Skunks are considered by many people to be absolutely gorgeous animals. But the fear of getting sprayed, plus the risk of them spreading rabies, is enough to make pretty much anyone want to get rid of skunks. Better still, you want to prevent them from making themselves at home on your property in the first place. Here are some of the methods of skunk control available today.
1. Commercial Skunk Repellants
These are tempting for so many reasons, not the least of which is their ease of use and application. The bad news is, they don’t tend to be very effective. So save your money. People have also tried using regular household ammonia, but this isn’t the greatest for the environment, has dubious effectiveness, and stinks when you apply it.
2. Manage Grubs and Other Lawn Insects
Skunks eat just about anything, including grubs and lawn insects. Some people have tried to discourage skunks from moving into their yard by limiting their possible food sources – in other words, aggressive control of lawn-damaging grubs and insects may provide more than just a gorgeous, healthy lawn. But this isn’t always enough, so is best considered something you could try with little downside, and a possible upside as far as skunk control goes (but no guarantees!)
3. Burrow Fumigants
In rural areas, burrow fumigants can be tried. The way these work is you light the cartridge and shove it into the skunk’s burrow, then seal off the entrance really well to prevent the toxic smoke from getting out. The skunk will likely be killed in this process. However, burrow fumigants generally should not be used in urban areas due to the risk of the gas getting into buildings, or catching fire. And besides that, do you really want to kill the skunk, when more humane methods are available?
4. Limit Potential Skunk Den Sites
Prevention is always best, so try to make your property as unattractive as possible to skunks. Trim your shrubs regularly to prevent them from becoming an overgrown skunk magnet. Close off all potential entrance spaces that allow access beneath decks, tool sheds, and your home. To close off these areas, use a strong hardware-type mesh with small openings – if installed properly, this will not only exclude skunks, but smaller pests such as rats and mice. If soil is underneath a potential entrance, the mesh should be buried 15 cm underground to prevent any skunks from digging beneath it. Be sure to attach the mesh very tightly so it can’t be easily removed by a persistent skunk.
5. Reduce Potential Skunk Food Sources
Reduce possible food sources such as fallen fruit (remove them frequently). Ensure garbage can lids are tight-fitting, so skunks won’t see your garbage as an evening buffet dinner. Pet food should never be left outside at night, since skunks will gobble it up and keep coming back for more.
What to Do If You Need to Get Rid of a Skunk
If the various deterrents and control methods above weren’t implemented in time, and a skunk has already moved in, then your only option is the evict it. There are several options available for this.
You can block off all entrances to its den but one, then seal off the one remaining exit after the skunk has left.
Rather than leaving one entrance unblocked completely, you could instead install a one-way door – the skunk can leave, but won’t be able to get back in.
If you’re thinking about trapping and relocating skunks, or any wildlife for that matter, please inform yourself of local regulations first as there are laws in place relating to relocation of wildlife.
Of course you can choose the simple, stress-free method: just call a professional. Contact your local Halton Wildlife removal experts – their expert skunk removal technicians can easily get rid of any skunks from your property, while you sit back and relax. In the Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Waterdown areas, a free quote and fast service is just a call away.