How Dangerous Are Skunks In Western Massachusetts?

Skunk in a garden.

Skunks are an animal that no one wants to have come across their path. While they might be cute in cartoons, in real life, everyone wants to avoid these creatures and their stench.

Their ability to spray a stinky substance known as skunk musk gives skunks quite a bad reputation. As well-known as they are for that trait, many people have a lot of questions about skunks and what to do if they get one on their Western Massachusetts property.

To help you protect your home or business from skunk problems, read this useful guide on how to identify skunks and keep them away from your property.

Skunks Identification

While some people assume that skunks are rodents, they are actually not. Instead, they are related to species such as polecats and weasels. Skunks are around 15-30 inches long, depending on their specific species.

They have long bodies, short legs, and claws they use to dig. While skunks are usually associated with black coloration and a striped white tail, some are more grey or brown and the patterns on their stripes can vary.

Are Skunks Dangerous?

Most people don’t want to deal with skunks because of the skunk's ability to spray. The smell of skunk musk can be overwhelming, disgusting, and extremely difficult to get rid of for a long period of time. Skunks develop this musk in a gland under their tails, and it can spray up to ten feet away.

However, the stench isn’t the only concern with skunks. In rare cases, skunk spray can lead to serious allergic reactions and even fatalities. Plus, skunks are also known to spread illnesses such as salmonella and distemper, and they can carry rabies as well as fleas and other parasitic insects.

Skunks can also be a problem when it comes to property damage. They are omnivores that eat all kinds of food items, and they will destroy plants and gardens as they dig holes looking for insects and grubs.

A Few Effective Skunk Prevention Tips

Because of the risks, skunks can bring to your Western Massachusetts property, it’s a good idea to take the time to reduce or eliminate the factors that attract these skunks. An added benefit to these steps is that many of them can also help prevent other kinds of pest wildlife from coming around.

Here are some of the best skunk prevention steps:

  • Make sure to keep tightly fitted lids on all outdoor and indoor trash cans.
  • Store any pet food inside in airtight containers and remove bird feeders from around the property.
  • Remove wood and rocks piles from your yard as skunks will sometimes make dens in these areas.
  • Make it more difficult for skunks to find their way indoors by filling up holes under decks or in the foundation.

If you've ever had a skunk spray in your yard, you know that it is well worth taking these steps ahead of time to reduce your chances of encountering a skunk on your property.

How To Remove Skunks

If you’ve already found skunks around your property, the easiest and safest way to remove them is with help from American Pest Solutions. While skunks aren’t generally aggressive, they will defend themselves, so trying to remove them on your own is when they are most likely to bite or attack.

Instead, let our trained technicians handle these animals. We have over 100 years of experience behind our name, so contact us today to get started and book an inspection.