We all want to avoid encountering the infamous skunk “stink bombs.” Skunks are usually harmless if they don’t feel threatened, but they can carry rabies and other diseases. They can also destroy lawns and gardens and spray you or your pets.
Nobody wants to live near a skunk. Therefore, it’s important to understand why a skunk has chosen to live on your property to learn how to get rid of it.
Skunks 101: All About Skunks
If you see or smell skunks on your property, you’ll want them gone as soon as possible. If you or a pet gets sprayed, a homemade mixture of dishwashing liquid, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide can help remove the scent.
Here are some frequently asked questions about skunks.
What Do Skunks Eat?
Skunks are omnivores and will eat nearly anything. Their preferred foods include berries, eggs, ground-nesting birds, worms, small rodents, and insects. About 70% of their diet consists of harmful pests, such as black widow spiders and scorpions.
Skunks also love to eat garbage and your pet’s food.
When Do Skunks Reproduce?
Worse than one skunk is a family of skunks. Skunks breed between February and March and give birth to around four to seven pups in early May. The average skunk gestation period is around 60 days.
Where Do Skunks Usually Hide?
If you live in a rural area, you may find skunks hiding in thick bushes, hollow logs, or sewer pipes. These critters also like to take up residence in empty or unfinished homes. They crawl underneath decks, porches, and crawl spaces in more populated areas. You might even find a skunk in your garage or basement.
How to Determine You Have Skunks
Some signs that you have skunks include:
- Cone-shaped holes: Skunks make these when digging for worms and grubs.
- Plant or crop damage: They feed on leaves, berries, corn, grapes, and chilis.
- Skunk droppings: Skunk scat is one to two inches long. It looks similar to cat poop and often includes undigested seeds, insects, fur, or feathers.
An effective way to check for skunks is to sprinkle flour over the area where you think they’re living. Then, look for prints. If you find any, you will want to seal up any foundation holes or openings they could use to enter.
How to Keep Skunks Away
Using these five techniques can help keep skunks away from your property:
1. Clear Out Possible Skunk Habitats
If you have bushes, shrubs, or other vegetation where skunks can hide, keep them trimmed back. Also, stack firewood or rocks neatly without any hiding areas.
Skunks make burrows themselves or use abandoned burrows from other wild animals. A pest control specialist can help you evict skunks from their hideouts.
2. Install Flashing Lights or Automatic Sprinklers
Flashing lights and automatic sprinklers are classic scare techniques to deter skunks. An unexpected burst of light or water can be enough to make them abandon your property. Of course, flashing lights can also annoy both you and your neighbors.
3. Remove Potential Food Sources
One of the best ways to keep skunks off your property is to take away any food source they may have found there.
Dispose of any appetizing trash lying around and use garbage locks or straps to keep skunks out of your garbage cans. Store pet food in secure containers, and only feed your pets as much as they will eat at one time.
Mesh fencing can help protect your garden, fruits, or yard from skunk destruction.
4. Use Skunk-Repellent Scents
Several scents deter skunks:
- Citrus scents: They do not like the smell of lemons, grapefruits, orange peels, etc.
- Mothballs: The harsh smell will deter skunks. Make sure to keep out of the reach of pets.
- Urine from predators: Fox urine is a common deterrent, but they also dislike dog urine.
5. Contact Your Local Pest Control Company
The best way to remove skunks from your property is to call a certified pest control expert to help with the job.
Romney Pest Control has been providing high-quality and effective commercial and residential pest control services in the San Antonio area for over ten years. Whether you have skunks, bugs, or other pests, we have the experience to help. Contact Romney Pest Control today to get help with your pest control needs.