Skunk Control and Skunk Removal

Skunks are slow moving mammal identified by their black fur with one or more white stripes running down their backs. Humans are often frightened of skunks because of their ability to spray a foul and pungent skunk odor to defend against predators. A striped skunk will be as big as a house cat.

In the wild, skunks prefer to live in open lands next to forest areas and in clearings and pastures. Often skunks move into human territory. Skunks will burrow under sheds, homes, businesses, decks, and woodpiles and create a home. They have large feet with well-developed claws which make them very good diggers. They prefer the cool darkness of their dens during the day as they are very sensitive to light.

Skunks under your house or building can do a lot of expensive damage to your landscape, not to mention the odor they can produce in and around your home, or house pets, and contaminate carpet, furniture and clothing. If the lower ears of your corn stalks have been eaten away, a skunk is the likely culprit. If you hear a noise under your porch or building, a skunk may be setting up its home.

If a skunk should choose to die under your home or business, the skunk odor will emanate into the living quarters, causing headaches and nausea. Skunk odor can stick around for up to three years after it is sprayed. Skunks are one of the primary carriers of rabies. Though humans should avoid contact with any skunks, if a skunk seems especially fearless around humans or is very active during the day, it could be infected.

It may be tempting to take matters into your own hands, but in the long run, you could put yourself, your family and your home at risk of damage, distress and disease. Skunks have great confidence in defending themselves against humans, and they are not likely to back away from a conflict with you. They’ll spray and bite humans without hesitation.

Shooting is not a good option to get rid of skunks. A homeowner may successfully trap and kill an adult skunk, only to smell the nasty odor of baby skunk carcasses rotting under the house or business. It can take between one and two years, depending on the size, for a skunk’s body to decompose.

Skunks visit homes for the same reasons as raccoons, for food. A good exclusion program for structures and infested areas should prevent most problems of skunks taking up residence under a building. Trapping is the most effective skunk removal procedure.

Skunk control can be tricky, due to the animal's ability to spray. Some trappers use solid-walled traps for this reason. Others make sure to drape the trap with a sheet or towel prior to transportation. Close cellar and outside basement and crawl space doors. Seal and cover all openings including window wells and pits. In poultry yards, install wire mesh fences and in beehives, elevate and install aluminum guards.

To stop the skunk from digging in your yard for food, you will need to reduce the local insect and grub levels. If the skunks you have are too persistent, you may have no other option but to call a wildlife control professional to trap them out
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