Skunks may be cute when you spot them waddling around at a distance. Once they get up close and personal, though, they’re not so appealing. These fluffy, dichromatic creatures are well known for their noxious defense mechanisms, but that’s not the least of their downsides. They often carry diseases, and they’re notorious for knocking over trash cans and scattering garbage in search of food. In turn, this could make your property an attractive home for other pests and cause any number of additional problems.
Keeping the Skunks in Check
If you see a skunk on your property, your first course of action should be contacting local Animal Control Specialists for assistance. They have the tools and training to properly handle the situation. In the meantime, you can take certain steps to protect your family, pets, and property from these pesky, potentially dangerous critters.
In the Short-Term Sense
As nocturnal animals, skunks do most of their wandering, foraging, and demolition work at night. Unfortunately, that’s when they’re the most difficult to spot. Simply taking out the trash or sending your dog out to potty after dark could lead to a regrettable turn of events. Skunks don’t like bright lights, so shining a flashlight in their general direction or installing motion sensor lights around your property could keep them away until you’re able to put additional safety measures in place.
Five Steps to Keep Skunks Away
Using bright lights to keep skunks out of your way is only a band-aid fix at best. Eventually, they may become immune to the illumination and continue their advancements into your territory. Further measures are required to create a more permanent solution.
1) Remove Potential Food Sources
In the wild, skunks feast on insects, berries, mushrooms, small lizards, and the like. As the lines between nature and suburbia become more blurred, though, their palates are growing increasingly complex. Be sure to keep bird and squirrel feeders out of their reach, and keep pet food inside.
2) Safeguard the Garbage
Skunks are perfectly willing to dine on your leftovers. If this means rooting through your trash, so be it. Keep your trash in secure bins with tight-fitting lids to prevent skunks from getting into it and redistributing it across your yard.
3) Eliminate Other Infestations
If you already have an insect infestation or rodent invasion, this is a problem in its own right. It’s also an open invitation for skunks to move in on you. Those pests are part of their normal diets, so getting rid of skunks means eliminating intruders that might make tasty snacks for them.
4) Take Away Their Hiding Places
Skunks live their lives at night and sleep during the day. Having ample places for them to hide makes invasions more likely. Remove any wood piles, yard debris, and other items that could give skunks added security while the sun is out.
5) Seal Them Out
Take a close look at your home and property to find any places where skunks may be getting in. These could include damaged crawlspace vents, broken fencing, and missing underpinning to name a few. Seal up any gaps that could allow for easy entry.
Prevention is generally the best medicine, so if you’re concerned about skunks, consider taking these steps to keep an invasion from occurring to begin with. In the event skunks have already encroached on your property, these measures will help keep them at bay in the future. Keep in mind, seeking professional intervention could work out in your favor as well.