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SKUNKS


    Characteristics

Striped SkunkThe striped skunk is easily identified by the white stripe that runs from its head to its tail. Its stripes start with a triangle at the head and break into two stripes down its back. The stripes usually meet again and form one stripe at the base of their tail. Their tails are usually a mixture of white and black fur. Each striped skunk has a unique stripe pattern.

The striped skunk is about the same size as a house cat. It has a small triangular head and little ears. Its legs are short with webbed toes and claws the striped skunk uses for digging and looking for food.

    Range
The striped skunk is only found in North America. Its range runs from central Canada to northern Mexico.

    Habitat
The striped skunk tends to live in open areas with a mix of habitats like woods and grasslands or meadows. It is usually never further than two miles from water.
    Diet

The striped skunk is omnivorous, it eats both meat and plants. Its diet includes insects, small mammals, fish, crustaceans, fruits, nuts, leaves, grasses and carrion (dead animals). What a skunk eats often depends on what it can find and the time of year.

    Life Cycle

Striped SkunkStriped skunks mate from mid-February to mid-March. The babies are born about two months later. An average skunk litter has five to six babies. Skunk babies are blind and deaf when they are born. They will nurse in the den for about a month and a half. After they leave the den they may stay with their mother for up to a year.

    Behavior

Striped SkunkWith their short, stubby legs, it isn't easy for a skunk to outrun a predator. The striped skunk has developed a unique defense system. When a skunk is  threatened, it first tries to run away from the predator. If that doesn't work, it tries to frighten the predator by arching its back, raising its tail and turning its back on the predator. It may also stomp its feet. If this doesn't work, as a last resort, the skunk will spray the animal with a strong-smelling fluid. The fluid really stinks and it can also sting the eyes of the predator. This gives the skunk time to get away! A skunk can spray as far as twelve feet!

The skunk is primarily nocturnal. It sleeps in its burrow during the day and hunts at night. It usually doesn't dig its own burrow. It looks for an abandoned burrow or finds a natural hollow under a tree or building.

SKUNK SPRAY INFORMATION
 

Skunks use a highly odoriferous secretion to deter predation: A yellow oil composed of thiols and thioacetate derivatives of these thiols. This secretion is stored in two walnut sized glands with openings in the anus. When alarmed or attacked, a skunk can direct this spray several feet. At high concentrations the secretion causes nausea and retching and will act like tear gas if the liquid gets in the eyes. At lower concentrations it has a very foul odor. The human nose can detect skunk spray thiols at about 10 parts per billion.

 

To neutralize or deodorize skunk spray, the chemicals in the secretion must be changed to a different type of molecule. Tomato juice does not work (see below for an explanation).

For pets that have been sprayed, bathe the animal in a mixture of 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (from drug store), 1/4 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and a teaspoon of liquid detergent. After 5 minutes rinse the animal with water. Repeat if necessary. The mixture must be used after mixing and will not work if it is stored for any length of time. DO NOT STORE IN A CLOSED CONTAINER - it releases oxygen gas so it could break the container. This mixture may bleach the pet's hair. I have heard of one black Labrador retriever that was chocolate colored after this treatment. (Paul Krebaum's Recipe from Chemical & E ngineering News , October 18, 1993, p. 90).

Some additional tips. Do this outside so the volatile skunk spray does not contaminate your house. To remove residual skunk odor from your clothes and any towels or rags used in this clean up procedure, wash them with one cup of liquid laundry bleach per gallon of water.

For buildings, decks, etc., a solution of liquid laundry (Chlorox®) bleach (1 cup per gallon) will work. CAUTION - THIS MAY BLEACH THE BUILDINGS, DECKS, ETC. Try it on a small area if bleaching may be a problem. The bleach must come in contact with the spot where the secretion was sprayed Repeated applications may be necessary for large amounts of the skunk spray. DO NOT USE THIS ON PETS. It will not work for skunk spray that has drifted over a large area or is trapped in a house. Only time and adequate ventilation will help in this case.

