be highly noxious, causing nausea and vomiting. It also contains sulphuric acid, which can cause temporary blindness in pets and humans. Skunk spray is extremely difficult to remove from clothing, skin and hair. It can remain strong for long periods of time, affecting everyone who comes into contact with it.
FACT: Skunks are social animals and several families may congregate in a single den site. There are typically 4-6 babies (kits) in a litter.
FACT: The most effective method in getting rid of skunks is to remove all the skunks and completely seal the entire porch, shed or foundation from further entry by digging a trench and installing screening.
FACT: Skunk dens are often hard to access and a number of extraction techniques may be required. Killing or capturing the adult likely won’t solve the problem, since the babies may still be hiding in an inaccessible area under the building. Signs of digging and burrowing are the most common way to locate a skunk den. Damage to lawns and gardens may also be evident.