There's no doubt about it, having skunks on your property stinks. And if you aren't careful, having skunks on your property could make everything (and everyone) on your property stink! Even if you are not the one who gets sprayed, skunk spray, when it is up close and personal, will cling to clothing, rugs, curtains, and anything else it gets close to. Today we're going to focus on some important things every homeowner should know about these potentially-stinky animals.
- Skunks Are Stripey — There are many characteristics that give away the presence of a skunk. The way they wobble low to the ground for one. But the best way to identify a skunk is by its stripes. Most skunks are black with white stripes, however, some skunks are brown or grey and some are even cream-colored. But, they all have stripes. In fact, they are born with them. So you don't have to worry about stripeless baby skunks catching you by surprise in your backyard. You do, however, have to worry about spotted skunks (broken stripes that look like spots). Be careful.
- Skunks Are Sneaky — Since skunks are nocturnal, meaning that they usually only come out at night, it is common that a single skunk or a whole family of them can be nesting somewhere on a property without anyone knowing it. These sneaky critters are known to make nests under sheds, underneath porches, or anywhere else they can crawl in and find shelter. If there is a dryer vent providing heat, that will give skunks even more reason to want to stick around. Keep this in mind if you have a dryer exhaust pipe that pumps nice warm air out underneath your deck or porch.
- Skunks Can Be Sickly — Sometimes skunks can be infected with the rabies virus and pose a serious threat to humans and other animals. If a skunk is infected with rabies, it may exhibit erratic behaviors such as activity during the day, listlessness, aggressiveness, stumbling, muscle tremors, paralysis, excessive salivation and vocalizing. (Skunks usually are very docile and don't make any kind of vocal noises.) They may also have no fear of humans and appear very friendly. It is important to note that a skunk can be carrying the rabies virus and not show any symptoms or signs for many weeks. Always be cautious around skunks and other wild animals. Rabies is deadly to humans when not treated early.
- Skunks Are Savvy — When it comes to finding food sources, skunks are intelligent omnivores. They eat a variety of foods including insects, larvae, earthworms, grubs, rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles, eggs, berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi and nuts. They'll also eat the foods we eat and are known to knock over garbage cans to get to it, potentially strewing garbage all over your lawn. This not only makes a big mess, but it will attract other pests to your property as well. Make sure your cans have tight-fitting lids and that they aren't easy to knock over.
- Skunks Are Stinky — The smell of skunk spray is hard to describe. Imagine smelling the worst thing ever and you'll be pretty close to what skunk spray smells like. Skunk spray is so potent, it can work its way up through an entire home, all the way up to the attic from a single dog, accidentally sprayed by a skunk and unwisely placed in the basement. True story. It wasn't pleasant.
If you're seeing, or smelling, skunks in your yard or under a structure on your property, reach out to the wildlife control experts at American Pest Solutions and find out if you're in our Massachusetts or Connecticut service area. We specialize in the removal of nuisance wildlife, offering humane services for the capture and removal of skunks. This is a delicate matter. It is wise to get a licensed and experienced wildlife control specialist to take care of it properly. Keep in mind that there are some limitations to where we can service, due to long drive times and the need for repeat visits; we call this windshield time. When you reach out to us we'll let you know if we're able to provide animal trapping and exclusion services in your area.
Having a skunk on your property can stink. We can help it stink less.