Skunks may be cute, but they are also smelly creatures and they can create unpleasant situations when they come on your property. The odor produced by these animals is so powerful that it can create a lot of discomfort and it becomes dangerous when it gets into the eyes of a person. The black and white appearance of the skunk makes the animal easy to spot and recognize, so people who come in contact with it usually know that they shouldn’t get near it. Skunks are not harmful creatures if you don’t get too close to them.
How do you know that you have skunks on your property?
A known sign that there are skunks around is the presence of shallow holes in your lawn. Skunks dig holes that are similar to the ones made by squirrels. You may also find damaged plants in your garden and other signs of activity. Many times you will just feel the smell, without spotting any creature.
Best ways to keep skunks away
Skunks are attracted to nuts, berries, pet leftovers and garbage. They are scavengers looking for anything that that may be considered food. You should try to avoid having these food sources around your house if you don’t want to attract skunks. Garbage alone is enough to keep the creatures interested and your trash can be one of their frequent targets. You should always keep your trash can properly sealed.
Another measure to take is to avoid having piles of rocks, wood or any closed space that can serve as a hiding place. These stinky animals are nocturnal creatures and they don’t like bright lights. By filling your property with solar powered lights, you can ensure that the garden and the yard are protected against skunks. The use of activated sprinkles can also send skunks away from your lawn, especially if you strategically place the sprinkles where the animals like to take shelter.
Repelling skunks with chemicals
There are a few chemicals that skunks don’t like. No matter which ones of them you use, make sure you place it on the edge of your property and in the places where you know the creatures are usually active. The urine from the natural predators of skunks (such as foxes and dogs) is very a very efficient repellent. It can be collected if you can do it, but you can also find this urine in stores. Mothballs can do a great job too. Other effective chemicals are citrus, ammonia and pepper.
Using harassment to send your message
Skunks are intelligent animals and they know when they are not wanted in a place. This can be turned to your advantage, because you can use different methods of harassment to send a message. Make these animals understand that you don’t want them on your property. This can be done by filling the holes made by the creatures with leaves or various materials, but also by sealing these holes with something solid like metal. Do this often and the creatures may become tired of cleaning their holes, they will eventually get you message and leave.
Using traps and baits
Traps that involve catching the animals in an enclosed environment are great. The main reason is that skunks don’t spray when they are in enclosed spaces. Basically, you need to lure the creature inside the trap with bait (which can be food) and close the trap after the animal gets inside. You don’t have to hurt the animal, as you can take it into the woods and release it there. Lethal trapping is an illegal matter in some states. You can use traps that are designed for raccoons and feral cats as well. You must be careful to protect yourself from a possible spraying when you release the creature into the woods. Do it as far away from home as possible.
Skunks can be trapped by using their own scavenger nature and turning it against them. You can do this by using a trash can during the night and a long piece of wood. The wood will serve as a ramp, on which the animal can climb to reach the inside of the garbage can. In the garbage can, a piece of food (cat food) will wait. Once the animal is inside, it will not be able to get out and it doesn’t use the spray in closed spaces. Cover the trash can with a lid and take the skunks into the woods. Trapping is probably the best method of dealing with these stinky animals. Make sure you are patient when the animal is inside the trap. It may take some time before it decides to get out.
Removing skunks from garages
When one or more skunks get into your garage, make sure you leave the garage doors opened before dusk. These nocturnal creatures are very active until dawn, but then they leave. By leaving the door open at the right time, you can solve this problem. You must be careful not to let skunks inside the garage for too long, because they can establish a den in there and even give birth. This can happen especially when there are foods around that are easy to access.
Removing skunks from window wells
These animals have weak eye sights and poor climbing abilities. They can become trapped when they stumble into a window well. You will have to offer the trapped animal a way to escape. This can be done by placing a rough board and a material on it for providing traction (clothes, a carpet, or a towel). It also must be long enough for serving as a ramp, at an angle of about forty-five degrees. Another angle may be tricky for the poor climbing abilities of a skunk.
Now it is time to lower the board, but try to stay out of the animal’s sight. The skunk will leave during the night and you should make sure there are no other animals around when the skunk leaves. If the animal cannot get out this way, there other techniques that experts recommend, such as using a rectangular plastic trash can and a piece of cheese. In order to avoid situations like this, use covers for your window wells.
Can you shoot, poison, or gas skunks?
Deciding to shoot these animals may not turn out to be the best idea for getting rid of them because skunks release their spray when they are shot. You surely don’t want that. In fact, it is even illegal in some area, just as poisoning is. There are states that allow lethal gassing, but in others it is not permitted. There is no point in playing games with the law when there are so many natural methods of repelling skunks.
Relying on the professional services as last resort
As a last resort, or even from the beginning, you can call a company and ask for its staff to help you get rid of the skunks on your property. There are companies that can deal with everything related to skunks, including prevention, control and removal. A firm with experience is able to know what the best course of action is for a certain property and avoid any legal implications.