Skunks. Just the word makes people nervous. Early in the morning or late in the evening, you catch the scent of a skunk. Rarely do we see them, but we indeed do smell them!
What is a skunk?
“Skunk (family Mephitidae), also called polecat, is a black-and-white mammal found primarily in the Western Hemisphere that uses extremely well-developed scent glands to release a noxious odour in defense. The term skunk, however, refers to more than just the well-known striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). The skunk family is composed of 11 species, 9 of which are found in the Western Hemisphere. Primarily nocturnal, skunks are diverse carnivores that live in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts, forests, and mountains. Most are about the size of a housecat, but some are significantly smaller.
Skunk scent comes from anal glands located inside the rectum at the base of the tail. All carnivores have anal scent glands, but they are extremely well-developed in skunks. Each of the two glands has a nipple associated with it, and skunks can aim the spray with highly coordinated muscle control. When a skunk is being chased by a predator but cannot see it, the spray is emitted as an atomized cloud that the pursuer must run through. This usually is enough to deter most predators. When the skunk has a target to focus on, the spray is emitted as a stream directed at the predator’s face. Although accurate to about two metres (more than six feet), its total range is considerably farther.” (Britannica.com)
Why do I have skunks in my yard?
You may be inviting them to your yard! “Skunks can be attracted to a yard or a house by certain items that might be in the yard or near the house. As stated before, birdseed and sunflower seeds are two main attractors of skunks. Pet food, garbage, grills, and lumber can also attract skunks, as can openings under houses, decks, or sheds.” (animals.mom.com)
Are skunks aggressive?
Believe it or not, skunks are the most non-aggressive animal you will ever come across. Yes, they have that terrible habit of releasing a horrible smell, but that is only because they are frightened. They love the nightlife but tend to be out and around in the daytime at this time of year, looking for food for their young.
How do I get the skunk smell off my dog?
The old wives’ tale about tomato juice is just that. According to Humanesociety.org: the best solution to de-stink your pet is to create a solution of:
- 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at any pharmacy)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap
Wearing rubber gloves, wash your dog with this solution immediately after they’ve been sprayed. DO NOT get the solution in their eyes. (If you don’t have peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap on hand, use vinegar diluted with water.)
Rub the mixture through their fur, but don’t leave it on too long (peroxide can bleach fur). Rinse them thoroughly.
Next, wash your dog with pet shampoo and rinse thoroughly. By now, they should be de-skunked and smelling sweet. Thoroughly towel-dry your dog, and be sure to place them in a warm, sunny room for the next couple of hours so that they don’t get chilled.
Caution: Do NOT store this mixture or make it ahead of time, as the mixture could explode if left in a bottle.
The positive qualities of a skunk!
Skunks actually do have positive qualities and can be beneficial to homeowners. Yes, you read that right. According to InsideNova.com,
“Skunks are beneficial critters. They are omnivorous and eat a variety of garden pests, including mice, voles, beetles, various larvae, wasps, and crickets. Skunks are also scavengers. They will seek out animal carcasses, which help keep an ecosystem free of carrion. Scavengers are important to the health of the environment.”
What can I do to get rid of skunks?
Let’s start with prevention. Skunks are industrious and exceptionally fine burrowers. Skunks love cozy places to sleep, although they do not hibernate.
- Remove all food sources. Make sure your garbage cans are closed and the lids secure.
- Fruit trees provide a wealth of food for skunks. Clean up dropped and decaying fallen fruit.
- Fence your yard, if possible, and review doors, windows, and screens around your home. Ask us about AccuShield Services to evaluate your home structure and property to locate areas where skunks and other nuisance wildlife can gain entry. A complete evaluation is performed and reviewed with the homeowner or business owner, and a course of action is determined.
Are skunks living under a structure or shed or digging up your lawn? We offer humane trapping methods to eradicate this problem. We also provide trenching methods if they have nested underneath your house, shed, or garage.
Professional Skunk Removal Services
At Accurate Pest Control, we are licensed by the State of New York. Our entire organization, including office personnel, are Certified NYS Nuisance Wildlife Control Officers. We go to great lengths to protect rescued or injured wildlife, working with wildlife rehabilitation specialists for necessary and suitable care.
We specialize in 24/7 emergency response for nuisance wildlife found inside or outside your property. All technicians are prepared to remove unwanted nuisance wildlife and provide recommendations for further eradication or exclusion work needed to rid the wildlife from the structure permanently.