Why tomato juice is believed to eliminate skunk odor. Bathing an animal in tomato juice seems to work because at high doses of skunk spray the human nose quits smelling the odor (olfactory fatigue). When this happens, the odor of tomato juice can easily be detected. A person suffering olfactory fatigue to skunk spray will swear that the skunk odor is gone and was neutralized by the tomato juice. Another person coming on the scene at this point will readily confirm that the skunk spray has not been neutralized by the tomato juice.

 

Skunks Are easily provoked once they sense they are in danger they will aim there rear end at you and prepare to spray. In a lot of cases the skunks do not spray, only threaten enemies. Skunks are native to the Americas and are noted in historical accounts of Christopher Columbus . Skunks were reportedly kept as pets by some Native American nations. Skunks are very curious by nature: they go exploring. Baby skunks can get lost and hurt very easily.

Skunks are the primary carrier of rabies in California. Approximately 65 percent of the skunks checked for rabies tested positive for the disease during the past 5 years. Skunks are usually nocturnal, coming out well after dark. Skunks are very susceptible to this viral disease and are capable of transmitting it to other mammals through direct contact such as biting. Symptoms of rabies develop more slowly in skunks than other mammals and symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months after infection.

Skunks are burrowing animals that choose to make their dens under porches, decks, sheds, in wood or rock piles and are capable of digging a den a foot underground. They are nocturnal omnivores, feeding on plants, insects, small mammals, bird eggs and fallen fruits. Skunks are omnivores, meaning that they can eat almost anything to survive. Food sources for skunks in our area are plentiful, but with the rapid development of our area the skunks' habitat is becoming scarce. Skunks are omnivores, eating both plant and other animals (often eggs and insects). As far as plant matter they enjoy berries, roots, and grasses.

Skunks are solitary animals. They come together only during breeding season and during winter when several may be found denning together. Skunks are also common carriers of rabies. Skunks are predators and can decimate ground-nesting wild bird populations and local populations of endangered species of small mammals.

Skunks are primarily nocturnal. They are active at night. Skunks are very common in our rural and urban areas. Both the striped and spotted skunk are characterized by their "black and whiteness", bushy tail and pungent odor when threatened. Skunks are primarily nocturnal mammals, preferring to hunt at night for grubs, insects, small rodents, carrion, fruit, berries, unripened corn, mushrooms and other food items. In urban areas, they feed on pet food, garbage, fruit that has fallen from trees, and garden vegetables.

Skunks are beautiful-misunderstood animals and I really enjoy being able to help take care of the little ones until they are old enough to be released back into the wild where they belong. They are an important part of our environment and most wildlife rehabilitators will not take in baby skunks since they already have their hands full with other wildlife. Skunks are known for digging small holes in peoples yards as they hunt for them. Luckily, beneficial nematodes also love to eat grubs, and are easily deployed in your lawn and garden to eliminate this attractant. Skunks are habitat generalists. They are found along habitat edges near a source of water.

Skunks are well-known for their defensive tactic - when threatened, they will arch their back, lift the tail, and discharge a highly odiferous liquid from special glands near the anus. This sulphurous compound is not only offensive to the nose, but it can cause temporary blindness in an attacker. Skunks are super affectionate. You can hold and cuddle your pet skunk twenty four hours a day and it sill won't be enough. Skunks are not classified as game animals or furbearing animals (WAC 232-12-007 ). People can trap or shoot skunks on their own property when the animals are causing damage to crops or domestic animals (RCW 77.36.030 ).

Skunks are actually more beneficial than harmful because they eat many harmful garden insect pests. It is estimated that up to 70 percent of their diet consists of insects that are considered by humans to be harmful. Skunks are capable of spraying a noxious, foul-smelling, irritating liquid with great accuracy at whomever or whatever startled them. The liquid is potent enough that even bears are repelled by it. Skunks are perhaps most well known for their defense strategy. When confronted, striped skunks will face the threat, arch and elevate their tail, erect the tail hairs, chatter their teeth, and stomp the ground with their front feet.

