Notorious for the pungent, unpleasant odor they emit when threatened, skunks are one of the most common nuisance wildlife species. Skunks are beneficial to our environment, consuming several pest species like mice, rats, grubs, and yellow jackets as part of their daily diet, but their living habits can cause serious problems for home and business owners.
Skunks are nocturnal animals, conducting most of their activity at night, and prefer to live in confined, sheltered spaces. They are often found denning under stoops, porches, and decks. While they rarely breach the interior of a building, preferring to dig out burrows beneath structures, they can still be a detriment to architectural durability and property value. Burrowing activity can damage buildings, creating cracks in concrete porches, stoops, and sidewalks. Skunks also ruin landscaping, digging up lawns and gardens in search of grubs.
Addressing a Skunk Problem
Skunks are a non-aggressive species, though they will spray a noxious liquid from the glands located beneath their tails when alarmed. They are able to accurately aim this spray in a trajectory of up to 20 feet, and though the smell is not permanent, it may take some time to dissipate, and any affected porous materials may require professional cleaning. Ventilating the areas in question is the best method for removing skunk odor from your home or business.
While it is extremely unlikely a skunk will attack, they are known carriers of rabies, and it is possible to contract the disease from their bite. Should you encounter a skunk on your property, the best course of action is to avoid contact and call a nuisance wildlife expert. Animal control specialists are trained and licensed to manage skunk problems and will partner with you in creating a comprehensive plan to identify potential den areas, remove the offending animal from your property, and reduce the likelihood of future infiltration.
Skunks are a natural part of the world around us, though discovering an active den near your living space can be concerning. If you smell a skunk, notice burrowing beneath structures on the property, or see evidence of digging in your lawn, contact a wildlife removal professional immediately.
Image courtesy of Greg Schechter via Creative Commons license on Flickr.