Our experts share some tips on skunk deterrents and getting rid of skunks

Is there a skunk lurking around your house? It’s wise to take the threat of a bad smell seriously, and act quickly. Here are some tips from the Elite Pest Control team to help you get rid of the smelly menace and set up a few skunk deterrents so the problem doesn’t come back.

The eating habits of skunks

Skunks are omnivorous animals that are active mainly at night. That’s why we typically only see them towards the end of the day. Their glossy black coats with the characteristic double white stripes are quite distinctive, even when it’s dark out.

If you live in the suburbs, without skunk control, you might even get a surprise visit from a neighbourhood skunk on a summer evening, as you enjoy a quiet campfire in the backyard. That’s because it’s wandering in search of its favourite foods:

  • Flowers and garden vegetables
  • Insects and grubs
  • Household waste
  • Mice
  • Shrews
  • Young rabbits
  • Eggs

Even if you don’t see a skunk ranging around your property, you’re bound to notice its smell and a few 10 cm-deep holes on your lawn the next morning. Why? Skunks like to linger and munch on the grubs that they can dig out of your turf. If it happens frequently, doing an anti-grub treatment might help you get rid of skunks; as they will become discouraged and go looking for food elsewhere.

Unfortunately, getting rid of these pests is not always that easy. Sometimes a skunk will decide to settle under your porch or around your home. Using its long claws, it will dig a burrow under a sturdy structure the likes of which can be found around most homes:

  • Under the balcony
  • Under the garden shed
  • Under the porch
  • In a crawlspace

If you don’t flush out the creature, it might settle in for the long term and hibernate there. Towards the end of February or beginning of March, the female skunk will mate in her burrow (the male won’t be far away). This is also where she’ll raise her young. With 4 to 6 babies, you could end up with a large family of skunks and a lot of worry on your hands.

Store-bought animal repellents can help keep them away, but these products aren’t always the most successful skunk control measure. Call a skunk exterminator for discreet and reliable results.

The risks associated with the presence of skunks in your home

The fear factor is what drives our clients to contact us. No one wants to face down a skunk and risk getting sprayed. Not only is the skunk’s yellow, sticky spray nauseating, but it’s a real irritant to the eyes. The smell permeates everything—even skin—for several days.

Although it’s unpleasant for a human or a pet to be a spray target, the greatest risk of being in proximity to a skunk comes from rabies. It could be carrying the rabies virus, which can be fatal for both humans and animals.

If you see a skunk on your property, stay vigilant. Try to walk away quietly and bring your pets into the house.

If the skunk is preparing to “attack” you, it will give you some warning signs:

  • Grunts and whistles
  • Stomping or pawing the ground
  • Erect tail
  • Rounded, arched back

The final assault will, of course, be the spray that it projects from its anal glands. Beware: it can reach up to 3 metres away.

What to do if you’ve been sprayed by a skunk

If you weren’t lucky enough to escape an attack, you’ll find no shortage of home remedies on the Internet. Here’s the most effective one we’ve come across:

Recipe for getting rid of skunk smell

–     1 litre of hydrogen peroxide
–     ¼ cup of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
–     1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid soap

Mix ingredients well and wash all affected parts with this solution.

You can also use this mixture to clean your pet. If possible, wash it outdoors, as the smell will linger in your house for a long time. You can also purchase from a veterinarian a cleansing soap that is formulated to neutralize strong odours.

Skunk removal by a wildlife control company

Calling in a skunk exterminator is often the easiest way to get rid of skunks. As specialists in pest control, we are used to interacting with wild animals.

Our technicians have been trained to set up a skunk cage safely. Using bait, we attract the skunk to the cage. Once the animal has been captured, we release it into a natural environment far from your home. The entire process is carried out without hurting the animal.

If your deterrents haven’t been effective, please call us. It will be our pleasure to remove the problem animals so you can enjoy your yard in peace.

Preventive measures

Prevention is better than having to come up with a cure, so don’t wait until you’re already in combat with a skunk to implement a few preventive skunk control measures:

  • Never leave food outside
  • Make sure your garbage cans are closed properly
  • Pick fruits and vegetables from the garden as soon as they’re ripe
  • Rake up leaves that have fallen on the lawn; they harbour insects and grubs
  • Install a motion detector light outside your house
  • Close off gaps under the shed and porch with wire mesh buried at least 30 cm underground.

These tips will not only help you keep skunks away, but also other unwanted wildlife, such as raccoons and groundhogs as well.