Skunks are small rodent-like animals, which have a distinct black and white body. They are infamous for their bad smell, which is the result of a spray they eject from behind their tail. Skunks are not wary of cage traps, so concealment of the trap is unneeded. Near den entrances, along trails, inside of and under buildings used by skunks are good places to set cage traps. Skunks are not true hibernators. They venture out of their dens for short distances when temperatures are near the freezing mark and snow conditions are favorable.

Skunks are animals that must find food or starve and they?re not going to walk away from a meal because of an unpleasant odor. They?ll simply walk past it or suffer it. Skunks are efficient diggers and readily will dig under an improperly installed fence in a matter of minutes. Another option that often is as effective as burying a fence is to erect a single strand of electric fencing, or a "hot wire," at the base of a conventional fence, approximately 3 to 4 inches above the ground. Skunks are reluctant to use their smelly weapon, as they carry just enough of the chemical for five or six uses?about 15 cc?and require some ten days to produce another supply. Their bold black and white coloring, however, serves to make the skunk's appearance memorable.

Skunks are sometimes called polecats. Skunks are well known for defending themselves with the strong musky odor secreted by scent glands at the base of the tail. Their white stripes are easy to see in the dark and are a skunk’s first warning sign for animals to stay away. Skunks are mammals, members of the order, Carnivora. Up until 1995 they were thought to belong to the Mustelidae family, but thanks to genetic research carried out by Jerry Dragoo and L.

Skunks are omnivorous, meaning they eat both animal and vegetable substances. They may be attracted by insects commonly found in lawns, fruit trees, gardens, or wherever food scraps are kept. Skunks are really quite attractive little creatures about the size of a house cat. They average between 18 and 30 inches in length from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. Skunks are highly social and many skunks will often live together. They conserve body heat during the winter months sleeping together.

Skunks are not commonly kept as pets in most areas, but in areas where they are allowed they are becoming popular and trendy. Obviously the main concern is smell, but skunks can be descented and when tame are not likely to spray anyhow. Skunks are rodent predators who often follow mice and rats into these areas. Close openings are decks, sheds, stairs, and hot tubs. Skunks are poor climbers. If the window well is less than two feet in depth, angle a piece of wood to serve as a plank.

Skunks are very sensitive to light as they are nocturnal animals. Hence, using a motion sensor flood light can frighten the animal and in turn prevent them from entering the premises. Skunks are well-known for the way they defend themselves. They have a special gland in their butts that sprays a foul-smelling liquid. Skunks are nocturnal animals, so their eyes are very sensitive to light. You can add in some motion detecting lights on your property to scare them off.

Skunks are true omnivores they will eat almost anything. Skunks like to dig under decks, porches, sheds and foundations this is why skunk control and skunk removal should be performed to prevent possible structural damage. Skunks are insect and rodent eaters and are more benign than harmful. What is harmful is the symptoms of their work. Skunks aren't fans of bright lights. Maybe you can get a bright motion sensor.

Skunks are on the move and dog pens or food areas in the yard or pens are an excellent stop-over to refresh. When not breeding, the skunk is a solitary creature that holes up during the winters for extended periods of time. Skunks are not a nuisance. They eat insects and mice, and that's very beneficial to creatures.

Skunks are habitat generalists. They are found along habitat edges near a source of water. Skunks are mostly known for their horrible smell. But did you know that smell comes from a gland and that normally you will not smell them until they are provoked and they spray you? Skunks are known for carrying rabies. Around central Ohio distemper has effected many areas.

Skunks are legendary for their powerful predator-deterrent?a hard-to-remove, horrible-smelling spray. A skunk's spray is an oily liquid produced by glands under its large tail. Skunks are solitary animals. They come together only during breeding season and during winter when several may be found denning together. Skunks are also common carriers of rabies.

Skunks are nocturnal, preferring to hunt at night for insects, small rodents, carrion, poultry, eggs, nestling birds, fruit, pet food, and garbage. Because they are active at night, many people never see the animals, even in areas with a large skunk population. Skunks are omnivores, meaning that they can eat almost anything to survive. Food sources for skunks in our area are plentiful, but with the rapid development of our area the skunks' habitat is becoming scarce. Skunks are primarily nocturnal. They are active at night.

