Skunks are one of the most notorious pests because of their signature defence mechanism – their stinky scent. However, an infamous odour isn’t the only thing that sets these black and white critters apart from other neighbourhood nuisances. Skunks can also carry rabies and transmit diseases to humans and pets alike. They are also known for digging up yards and gardens to set up a home for themselves. Here’s everything you need to know about skunks and how to get them off of your property and ensure they stay off of your property.
Four Significant Signs of a Skunk Problem
As aforementioned, skunks are well known for their smell. However, just because you can smell their spray doesn’t necessarily mean a skunk is near. The animal’s spray can spread within a three-meter radius of where it occurs. You should only be concerned if you are consistently smelling a skunk’s spray.
- Paw Prints & Feces
Skunks have similar paw prints to cats, but they have longer claw and five toes as opposed to four toes. Skunk’s droppings are also similar to that of a cat. You can tell them apart because skunk feces will likely have seeds, feathers, berries or insects in them.
- Holes in the Ground
Look for seven centimetres to ten centimetres half-moon shaped holes in the ground if you suspect you have a skunk invasion.
Obviously, actually seeing a skunk is a sure-fire sign that you have a skunk invasion. An extra cause for concern is if you see a skunk during the day, this could mean it has rabies.
Like most animals, skunks are looking for shelter, water and food. Their favourite foods are:
- Fruit like berries
- Worms and other insects
Fallen food, compost, pet food left outside for birds, cats and dogs are hugely attractive for skunks.
As for shelter, skunks like to make homes in dark, warm spaces like:
- Crawl spaces
- Under decks and porches
Other things to note about skunks are that they don’t hibernate during the colder months. In January and February, they mate and female skunks will give birth to about four to six baby skunks in April or May. This period is the prime time for skunks to look for a nest.
Health and Safety Issues with Skunks
A major issue with skunks is the fact that they don’t often show symptoms of diseases they carry. They can transfer these diseases to pets or humans through bites or by ingesting feces. Skunks typically don’t bite unless they are threatened. Curious children or pets have a higher chance of getting bitten or sprayed. If you see a skunk, don’t make any sudden movements. Skunks most commonly carry and transmit:
- Canine Distemper
- Canine Hepatitis
Skunks can additionally carry:
Luckily, skunk’s spray doesn’t have any serious health risks; it just stinks. It’s important to be cautious because it can burn a child’s or pet’s eyes or cause temporary blindness.
Signs a Skunk Has Rabies
The most major health and safety issue with skunks is they are transmitters of rabies. Please note these symptoms of rabies in skunks and remember they may not always show them:
- Biting own body parts
- Not noticing sounds
- Unable to walk
- Being oblivious or fearless
- Being excitable or aggressive
- Making loud or bizarre sounds
- Foaming at the mouth
- Sightings during the day
Skunk Prevention Tips
We recommend that you avoid skunks by:
- Fix leaky outdoor water sources
- Ensuring pet food, seeds and food waste are securely and adequately thrown away
- Secure garbage disposal bins with bungee cords or weights
- Locking and securing pet doors at night
Pestend Mississauga does not take any risks when dealing with skunks. We will safely remove all of them from your property and return them safely back to the wild. Our method includes seeking common hiding spots for skunks such as under porches, sheds and woodpiles, and making them uninhabitable for the skunk family. Once we remove all skunks from your property and return them to the wild, we will proof all areas around your property that can be a potential skunk home by sealing entrances and creating an underground barrier to ensure they can’t dig their way in.
Pestend Pest Control Mississauga has been offering professional residential and commercial skunk control services in Mississauga for over a decade. Our experienced pest control technicians get rid of skunks, rodents and other pests at the best possible price with a money-back guarantee. Contact us today to end your skunk infestation problems for good!