Skunks can be a major nuisance on your suburban property. These pests are relatively harmless beyond the stink, since they usually avoid people and they eat many nuisance insects and rodents. Yet, it is unlikely that you want one setting up their home nearby.
1. Cover Window Wells
Skunks tend to walk right up against building walls when they roam a property. If you have basement window wells, it is not uncommon for a skunk to fall in and become trapped. They may even spray if they are afraid, which means the stench will seep into your home. If you spot a skunk in the well, call a professional for immediate removal. You can also avoid all of this by having grates installed over your window wells so a skunk can't fall in.
2. Patch Low Openings
The same building-hugging tendency that leads to window well issue also helps skunks find places to hide in or under your house. Cover up any openings low on walls, such as entrances to crawlspaces or beneath decks and entry stairs. Outbuildings, like sheds, should be inspected regularly for loose boards or openings around their bases. You don't want to be surprised by a skunk under your house or in your potting shed.
3. Remove Yard Debris
Yard debris can also attract skunks. Rotting logs and stumps, for example, can provide den opportunities for the mammals. Skunks may also be drawn to debris piles, unkempt gardens, or stacks of dead leaves. Rake up debris in the yard regularly and remove dead wood when possible. If you store firewood, make sure there are no openings low on the stacks that a skunk could try to nose their way into.
4. Minimize Food Sources
Skunks mainly come into the yard for one of two reasons -- shelter or food. If you make sure there are no openings or debris for shelter, then chances are they are coming around for food. Lawn grubs are a major attractant for skunks. They will root in the grass to find them. Treating for grubs can solve the problem. They also feed on other insects, as well as small mammals like mice and moles. Sometimes controlling the skunks will also mean eradicating the food source.
5. Trap With Care
If you do end up with skunks, trapping is the best removal option. Your removal specialist will first determine whether there are any young on site. If so, the mama will need to be trapped and then the young will need to be moved. If there are no young, the removal specialist will wait until evening. They will then close up the area where the skunk hides during the day. Sometimes blocking access will solve the problem. If the skunk returns, trapping and removal becomes necessary.
Contact a wildlife removal service for more help.