Skunks are very savage breeders. They are induced ovulators and the females have to be "beaten up" by the males before they are ready to breed. Skunks are furbearers, and this classification provides them with legal protection except during the hunting and trapping season. Skunk activity rarely causes serious economic loss; rather, their scent creates a nuisance around occupied buildings. Skunks are burrowing animals that choose to make their dens under porches, decks, sheds, in wood or rock piles and are capable of digging a den a foot underground. They are nocturnal omnivores, feeding on plants, insects, small mammals, bird eggs and fallen fruits.

Skunks are about the size of a large domestic cat. They are easily identified by their jet black coat with white stripes that run from the top of their head down their back. Skunks are the primary carrier of rabies in California. Approximately 65 percent of the skunks checked for rabies tested positive for the disease during the past 5 years. Skunks are primarily nocturnal mammals, preferring to hunt at night for grubs, insects, small rodents, carrion, fruit, berries, unripened corn, mushrooms and other food items. In urban areas, they feed on pet food, garbage, fruit that has fallen from trees, and garden vegetables.

Skunks are creatures of opportunity. They go where the feasts are readily available and easy to access with no problem. Skunks are well-known for their defensive tactic - when threatened, they will arch their back, lift the tail, and discharge a highly odiferous liquid from special glands near the anus. This sulphurous compound is not only offensive to the nose, but it can cause temporary blindness in an attacker. Skunks are actually more beneficial than harmful because they eat many harmful garden insect pests. It is estimated that up to 70 percent of their diet consists of insects that are considered by humans to be harmful.

Skunks are very common in our rural and urban areas. Both the striped and spotted skunk are characterized by their "black and whiteness", bushy tail and pungent odor when threatened. Skunks are not wary of cage traps, so concealment of the trap is unneeded. Near den entrances, along trails, inside of and under buildings used by skunks are good places to set cage traps. Skunks are not true hibernators. They venture out of their dens for short distances when temperatures are near the freezing mark and snow conditions are favorable.

Skunks are animals that must find food or starve and they?re not going to walk away from a meal because of an unpleasant odor. They?ll simply walk past it or suffer it. Skunks are efficient diggers and readily will dig under an improperly installed fence in a matter of minutes. Another option that often is as effective as burying a fence is to erect a single strand of electric fencing, or a "hot wire," at the base of a conventional fence, approximately 3 to 4 inches above the ground. Skunks are super affectionate. You can hold and cuddle your pet skunk twenty four hours a day and it sill won't be enough.

Skunks are reluctant to use their smelly weapon, as they carry just enough of the chemical for five or six uses?about 15 cc?and require some ten days to produce another supply. Their bold black and white coloring, however, serves to make the skunk's appearance memorable. Skunks are capable of spraying a noxious, foul-smelling, irritating liquid with great accuracy at whomever or whatever startled them. The liquid is potent enough that even bears are repelled by it. Skunks are small mammals in the family Mephitidae. There are 11 species, but only the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is commonly kept as a pet.

Skunks are known to be very confident animals. They are slow and deliberate, and always on the defense. Skunks are rodent predators who often follow mice and rats into these areas. Close openings are decks, sheds, stairs, and hot tubs. Skunks are small, furred mammals belonging to a family of animals known as Mustelidae. This family includes badgers, ferrets, fishers, martens, minks, otters, weasels and wolverines.

Skunks are nocturnal and search for food during the night and evening hours. Fido's leftover dinner is a welcome mat to hungry skunks in search of a meal. Skunks are usually active at night. Skunks are omnivorous, meaning they eat both animal and vegetable substances. Skunks are not commonly kept as pets in most areas, but in areas where they are allowed they are becoming popular and trendy. Obviously the main concern is smell, but skunks can be descented and when tame are not likely to spray anyhow.

Skunks are well-known for the way they defend themselves. They have a special gland in their butts that sprays a foul-smelling liquid. Skunks are really quite attractive little creatures about the size of a house cat. They average between 18 and 30 inches in length from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. Skunks are omnivores, eating both plant and other animals (often eggs and insects). As far as plant matter they enjoy berries, roots, and grasses.

