Skunks – like raccoons, stray dogs, and other small, clever mammals – love garbage cans and will seek out properties with poor or vulnerable sanitation. You can keep a chew-proof trash can skunk free by placing it in a garbage can rack or latching it to something to prevent it from getting knocked down. If you live in skunk habitat, a pet door for dogs or cats is not a good idea. If the skunks discover it, they will use it to come into your home in search of food. Additionally, wild skunks are known to be susceptible to rabies, which is easily transmitted.

What kind of animal is a skunk

Skunks are shy, intelligent and adorable creatures but not when they spray. Adult skunks grow to about 22-30 inches and 8-12 pounds. Skunks are primarily nocturnal. All skunks are omnivores, and will feed on almost anything, including small rodents, worms, insects, grubs, carrion, fruit, garbage, and pet food left outdoors. Because of the powerful odor, and fear of being sprayed it may be difficult for some people to tolerate smelly creatures living under a deck or old shed. However, skunks need such shelter when they are most vulnerable. These nocturnal forages can dig holes on your property while looking for food. If you have odor, lawn damage and upturned plants caused by skunks near the house, chances are you’d like to keep the skunks away. The following information is going to become your helping hand in finding the best methods to remove skunks. Wild skunks are timid creatures, but will bite, scratch, or spray when provoked. This raises the risk of Leptospirosis, bacteria found in stagnant water. Your pets are also at risk of distemper if bitten.

What do skunks seek on your property

Skunks don’t have a huge feeding range – if one is hanging about your property there is a good chance its finding food there. Keep pet food, animal feed, and bird seed in chew-proof containers and safely housed at night. Skunks also love lazy gardeners – fallen fruits, nuts, or veggies are like chum in the water. And if you’re finding holes and dig marks on your lawn, the skunks are after one of their favorite foods: grubs and other subterranean insects. Are you thinking that you may have skunks visiting your yard quite frequently and turning it into a mess? Well, there’s a few ways that you can tell and the most obvious one is the smell. A skunk has an intense smell unlike anything you’ve ever smelled before. People can often detect a single road killed skunk for miles. No homeowner appreciates this scent under their deck.

How to keep skunks away

Even if you have driven a skunk from under structures on your property, they may still be entering your yard and causing problems. Further precautions are necessary to keep your residence skunk-free. this may be done through one or more of the following methods:

1) Predator urine – Skunk deterrents are sold commercially and most of them are based on fox and dog urine as they are major predators of the skunk. These products come in liquid or granule form and may require mixing with other ingredients. However, these predator urine based products do not exactly have a great track record in repelling skunk. If you can source it, straight dog urine has a slightly better chance.

2) Pepper sprays – These sprays are believed to deter skunk and other wildlife. Spray them on trees and other areas where you’ve sighted the traces of a skunk.

3) Use of Ammonia – Ammonia is reputed to work in repelling most wildlife due to its pungent smell. Placed old rags dipped in ammonia under your deck or porch to keep skunks out. Ammonia is particularly distressing to the eyes and nose of wildlife and has a better chance at being effective when applied in an enclosed space.
4) Citrus peels – Have natural repellent qualities. Scatter orange or lemon peels around your property and under your deck or porch.

5) Lights – Install bright lights in your yard. This will discourage the skunk as it is nocturnal by nature, but certainly is not a foolproof way to keep away skunks.

6) Motion activated sprinklers – These are placed out in the yard and working with a motion sensor, would spray any animal that passes with water. This is meant to startle them into running away.

What does skunk look like?

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Skunks are easy to recognize with their bold black and white coloring. While most animals prefer camouflage, a skunk’s distinctive coloration serves as a warning of its potent attack. Using special glands below the tail, skunks can spray their powerful scent up to 15 feet. This scent burns an attacker’s eyes, and causes temporary blindness. Of course, the stench is too much for most animals to bear, and serves as a strong warning against future attacks.

In all, the only way to really keep the skunk out of your property is to remove all traces of food and to proof your building by blocking all possible entry points as well as shelter options for the skunk. While skunks are generally harmless creatures, it’s best not to get too close to them. You risk getting a dose of their noxious spray, or worse, a bite from skunk carrying rabies. Skunks make themselves at home in many environments, including in and around people’s homes. If you’ve got these unwelcome guests in your yard and you’d like to keep them out without risking harm to your pets, change the environment to make it less comfortable and less accessible for skunks. They’re more likely to go elsewhere than to visit a yard that is hard to get to and has no food, leaving the environment safe for your pets and skunk-free.

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