Skunks are non-aggressive animals that are famous for their unique way of self-defense. Their smell is easily recognizable and if you happen to feel it often, then there might be a skunk living around your home. Today we are going to find out more about where do skunks live, how to identify a skunk den and how to get rid of it.
How to Find a Skunk Den
Where Do Skunks Live?
Before starting to look around for an animal den, you should know that skunks love to stay in the abandoned holes left behind by some other burrowing pests. They can also choose to make a den for their baby skunks under porches, decks or sheds.
The dens are used by adult skunks when they give birth to the babies in spring. During winter, they also build these homes to avoid the cold weather. A den can shelter as many as 20 individuals, and they can use wood piles, rock heaps or any other crawl spaces found under people’s homes.
Here you can see what the home of this animal looks like and how do they behave:
How to Locate a Skunk Den
If you’ve seen skunks quite often around your home, they might have made a den near that area. Here you have a couple of steps to follow if you want to locate the animal den:
- Place a strong-smelling food in the area where you’ve seen the skunk. It can be peanut butter, for instance, or any other type of food that smells good and might attract them.
- Spread some flour around the food. The skunk will come to get the food and will leave flour tracks all the way back to the den.
- Put on some protective clothing, as well as goggles, and follow the tracks to the den. Remember that a skunk can spray even if it’s 10 feet away, so try to keep the distance.
- Now you should see if the skunks are still there in the hole. For this purpose, fill the den with newspapers.
- Come back in 24 hours and see if the paper was removed by the animals.
- If they are still there, now is the time to think what can you do to free your home from skunks.
Alternatively, if you already have an excavated area which you suspect might belong to skunks, there is another option. Fill in a part of the hole with some loose dirt. Check back in a couple of days and if the hole was reopened and the dirt is now gone, most likely there are skunks around. A solution to this is to seal or fence the area completely so that they can’t make a den again.
How to Get Rid of a Skunk Den
Now that you know for sure there is a skunk den under your home or next to it, you should ask yourself how to get rid of it.
Solution #1: Call for specialized help
The simplest solution is to ask for help from a trained wildlife specialist. It’s not advisable to try and capture any wild animals if you don’t have a proper training. Besides the danger of the noxious spray they can produce, it is known that they can carry rabies or other parasites, which is not safe for you. After the specialist removes the skunks, make sure they won’t come back.
To this purpose, fill the den where they used to live with rags that were soaked in ammonia. Then, seal the animal hole off with the help of dirt and rocks. In this way, you will prevent other skunks from inhabiting it in the future.
Solution #2: Use a humane harassment method
The reason why mother skunks prefer to make a den is that it’s a quiet and dark place. They consider it safe both for them and their babies. Following that logic, if the place is not safe, quiet and dark anymore, they will leave together with the babies. Remember that the following harassment techniques need to be placed close to the den entrance. In this way, the mother skunk will run into them every time she goes in and out.
- Smell – Get some apple cider vinegar or ammonia and soak a couple of rags in them. Place them in a plastic bag and poke various holes into the bag. This will let the smell get out. Hang the bag right next to the den entrance. Alternatively, use some dirty kitty litter instead of the rags. The smell of urine will make the skunk feel unsafe in the area.
- Light – Take a bright source of light and place it next to the entrance. Make sure it doesn’t run the risk of catching fire. Skunks hate bright lights, especially in their homes.
- Sound – Use a talk station connected to a radio and put it at the entrance. Music will not damage the skunks, but human voices sound like a threat to them, so be careful.
Keep the solution you choose for 3 days and nights. After you do this to the skunk den, use the newspaper test to see if they are still there.
What NOT to Do
- Live Trapping – If you think that trapping and relocating the skunk is the humane solution, you might want to think twice. The skunks that are relocated have fewer chances of survival when they move. A relocated mother skunk will leave the babies behind, which become orphans. Even if she takes them with her, most likely she will abandon them on a new territory.
- Install One-Way Doors – This is a good solution between September and December. During this time, there is a small chance for baby skunks to be in there. Between April and September, these doors can leave a mother skunk and the babies trapped inside. In winter, a skunk that is left outside cannot dig a new den. As such, make sure that the babies are mobile and can follow their mother.
Skunks are not dangerous animals if you know how to deal with them. Follow the steps above to identify and locate a skunk den. If you’re not sure, it’s always better to call a specialized company to help you out. Alternatively, you can also use one of the safe methods described above to convince them to leave on their own.
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