Skunks are highly social and many skunks will often live together. They conserve body heat during the winter months sleeping together. Skunks are usually nocturnal, and will den up in the winter months. Skunks will come out of their dens in the winter months especially during breeding season. Skunks are poor climbers. If the window well is less than two feet in depth, angle a piece of wood to serve as a plank.

Skunks are very sensitive to light as they are nocturnal animals. Hence, using a motion sensor flood light can frighten the animal and in turn prevent them from entering the premises. Skunks are insect and rodent eaters and are more benign than harmful. What is harmful is the symptoms of their work. Skunks are nocturnal animals, so their eyes are very sensitive to light. You can add in some motion detecting lights on your property to scare them off.

Skunks are equipped with about 15 cc (about one tablespoon) of highly concentrated scent, in the form of oil, in their anal glands. Scientists have studied the skunk?s potent weapon?one of the most powerful smells in nature?in order to unravel the mystery of why it smells so very, very bad. Skunks are native to the Americas and are noted in historical accounts of Christopher Columbus . Skunks were reportedly kept as pets by some Native American nations. Skunks are nocturnal and omnivorous; it eats both meat and plants. Over half of its year around diet is insects and grubs, mice and other rodents fill in one-fourth of the diet, and vegetable matter one-tenth.

Skunks are on the move and dog pens or food areas in the yard or pens are an excellent stop-over to refresh. When not breeding, the skunk is a solitary creature that holes up during the winters for extended periods of time. Skunks are never found far from a source of water, and can swim reasonably well should they feel the need or are forced too. Skunks are solitary animals when not breeding, but may gather together to keep warm in communal dens in the coldest part of their range. During the day they shelter in burrows that they dig with their powerful front claws, or in other man-made or natural hollows as the opportunity arises.

Skunks are not a nuisance. They eat insects and mice, and that's very beneficial to creatures.

Musk produced by spotted skunks is more pungent than that of striped skunks. However, they are less likely to spray, and will climb a fence post or a tree when threatened. Muskrats make runways in the water and through vegetation for easier travel and can stay submerged for up to fifteen minutes. They eat the roots, shoots, stems, and rhizomes of cattails.

Striped skunks are most often found in agricultural fields, pastures, woodlots, and associated fence rows, brushy edges, and rocky outcroppings. They also take advantage of food and denning sites provided by people, and are commonly found in urban and suburban areas where they are usually considered a nuisance. Striped skunks are the most common. Skunks are part of the weasel family. Striped skunks typically have litters of 4 to 6 young born between May and June. The young stay with the female until fall, when they begin to disperse in search of their own territories and winter den sites.

Striped Skunk: There is variation in patterning among the skunks, but the striped usually has a black back with a white stripe along its sides. The tail is black with a white tip. Striped skunks are the size of a house cat, and can weigh up to 8 pounds, although most striped skunks in Arizona are 2-4 pounds. In the southern part of the state, they are active year-round, but they may hibernate for a month or more during the coldest parts of the year in the higher elevations of the northern part of Arizona. Striped skunks live in burrows, under buildings or in almost any dry place. The kits are weaned in 6 or 7 weeks and breed the following year.

Striped skunk track in dusty soil. The shorter claw marks indicate this is the hind track. Striped Skunks, when distressed or provoked, will twist their body into a U-shape prior to spraying, so that both its head and tail face the invasion. Hooded Skunks also turn their tail to the enemy and make short backward scoots as they spray.

Pet skunks are among the more exotic mammals kept for pets, but they in fact make very loving, devoted, and playful additions to the family. Most people who are curious about pet skunks are naturally interested in the odor issue, as skunks are infamous for smelling very strong. Pet skunks are descented when they are very young. At the beginning, a pet skunk might raise its tail, but as time goes on, the behavior tends to stop.

Females average less than a pound; males are about a pound and a half. This skunk is also faster and more agile than its larger cousins. Females will hibernate during the winter in the same den with other females. There is usually only one male that hibernates with the group of females. Females are larger than males.

Tomato juice apparently only makes you or your pet smell like skunked tomato juice. Tomato juice neutralizes mercaptan, and will help to remove the smell of skunk from clothes, hair, or dog fur.