Although skunks rarely attack pets or humans, they are incredibly smelly. They are also known to carry the rabies virus. Besides, if they infest your property, the skunks make a mess of farms and yards as they dig cone-shaped holes and strew garbage all over in search of food.
The most important part of how to get rid of skunks is to do it as humanely as possible. Just because they are uninvited guests in your home doesn’t mean you have to be cruel towards them. To get rid of skunks humanely, you need a combination of the best pest control services and strategies.
Below are seven strategies for how to get rid of skunks as humanely as possible.
1. Trapping and removing the skunks
This is the most effective strategy for how to get rid of skunks. The challenge, however, is the possibility of getting sprayed with the animal’s pungent excretions. It’s nonetheless possible to remove the skunk without getting sprayed.
There are medium and large cages made of steel you can use to trap skunks. For bait, use fish, dry cat food, marshmallows, peanut butter, or any other type of food with a strong smell.
As they rush in to enjoy a meal, the spring-loaded cage shuts the door immediately after the skunk is securely inside. If you have a raccoon trap, you can use it to catch a skunk too. You can also design one yourself.
Once the skunk is trapped inside the cage, take it away from your home, but not too far as to reduce its risk of survival. It should be familiar with the area. A wooded area is most ideal. Before you release it into the woods, be careful to avoid agitating the skunk.
Always follow the local wildlife regulations before trapping and relocating a skunk. It may be best to outsource this task to an animal removal company.
2. Skunk repellents
There are commercially available repellants that can help you get rid of skunks. These include predator urine-based solutions that can be purchased from local hardware stores.
Most of these chemical solutions use dog and fox urine to keep skunks away, the two main predators of the pesky skunk. The solutions can be purchased in granule or liquid form. They are mixed with other ingredients.
Other repellents you could try to keep skunks away include pepper spray, motion-detector sprays, bright lights, ammonia, and orange peels.
3. Install exclusion barriers
To keep skunks from establishing homes under your porch or in your shed, erect exclusion barriers around your home and other structures where skunks are likely to make homes. These barriers are generally humane methods of how to get rid of skunks without hurting them.
4. Removal of food sources
Food attracts animals to private property. Once you’ve gotten rid of the skunk on your property, you’ll want to ensure they don’t get lured back by the smell of food.
Make sure pet food is kept indoors. Secure garbage cans if they must stay outside. Preferably, trash bins should be stored indoors at night to avoid attracting skunks.
Get rid of fallen fruit, especially crab apples, nuts, and berries, among others. Pick them immediately once they ripen and rake your yard regularly.
5. Habitat modification
Since they don’t make their own shelter, skunks use dens abandoned by other animals. It’s therefore essential to inspect your home and seal all burrows and holes where they could make a home. Also, check decks, porches, sheds, and under raised structures and foundations.
Get rid of brush piles and use fencing, plywood, or gravel to block all entrance points and holes where skunks might sneak through. Poultry houses and barns should also be skunk-proof. These measures will ring-fence your property from a skunk invasion.
6. Professional pest control
A professional understands the best ways on how to get rid of skunks. They know which approach to take based on the dangers posed by the skunks, where they’re living, whether there are babies on your property, and myriad other factors. For instance, if they suspect a skunk is injured, they might recommend calling a wildlife rescue team to take away and treat the animal rather than trapping and relocating it.
Just call them: they’ll know what to do. They’ll come to your property, assess the situation and make the right decision.
7. Call animal rescue
If you sight a skunk during the day (which is extremely rare), this could be an indication it’s either hungry or rabid! Be on the lookout for evidence of disorientation, limb weakness, circling movements, and unusual tameness or boldness.
If you notice any of these behaviours, don’t get rid of the skunk yourself. Immediately alert the local wildlife rescue centre for assistance.
Skunks are easy to spot. Their white and black furs make this possible. Getting rid of them as humanely as possible is critical; otherwise, you’ll be slapped with animal cruelty charges. You can get rid of them yourself, or, better still, get a professional to get them off your property.