Skunks are mustelids that adapt just as well in wooded areas as in a house. They tend to settle in the garage, the attic, the garden and even in the air vents. The most notable clue to their presence is musk, a strong, unpleasant odor released when the animal feels threatened. This is not only unbearable, but also difficult to eliminate. It is important to take the necessary measures to keep skunks away in order to avoid this inconvenience and the consequences linked to the presence of these animals.
How to identify a skunk?
A skunk is a mammal belonging to the mustelidae family. It is easy to identify thanks to its distinctive appearance and the particular smell it gives off when it senses danger. This animal of 50 to 80 cm in length weighs up to 5 kg in adulthood. On his black fur is a white stripe at the level of the back.
A skunk has a round head, white mark on the face, short legs and sharp claws. She uses these to tear, dig and scratch wood, plastic or earth. Buildings, forest and meadows are habitats conducive to its development.
How to detect the presence of skunks?
A skunk’s characteristic scent is one of the most reliable signs of its presence. This does not necessarily mean that the animal is on your property. Indeed, the musk can be smelled several meters from the place of watering. Conical-shaped holes 6-10 cm in diameter and about 4 cm deep are common signs of a skunk infestation.
These holes dug in a garden or lawn serve as a channel to find grubs, eggs, or even insects to eat. You can also find skunk droppings that are 5 to 8 cm long. They may contain hard-to-digest food scraps, including seeds.
Skunks raid garbage cans and bins to search for food. You’re probably harboring the pests if you see shredded trash bags or overturned containers. They also leave footprints in their path. You will see small paw marks associated with claws.
What is the reaction to adopt in front of a skunk?
It is important to stay calm and distance yourself if you are in front of a skunk. Like most animals, this one will not be aggressive if it is not frightened. He’ll just quietly step aside in front of a potential enemy. Avoid sudden movements as much as possible.
It is advisable to walk away slowly and avoid talking. You can, for example, reverse slowly. Be careful not to touch the animal or trap it, to avoid making it aggressive. He emits a kind of hiss when he is nervous. This reaction is continued by tapping the ground with its upper paws.
The animal rounds its back, so as to form a U when it is angry or enraged. He can then release a jet of up to 3 meters, in this position. The released substance contains the famous nauseous musk. Attention, it is possible that the skunk suffers from rabies, if it adopts this behavior. Care should be taken and the incident should be reported to the competent authorities.
What are the problems related to the presence of these mustelids?
The skunk is a docile and harmless animal, but it can cause various problems. First there is the nauseating smell of its musk which is both strong and difficult to eliminate. This animal can also carry rabies, a fairly common disease in parts of Canada.
This disease can be transmitted to both humans and pets. These pests are little appreciated because of the damage they cause. They knock over and damage compost bins to look for food. They dig holes in the garden to establish a shelter. It is not uncommon for skunks to cause road accidents.
What are the solutions to expel skunks?
You can take various precautions to prevent skunks from invading your property. It is particularly possible to use repellent solutions, such as cayenne pepper, white vinegar or even essential oils. Admittedly, this method allows you to keep the pests away, but it takes time to be effective. It is also possible to build barriers at the level of the passage areas to prevent these animals from entering your home. If you’ve ever been invaded, that’s another story.
Indeed, the capture, transport and extermination of skunks require a permit, without which the procedure would be illegal. For the operation to take place in the best conditions, it is best to call on a professional to manage these pests. At Solution Cimex, we can take care of this kind of situation.
Our technicians are assessing the magnitude of the situation to determine the best methods to repel these wild animals and ensure that they do not return.