Skunk Removal and Control Methods
Skunks can be a nuisance in a variety of ways. Skunks will raid poultry houses, grub in yards, live under decks or houses. Skunks also enter houses or crawl spaces and will occasionally spray under or in buildings causing a lengthy skunk odor problem.
Skunks Control is typically by trapping them and you will find a variety of skunk traps and skunk control products. Grubbing skunks damage can be reduced by using proper insect control.
Skunk Damage and Damage Identification
Skunks become a nuisance when their burrowing and feeding habits conflict with humans. They may burrow under porches or buildings by entering foundation openings. Garbage or refuse left outside may be disturbed by skunks. Skunks may damage beehives by attempting to feed on bees. Occasionally, they feed on corn, eating only the lower ears. If the cornstalk is knocked over, however, raccoons are more likely the cause of damage. Damage to the upper ears of corn is indicative of birds, deer, or squirrels. Skunks dig holes in lawns, golf courses, and gardens to search for insect grubs found in the soil. Digging normally appears as small, 3- to 4-inch (7- to 10-cm) cone-shaped holes or patches of upturned earth. Several other animals, including domestic dogs, also dig in lawns.
Skunks occasionally kill poultry and eat eggs. They normally do not climb fences to get poultry. By contrast, rats, weasels, mink, and raccoons regularly climb fences. If skunks gain access, they will normally feed on the eggs and occasionally kill one or two fowl. Eggs usually are opened on one end with the ended crushed inward. Weasels, mink, dogs, and raccoons usually kill several chickens or ducks at a time. Dogs will often severely mutilate poultry. Tracks may be used to identify the animal causing damage. Both the hind and forefeet of skunks have five toes. In some cases, the fifth toe may not be obvious. Claw marks are usually visible, but the heels of the forefeet usually are not. The hindfeet tracks are approximately 21/2 inches long (6.3 cm). Skunk droppings can often be identified by the undigested insect parts they contain. Droppings are 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 13 mm) in diameter and 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) long.
Odor is not always a reliable indicator of the presence or absence of skunks. Sometimes dogs, cats, and other animals that have been sprayed by skunks move under houses and make owners mistakenly think skunks are present.
Rabies may be carried by skunks on occasion. Skunks are the primary carrier of rabies in the Midwest. When rabies outbreaks occur, the ease with which rabid animals can be contacted increases. Therefore, rabid skunks are prime vectors for the spread of the virus. Avoid overly aggressive skunks that approach without hesitation. Any skunk showing abnormal behavior, such as daytime activity, may be rabid and should be treated with caution. Report suspicious behavior to local animal control authorities.
Removing skunks from your premises can be very difficult for an untrained person. To remove a skunk from the premises cover trap with a blanket to remove.
For removing odors go to repellents for “skunk buster” and “fire d”
Skunk General Biology, Reproduction, and Behavior
Adult skunks begin breeding in late February. Yearling females (born in the preceding year) mate in late March. Gestation usually lasts 7 to 10 weeks. Older females bear young during the first part of May, while yearling females bear young in early June. There is usually only 1 litter annually. Litters commonly consist of 4 to 6 young, but may have from 2 to 16. Younger or smaller females have smaller litters than older or larger females. The young stay with the female until fall. Both sexes mature by the following spring. The age potential for a skunk is about 10 years, but few live beyond 3 years in the wild.
The normal home range of the skunk is 1/2 to 2 miles (2 to 5 km) in diameter. During the breeding season, a male may travel 4 to 5 miles (6.4 to 8 km) each night.
Skunks are dormant for about a month during the coldest part of winter. They may den together in winter for warmth, but generally are not social. They are nocturnal in habit, rather slow-moving and deliberate, and have great confidence in defending themselves against other animals.