Can Native Animal Rescue send someone to remove the skunk under my house?
I have a skunk living underneath my house. How can I get it to leave?
During nesting season (springtime) patience is a virtue. You can rest assured that once the young are big enough to be out and about, the birth den will have served its purpose. The denning and nesting season is short. Wait a few weeks until the family has vacated the premises and you’ll prevent orphaning the young.
If the skunk doesn’t show signs of leaving, the best thing to do is to convince it to leave by using mild repellants. We recommend the following combination of repellants to make the den inhospitable.
- place rags soaked in cider vinegar in an open container and place the container underneath your house or deck where the skunk is coming and going
- place a drop light or flashlight near the opening of the den
- place a blaring radio during nighttime hours near the den
The skunk will usually move out on the first or second night. To find out if the skunk has left the den, sprinkle flour in front of the opening and look for tracks in the morning. Or stuff wadded up newspaper into the opening of the den. If you newspaper is undisturbed, the skunk has probably moved out.
After you’ve determined that all of the skunks – mother and babies – have moved out, you can prevent the situation from happening again by making repairs.
I have skunks in my yard. How can I get them to leave?
- Eliminate all food sources such as pet foods, birdseed, rotting fruit on the ground, etc.
- If your pets must be fed outside, remove all food at night.
- Use heavy trash containers and fasten the lids securely with bungee cords or rope.
- Keep BBQ grills clean or stored in a secure place.
- Light the area with motion detector lights.
There is a litter of baby skunks in my yard during the day. What should I do?
A skunk is trapped in a window well or a hole. How do I help it get out?
- Prepare a rough board to serve as a ramp. You may need to attach a heavy piece of cloth or an old towel so the skunk can get a good grip.
- The ramp should be no steeper than a 45-degree angle. Skunks are poor climbers.
- Try to stay out of sight of the skunk as you lower the board into the window well or hole.
- Keep people and pets away from the area until nightfall when the skunk should leave.
Can I trap and relocate a skunk that’s in my yard or under my house/deck/garage?
Following are reasons that this is not an effective way of dealing with wildlife.
- It doesn’t solve the problem. As long as the attractant remains (food, shelter or water) other animals will move in. Removing the source of what is attracting an animal to your yard is a far more efficient way to discourage wildlife in your yard.
- Trapping and relocating wildlife creates orphans. You may be removing a mother animal that has helpless babies relying on her return to the den.
- A trapped wild animal may injure itself trying to get out of the trap. Teeth, claws and limbs are often broken or injured in an animal’s effort to escape a trap.
- Animals moved to another location do not know where the food and water sources are which can result in starvation and death.
- The territorial disputes can result in serious injuries and death when a relocated wild animal is placed in the territory of another.
- You may inadvertently spread disease by relocating a sick animal to a healthy population.
- If you remove an animal out of its territory you have opened up a territory for another to move in. The food and nesting habitat once used by the trapped animal are now available to other animals. If trapping and relocating the animals creates too many voids, pregnancy rates and the number of young born per litter will increase in order to fill the voids and take advantage of the available resources. This ultimately results in a population increase.
I’ve caught a skunk in a “have-a-heart” trap. Can Native Animal Rescue come and pick it up?
- You must release the skunk as soon as possible and as close to where the trap was placed.
- If the trap is not covered, hold up a towel or sheet and slowly move towards the trap to avoid getting sprayed by the skunk.
- When you are close to the trap, gently place the towel/sheet over the trap so the skunk cannot see out and feels safe.
- Move the trap to a place on your property that has cover, i.e. bushes or any dark place that allows the skunk to hide.
- Standing behind the trap with the door facing away from you and towards cover, open the trap.
- Prop the door open so when you move away, the door will remain open for the skunk to walk out.
- If you are setting traps to remove wildlife from your yard, please review NAR’s article “Trapping and relocating isn’t the best solution.”
- If you are setting traps to catch a feral cat, make sure the traps are not set during the night when you may inadvertently capture a skunk.