Getting Rid of the Skunks in Your Yard

  • Added:
    Nov 14, 2012
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    1480
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Mice and rats may induce a squeal, a shriek or a shudder. Spiders might cause you to jump and the threat of termites eating away at your house will have you calling for help. But there are few pests that can cause a sheer panic more than the way the cute but odorous skunk commands with its mere presence.

Having skunks in your yard will send most people running and for good reason. A skunks spray can reach up to 15 feet. This powerful defense mechanism is a highly evolved weapon. It can even ward off a bear. The stench is notoriously hard to remove and can last for several days. The smell can cause nausea, vomiting, irritation of the skin and even temporary blindness. Even the relatively unskilled human nose can detect a skunk’s spray for up to a mile downwind.

For all the power in the spray, skunks are usually reluctant to use it. They carry about 5 to 6 sprays worth at any given time. Once this supply is exhausted, it will take about 10 days for the skunk to produce another load. This leaves the animal defenseless and vulnerable. They will bite as well as spray if necessary. Their bite is as worrisome as their stink. Skunks, like other pests, can carry rabies.

If a skunk decides to move in under your deck or in your foundation, it can be hard to evict. They will reuse a den from year to year. Females tend to den in groups that may grow as large as a dozen animals. Here are a few tips on making sure you aren’t forced to share your home with them.

Cut off the food sources.

Skunks are omnivores. They eat just about anything they can reach. This includes bugs and grubs, garbage, pet food and nearly anything else at or near ground level. If they don’t have an easy food source nearby, they will be less likely to stick around.

- Keep a tight lid on your trash cans to prevent foraging.

- Don’t leave pet food out overnight.

- Clean up under birdfeeders.

- Use environmentally sound pest control measures to cut down on lawn insects like grubs.

Bar their entry.

Barrier methods are effective on skunks and many other mammalian pests. Block off any access to the foundation and under porches and decks. The skunk is a great digger so be sure that the barrier is sunk fairly deep in the ground. He can slip through a hole as small as 4 inches in diameter so it should fit tightly. On the plus side, he is a lousy climber so it won’t need to be very high.

Call in a pro.

If you do find that a skunk has adopted your home, don’t hesitate to call a skunk exterminator. He may be able to trap and relocate your smelly inhabitant without setting off his most powerful weapon.

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Article Source: Hopper


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