There are five species of skunk in the United States. This includes the eastern and western striped, the hog nosed, the hooded and the spotted. Every state has at least one type; every state has some kind of a skunk problem. This article will detail some of the most common skunk problems we have in our country and then offer solutions on how to resolve these problems.
The skunk we have in our country all can have at least one and some cases two litters a year. These litters can have at least two young or as many as ten. Skunk are nocturnal and will forage for food along established routes they know. Skunk don’t fear many animals; their scent glands can eject up to 10 feet and if provoked, they will spray!
Skunk, like porcupine, seem to be a common problem for dogs. One would think a dog would learn to avoid both porcupine and skunk, but most don’t. Instead, they seem to find every one which comes onto their property. (Personally, I believe dogs like the smell of skunk. Read on to learn how to get rid of that nasty skunk smell when pets get sprayed).
WHAT DO SKUNKS EAT?
Skunk eat just about everything including grubs, insects, plants, vegetables, fruit, frogs, small fish, garbage and just about anything you leave out in your yard which is organic. For this reason they can become a regular visitor leading to damage and smells most people don’t want or like.
WHERE DO SKUNKS LIKE TO LIVE?
Once they find good food on your property, skunk like to take up residence and “move in”. It is common to have them move under trailers, mobile homes, sheds, porches, slabs or piles of wood. They’re also fond of moving into crawl spaces, sheds and pretty much any kind of structure man might build.
Spotted skunk are good climbers; they will readily move into attics or openings of any home which will provide shelter. Because of the behaviors listed above, skunk can be a nuisance. When foraging for food in your yard, they will kill grass and plants. Garbage bags and cans will be turned over and strewn all around in search of food. Skunk will readily eat from gardens, fruit trees and storage bins. They will nest under homes creating smells that can be strong enough to force the residents to leave.
Pet food which is kept outside will draw every skunk in the neighborhood and once they start coming around, it is only a matter of time before your pet is sprayed. Each one of these problems can be dealt with and resolved. In some cases repellents will work; in extreme cases trapping may be your only option. Once removed, the odor can be eliminated with our special skunk odor eliminator. Let’s take a look at these options.
BEST SKUNK REPELLENT FOR THE YARD
As stated above, Skunks are nocturnal foraging at night. If you find turf uprooted and thrown around the yard, it could be a skunk. Other animals that may do this include armadillo, raccoon and opossum. All of these animals (and others too) love grubs. In fact they love grubs so much, they’ll go to great extent to dig them up. So if you a skunk digging up your yard, one of the best ways to get it to move on is to treat the grub problem. Using the products we have listed in our GRUB CONTROL article, you will kill them in a few days. This in turn will cause the skunk to move on as they will only target yards with live active grubs.
Taking away the grubs will help but once any animal knows they can find food in a yard, they tend to return. And though skunks might only be foraging at night, they still smell and can cause a property to stink. So if you have a skunk foraging around your property and want to keep him away, the use of a repellent can help. We have not found a granular or liquid spray that actually works well on skunk so we do not recommend any. But we do have two mechanical devices which work great.
Trapping is also a good option. Live traps are an easy way to catch skunk and we even have a few kill traps.
SKUNK REPELLING SOUND DEVICE
If you are not quite sure where the skunks are coming from or moving to, you’ll need a repeller that will cover a large area. Our SOUND REPELLER is ideally suited for the job.
This device sends out ultra sound by default when activated. You can run the machine continously so the sound will be heard from 100 feet away or more. This alone will usually keep skunks away.
It can also be powered by 4 “C” cell batteries. Using it this way will limit the activation to “motion detector” so it will only go off when skunks get within 35 feet.
This unit can also be set to only go off at night or day so you have full control of when its most needed.
Other features include a flashing light as well as an audible sound. It also comes with a remote control on/off wireless key. This way you can turn it off for a short while if you want to walk the pet or take a walk in the protected zone.
When used via the motion detector, having the audible sound go off makes the unit more powerful so set it high as possible. It can go up to 100 DB but 20-40 is plenty loud to keep skunks away.
Skunks aren’t afraid of many things. But they don’t like the sound this device releases so this is an effective deterrent. Each machine can cover up to 5,000 sq/ft so it has a big range.
For easy installation, MOUNTING BLOCKS are handy. They can accept 1 or 2 repellers (picture to the right) and have a 1/2″ hole on their bottom so they will easily fit over a 1/2″ piece of rebar or any other wood or plastic stake. Ultra Sound Repellers will work fine by themselves as long as you have a good place to set them up. But we highly recommend getting the Units with Mounting Blocks in the kits we offer. Mounting Blocks allow you to place units anywhere and they will save time too.
We also feature several accessories for our sound repeller including POWER CORD EXTENDERS (33 FEET AND 66 FEET), CIGARETTE LIGHTER POWER ADAPTER, ALLIGATOR CLIP POWER CORD and AC POWER SUPPLY REPLACEMENTS.
TRAP OUT PERSISTENT SKUNK FOR A PERMANENT FIX
If you have a persistent skunk, your best control may be to trap it out. This can be done with live cages, leghold or kill traps. Skunk can be caught in any of these devices as they’re not too wary since they don’t have many natural predators. And they’re bold so they do fall victim to most any set. This means you don’t have to be a professional to get results.
