From August to October, Skunk season seems to be at its highest peak as the skunk babies are all grown up. Driving on the roads, the smell of skunk seems to be everywhere in the early evening. Skunks, which are a curious critter, seem to get braver during these months and will wander into urban areas looking for food.
Skunks will typically find food in your garden, or food left out for your pet. If there is plenty of food or water around your house, skunks might just make a home under your porch, shed, decks, or nearby shrubbery. From May to June, skunks normally give birth to their young and thus will often find shelter near your property.
Skunks are omnivorous and eat bird eggs, bee hives, insects and wreck lawns as they dig holes looking for grubs.
How To Get Rid of Skunks
The best way to remove skunks from underneath your porch or shed is to call Any Pest. If the skunk has babies, we will trap the entire family and relocate them. We will also install one way doors so the skunk can leave the area, but can not get it. Finally we will seal off the area, to ensure the skunks are unable to move back in. It’s best to call Any Pest as we are insured, and we follow all Ontario practices for dealing with skunks. Having us remove your skunks guarantees that you won’t get sprayed, nor come into contact with deadly viruses like Rabies.
Skunks really have no natural predators. The only population control they have are diseases, cars and people. Skunks are also pretty docile, they typically don’t want to spray you, and will give you ample warning by stomping their feet first.
Tips to keep Skunks away
- Never feed skunks. Making food easily accessible will only aid in bringing more skunks to your property.
- Bring your dog food dish in at night. When I was a kid, for the longest time, my uncle’s dog in Cambridge was being sprayed year after year. It wasn’t until we suggested bringing in the dog food bowl in the evening as the skunks were finishing up the leftovers the family pet had left for later. The dog, who was territorial of his food dish, would zip after the skunk every time he saw the skunk eating his dinner.
- Keep deep window wells covered. Unlike squirrels and raccoons, skunks are not great climbers. Curious skunks can easily fall into window wells where they will get stuck. This happened on occasion at a golf course I worked at. To get the skunk out, we made a ramp out of a piece of wood for the skunk to climb up. Then we kept our distance and waited for the little guy to get out.
- Keep your garbage indoors at night. Skunks are attracted to food, and if you have food scraps in your garbage bag, they are going to seek it out. Keep your garbage inside, or locked in a shed.
What do I do if I’m sprayed by a Skunk?
While it’s rare, it’s easier to be sprayed by a skunk then you think. Skunks will often spray you when they are surprised, and this can happen late at night (particularly in late summer or early fall) if you out walking the dog. It happened to me when my dog spotted a skunk in a drain pipe that was embedded in a ditch. My dog scared the skunk so bad, it sprayed us both, fortunately I turned my back quick enough so my clothing got the worst of it. However, my dog was not so lucky. Fortunately all I had to do was toss my clothing (don’t even bother washing them, the stink of skunk will last forever).
If you have stopped smelling skunks in your neighbourhood during the summer and fall, you might have coyotes living about. Coyotes will chase after and eat skunks. After two years, Coyotes will eventually move to a new territory.
For my dog I used a neighbourhood remedy (that all the dog walkers in Ancaster seem to know, especially those who live by Spring Valley Arena.) We later found out the remedy itself was taken from a 1995 August issue of Popular Science. Use your own discretion if you use this recipe.
In a plastic bucket, mix well the following ingredients:1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide1/4 cup of baking soda1 to 2 teaspoons liquid soapNotes:
Wash pet promptly and thoroughly, work the solution deep into the fur and leave the solution on about 5 minutes or until the odor is gone. Some heavily oiled areas may require a “rinse and repeat” washing.Be careful with this solution around your dog’s face. Skunks usually aim for your pets face, but this solution could cause damage to their eyes, so it’s best to avoid the area completely.
After treatment, thoroughly rinse your pet with warm tap water.Pour the spent solution down the drain with running water, to avoid damage to your pipes. Don’t mix or store this solution in a closed bottle or sprayer, as the mixture will build pressure which may cause the container to burst.
City of Hamilton and Rabies (http://www.hamilton.ca/HealthandSocialServices/PublicHealth/InfectiousDiseases/WorldRabiesDay)
City of Guelph and Skunks (http://guelph.ca/living/pets-and-animals/city-wildlife/skunks/)