Skunks are wild animals, but they are generally harmless. Known for their foul-smelling secretion, skunks can invade your garden or patio causing significant damage to both the ground and plantings. In North America, there are 8 species of which only 2 live in Canada; the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), the most widespread in the country and in second place the western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis). Fortunately, there are simple, foolproof methods to keep skunks away.
IS THE SKUNK DANGEROUS ?
Generally, the skunk is a solitary, peaceful and non-aggressive animal. However, in case of threat it can react by emitting a few grunts, hitting the ground with its front paws or hissing. If the threat persists, it begins to release a yellowish, oily liquid with a foul odor, hence its nickname “the stinking beast.
The skunk can expel 6 consecutive sprays. This musk projected by two anal glands can exceed 6 meters causing burning eyes, blindness and temporary nausea. The bad smell can be carried by the wind up to a kilometer!
Although 70% of its diet consists of insects and small pests, the invasion of skunks at homes and farms has adverse effects:
- They damage the lawn by burrowing, leaving conical holes comparable to the damage caused by raccoons and moles?
- Do they go through the garbage?
- They attack the hen houses to steal the eggs?
- Can they carry the rabies virus?
HOW TO DETECT THE PRESENCE OF THE SKUNK ?
An unpleasant odor is the most obvious sign in your garden or yard. However, this is not the only sign to confirm the presence of this small mammal, as the smell may be coming from a neighbor’s house or elsewhere.
In addition, we can see conical holes of 7 to 10 cm in diameter and 3 to 5 cm deep. We can also see small mounds of earth created during its burial. Black droppings between 4 and 8 cm in length containing portions of insects and seeds may also be an indication of skunk presence.
HOW TO REPEL SKUNKS ?
Whether you want to prevent this stinking beast from invading or scare it away, we offer the following tips:
- Plug all holes and accesses that provide a haven for skunks; you can use, for example, the chicken wire to accomplish the task. ?
- Also eliminate or insulate things that attract skunks like wood piles?
- Maintain your property regularly by treating it for grubs, grubs and any insects that may be a food source for skunks?
- Spray skunk burrows with a water jet while keeping a safe distance to avoid any offensive reaction from this animal. It is also recommended to use sprinklers to water your lawn. Does this equipment scare off pests?
- Clean the garbage cans to avoid odors that attract skunks. You must also close and protect them properly to prevent the intrusion of any pests?
- Pick up fallen fruit from fruit trees such as apples and walnuts
- Avoid accumulating piles of leaves and green waste, as they may contain seeds or other food.
- Install floodlights and motion detectors to scare away skunks. They are nocturnal animals and do not like light.
- Use an ultrasonic repellent
- Plant flowers that keep skunks and pests away, such as daffodils, fritillaries or hyacinths.
- Spray areas likely to be harbored by skunks with diluted vinegar. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water and spray your yard regularly. You can also apply the mixture to your garbage bags when you put them outside?
- Place human hair in skunk hiding places. This trick consists in blocking the access to the burrows?
GOOD TO KNOW : HOW TO GET RID OF SKUNK SMELL ?
Contrary to popular belief, tomato juice is not an effective solution to eliminate the stench of the stink bug.
ELIMINATE SKUNK ODOR ON CLOTHING
You can get rid of the bad odor that’s been lingering in clothes by washing them with a detergent and half a cup of baking soda. Repeat the wash if necessary, but be careful not to discolour your clothes.
ELIMINATE THE SMELL OF SKUNK IN THE AIR
To eliminate the odor of a skunk introduced into your home, it is recommended that you wash using bleach (one cup per 4.5 liters of water) and rinse immediately to prevent discoloration of walls and furniture. You are called to boil the vinegar to remove any stench in the air.
ELIMINATE THE SKUNK SMELL FROM YOUR BODY AND YOUR PET
Shower by soaping your skin with a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 liter of 3% hydrogen peroxide, a quarter cup of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of dish soap and water if needed) for a few minutes or until the foam disappears. Then continue your shower as usual.
For your pet, you can prepare this mixture: one liter of hydrogen peroxide, a quarter cup of baking soda and a spoon of liquid soap. Avoid the infiltration of this solution in the eyes and wash well the fur of your dog or kitty.
NEED HELP KEEPING SKUNKS AWAY?
As mentioned earlier, skunks can cause a significant nuisance if they find the right conditions to live in an area of your home. It is therefore preferable to deal with a company specialized in extermination to ensure a safe and effective intervention.