BEST LIVE TRAP FOR SKUNK
Active skunks in the yard are easy to trap. You just have to decide if you want to live catch them or use a kill trap.
Live traps may seem more humane but remember, you will have to deal with an angry skunk in a cage which can be “messy”. To help manage this process, we have a SOLID PLASTIC SKUNK TRAP. Made with super tough durable plastic, this trap will keep the animal secure and safe so its less likely to release scent.
BEST SKUNK BAIT
If you have them digging in the yard and suspect they are looking for grubs, use GRUB BAIT. for your trap set. Place 1 tablespoon all the way in the back, behind the trip pan, but be sure to smear some at the entry door. This will get any foraging skunks attention and once they get a lick of the bait, they’ll readily enter.
Place traps in the yard where they’re digging or along entry paths they’re using to come to your yard. Once trapped, you may be able to destroy the animal yourself or you could choose to relocate it. Keep in mind skunk can carry rabies so don’t handle it. If it is relocated, be sure to take it at least 15 miles away as skunk don’t mind walking 5-10 miles to get back home.
KILL TRAPS FOR SKUNK
If you prefer to use a kill trap, the Bodygrip is the way to go. For skunk, a BG 220, BG 280 or BG 330 can all handle the job. These traps work by crushing the target animal when they attempt to pass through the jaws of the trap. Death is generally fast, within a few seconds, and efficient.
Skunk will generally be small enough to fit into the BG220 which measures 7″ by 7″ when set. But if you are placing the trap over a large hole, a larger size might be easier to employ. This way you don’t have to worry about sealing up gaps outside the trap jaws.
Place a trap over a den hole, a hole in a fence or an entrance under a deck or crawl space. When matched right, the trap will encircle most of the hole and any skunk trying to pass will trigger the trap.
Use as many traps as you have holes to cover. The BG220 is 7″ x 7″ and the most common used.
The BG280 is 8.5″ x 8.5″ so slightly bigger. The springs are tougher to collapse too.
Lastly, the BG330 measures 10″ x 10″ and should only be used if you absolutely need a trap this big.
So strong are the springs of these traps that they will crush target animals to death in a matter of seconds. Be careful where they’re used and for most, its suggested that you use BODYGRIP SETTERS when making a set. Setters will give you much needed leverage to compress the springs.
Bodygrip traps can be set over dens and known walkways. Skunk will generally walk right through them assuming
BODYGRIP TRAP STANDS can also be a big help. They will allow you to set the trap at ground level in front of den holes or other narrow gaps they use when walking. The trap mounts to the top and the rebar stake (the entire bottom of the mount) goes into the ground. They measure 18″ long so when driven into the ground, they’ll provide a stable way to secure the trap in place.
And there is no need to worry about the smell of skunk getting on the traps; this actually works to your advantage. Traps which have skunk scent on them tend to be ignored and since the smell is so strong, it makes the trap stealthy.
SKUNK ODOR CONTROL
Once the skunk is removed, there could be a lingering odor you’ll want to remove. Skunk odor is super persistent and won’t go away on its own. But it can be neutralized. And you can get rid of it in the house or in the yard.
The secret is N-7C. This odor eliminating concentrate is easy to use and is amazing. Basically it deconstructs odor molecules. Once taken apart, the odor is gone. It works immediately and in most cases, will neutralize the smell in an hour or two.
N-7C can be sprayed anywhere so use it where needed. Attics, crawl spaces, under decks – even on grass and bushes.
Add 8 oz per gallon of water and spray the mixture over 500-800 sq/ft.
Use a good PUMP SPRAYER to distribute the mixture.
For large areas or if you can’t reach all parts of the space you need to treat, get a fogging machine. We have several that can do the job well. The MINI FOGGER will blow the fog 10-20 feet. It holds 32 oz of mixed product and is good for treating small spaces where you don’t want to go.
If you need more power, go with our very own BUGSPRAY FOGGER. This machine features a 1 gallon tank and will blow the mixture 25-30+ feet out. It will apply a full gallon in about 5-7 minutes so you can treat attics, crawl spaces and even the yard in no time.
PET SHAMPOO TO REMOVE SKUNK SMELL
If your dog or cat gets skunked or if you need to deskunk your clothing, go with D-DKUNK SHAMPOO. This product is not a coverup or masking agent. Like the N-7C, it will targets the skunk scent odor molecules and unlocks them from clothing, hair and skin. Once loose, the acidic based spray will be rinsed away and the odor gone.
Use 8 oz for dogs 40-50 lbs so the pint will be enough to give them two thorough shampoos. Results will be immediate though two applications can sometime be needed.
Skunk are very much a problem throughout the United States. Their feeding habits can wreak havoc in yards, gardens or garbage. Treat turf with Delta Guard Granules and Cyfluthrin to reduce insect food supplies which will force the skunk to look elsewhere for food. Apply Repellent where they are active to keep them from nesting under porches and other areas where there are spaces available. Use Ropel Liquid on plants or garbage to stop them from chewing and eating. Add the Skunk Guard to get maximum protection from being sprayed. Once local skunk are removed, use NC7 to eliminate odors left behind and Pet Shampoo to eliminate the odor on pets which have been sprayed.
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. On Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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