Facts about Skunks in New England
Skunks thrive in urban and suburban environments across North America. They are nocturnal omnivores and their diet mostly consists of fish, nuts, mice, insects, snakes and fruit. They are also known as scavengers and will eat whatever they can find when their natural food supplies won’t meet their needs.
Skunks are some of the easiest pests to recognize, and are often smelt long before they are seen. They have short and muscled legs and claws for digging. Though most are black and white, their coats come in a variety of browns, greys, even cream but they all have stripes. Some skunks are bolder than others and many have become desensitized to humans. Skunks have the ability to wreak havoc on private properties. They can also carry and spread various diseases through parasites in their thick fur.
A skunk is about the same size as a house cat, but with shorter legs. They are recognizable by their black fur and white stripe. They tend to breed just as the snow melts in early spring in temperate regions such as the New England area. Our pest control professionals are highly trained in dealing with these cute but noxious critters and can help you secure your property so that they do not want to return.
Protecting Property and People from Skunks
Iconic for their smell, skunks also can cause property damage through tearing up lawns and creating dens under porches. They have been known to raid chicken coops on occasion for eggs and smaller chickens. They can also have rabies which if transmitted through a bite can cause death in humans. If one is bit by a skunk it is important to get checked out and possibly vaccinated as an emergency precaution. It is important never to approach wild animals.
How to Remove the Smell of Skunk
There is no easy escape from the powerful smell of a skunk. It is an oily liquid produced in glands under the tail. Pets are often the cause of a skunk spray so keep them outside for as long as possible while you are washing them with tomato juice and vinegar or a hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap combination. Soak them down with either solution, massage into their fur and leave. The hydrogen peroxide solution will begin to bubble when ready for rinsing. The tomato juice and vinegar need time for their acids to break down the scent molecules. If the smell sticks, there are many pet grooming options for skunk spray removal.
You might hear skunks clicking, hissing, grunting, growling, purring, or screeching, especially when they are younger. Skunks also make tracks in dirt or mud that have five toes and long front nails. If they’ve sprayed recently, you’ll smell a foul, nauseating odor. When they are feeding, they will leave funnel-shaped holes in lawns. If skunks get inside a chicken coop, they will kill only one or two birds. You might find skunk droppings that include body parts of insects, as well as fur and seeds.
How to Prevent Skunk Activity
The top reason skunks and people get in each other’s way is garbage. If you suspect a skunk problem it is best to take trash out in the morning. Skunks will be unable to raid it at night that way. It is important that all trash containers have lids.
Skunks enjoy eating rodents so treating and sealing up your compound will go a long way in prevention. If you choose to seal up areas such as under a porch with wire mesh, make sure you place the device deep enough in the dirt to discourage digging.
Professional South Shore Skunk Removal
At South Shore IPM our experienced pest removal professionals are highly trained to find and treat for skunks. We use our extensive knowledge of pests in the region to find the best solutions for your property. Our exterminators understand that every property we treat deserves unique considerations that can play a big part in keeping skunks out for good. Get in touch with South Shore IPM to schedule a pest inspection today.