Skunks have a bad reputation of being animals that will spray without warning, or if you grew up with Looney Toons you may be afraid that they will try and profess their love for you. Neither are true, skunks are not as dangerous as you think and only spray in self-defense. A skunk living under your shed or deck can become an nuisance especially if you cross it unknowingly.
Where do skunks usually reside inside homes?
- Crawl spaces
- Under concrete slabs
- In your yard
- Your shed
- Under your deck
How can you tell if you have a skunk in or around your property?:
To the right is a picture of skunk tracks, which you can find in mud or softer ground.
The sounds of scrambling feet or scratching in your den, attic, or walls are also a good sign that a skunk has found a entry found into your home or onto your property.
When you think of the dangers a skunk you probably jump to one thought.
A skunk’s natural form of self-defense to help them survive in the wild and fend off predators is their spray. It’s a mix sulphurous oil and contains a compound known as thiol which is usual present in rotting flesh and feces. The odor gets worse once it comes into contact with water.
So if you get sprayed, DO NOT USE WATER, it will make the smell stronger and last longer.
First thing you’ll want to do is NOT go inside, the odor will follow you and make your ordeal much worse.
For a step-by-step guide to what you should do when you get sprayed, click here
Skunks are a danger to any household pets too
It’s common for skunks to spray cats too especially when searching for a food source or if it wants cat food. If you come home your pet, or your pet comes to you with the scent of skunk spray on it there a few options to deal with it:
- Use Paul Krebaum’s “Baking Soda and peroxide” formula
- 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid soap (not detergent)
Wash your pet thoroughly and massage the mix into the fur, allow the solution to set for roughly 5 minutes until the oder is gone. Allowing the solution to set allows for the solution to really lift the smell off and lets oxygen molecules bond to the oder-causing thoils, neutralizing the smell.
It’s recommended that you wash your pet outdoors as soon as the solution is mixed.
As a precaution the solution can bring a stinging sensation to your eyes so your will want to wear protective gear like gloves and eye mask. Use lukewarm water for larger pets.
2) There are numerous over-the-counter products available for sale such as skunk shampoos, deodorants and sprays that can get rid of the skunk stench (but not to make your local skunk look fabulous unfortunately) and help get your cat, dog , or any pet the protection it needs.
Keep in mind the odor of skunk spray can even be spread by squirrels and skunks in the area that have been sprayed.
If you think your pets or the wildlife in your area are at risk of being sprayed by a skunk your best option is to get a trained technician that can provide effective, humane sunk control out there immediately to contain the situation before it gets bad.
Health risks of a skunk spray
Beyond the awful oder of a skunk spray, the spray can also cause serious health problems to you and any pets in the house:
- A skunk spray which is fairly close to the face can cause extreme discomfort and in some cases, temporary blindness. The first thing you should do if this happens is to flush the eyes and the mouth out immediately with water.
- Skunk sprays to the face can also lead to vomiting, drool, squinting, sneezing and seizures amongst pets.
- Thiol in skunk spray also leads to damage to red blood cells resulting in anemia (a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness.).
Skunks and baby skunks
Once a skunk gets comfortable somewhere it will want to start raising a family, which means your skunk problem has expanded exponentially. Baby skunks ,like most animals that are new to the world, are easy to scare and this means that they are very trigger happy with their spray.
When can you expect a baby skunk issue?
Early spring is usually birthing season for baby skunks. They stay in their dens for the first 6 to 8 weeks of life. Mother skunks tend to give birth to 4-6 babies at once.
Baby Skunk Removal
When faced with a baby skunk issue its best to call a technician to help you remove them, here’s why:
- It’s illegal to kill these animals
- Skunks are extremely protective of their young
- Baby skunks will spray at anything that moves
- There are specific regulations around how baby skunks and skunks can be relocated
During baby season, the technician will have to dig and find the babies to remove them from the property. Once the technician has all the babies they will put them in a safe insulated box near the one-way door for the mother to find. Eventually the mother will come relocate the babies to a new den. We provide humane, effective and ethical removal of all nuisance animals.
What can you do to prevent skunks from entering your property or taking up residence under your deck or shed?
Skunks tend to do most of their scavenging for food sources at night and tend to avoid light so a good preventative measure is to install lights with motion sensors in your yard. Keeping your back or front yard light on will also work.
Lawn motion detector sprinklers are also an effective method to keep skunks out as well.
What do skunks eat?
- Any food left outside
Skunks tend to go right after gardens, garbage bins and any food left outside. Make sure you throw away any food left outside and that you secure your garbage bins with something heavy or a securing mechanism.
Use a wire mesh fence or chicken wire to keep the vegetables in your garden safe and install a motion sensor light as an extra precaution.
If you see any openings into dens, crawl spaces or the attic you’ll want to cover that with a steel mesh screen, one that can withstand a chewing and will secure tightly to the opening. If you arnt sure of any openings you can always call us for an assessment.
For future prevention our technicians can do a thorough inspection of possible entry points and weak spots in your home to prevent future racoon problems from plaguing your home. After finding some major entry points and others that have the potential to become entry points ,we give you options that take these problems and your property into account. We then seal off these entry points with galvanized steel mesh to prevent any entry whatsoever.
Give is a call if you have any concerns, questions or problems involving skunk removal or control at
647-559-3720 or contact us via email.