Skunks are one of the safest animals to find at your place. They neither destroy your garden nor dig through your plant beds like through a tunnel. However, you won’t be able to do without confronting them as the smell and the likelihood of madness will tip the scales. How do you safely get rid of such neighbors? What should you do if the skunks are found under your house? The entomologists claim that the best way to deal with the situation is to use the skunk traps.
Table of contents:
- Risk Involved or Why Skunks Are Unwanted Guests?
- Skunks Facts: Behavior And Habits
- Skunk Removal As Per the Scientists
- Skunk Prevention Methods: Piece of Cake!
- How to Catch the Skunks? Choose The 2 Best Skunk Traps For The Backyard Or House
A skunk is neither a carnivore nor the most dangerous pest. In spite of that, the species are surrounded with a bunch of legends. A whole number of urban legends including absolutely delirious ones where the skunk pack attacks and kills humans can be found online. In reality, there are only two matters to mind when it comes to the skunks.
Skunks are vectors of rabies, viruses and parasites. Just like in case of other pests, this is potentially dangerous for pets and home owners. Histoplasmosis and other unpleasant diseases are, frankly speaking, not desirable, so always bear this in mind.
The skunks feed on plants and fruits. Their standard diet includes insects, worms, small vertebrates, and they also will not disregard juicy fruit from your garden. Also, do not leave any cans (even closed ones) or even plates of food unattended. The ideal elimination strategy is in the deprivation of the skunks of meal. Remove all possible food sources, and the animal will immediately leave you in search of a better life and accessible food.
Let’s now turn to the popular myths and some peculiarities of these animals to have a better understanding of their behavior and to hedge against any risks effectively.
- The skunks do not exude their foul-smelling spray constantly. The skunk musk is contained in a special protective gland, which sprays it in case of an emergency. Continuous spray attack is simply pointless as exuding the discharge is a complex body process. Getting rid of this odor can be quite difficult. Learn more about this in our "How to get rid of skunk smell?” article.
- Skunks are never the first ones to attack. Before spraying its protective musk, a skunk will attempt to flee, but if the danger is inevitable it will warningly wave its tail. That is why if you try to catch it with your bare hands (which is highly not recommended), you’d better flee after you see these gestures.
- Skunks aren’t the most dangerous pests, so we won’t resort to murder. Yes, being by them is not pleasant, but nevertheless they won’t lead to the same catastrophic consequences a moles’ attack would. So don't resort to full measures and let go of your shotgun. Humane treatment is the best, and we’ll cover it below.
- The skunks are attracted by food and shelter. Don’t be surprised to find a skunk settled under the patio and feeding on the berries from your garden.
- Skunks have poor eyesight and excellent hearing and sense of smell. Because of their vision, they often are the victims of road accidents. The other two senses let them escape many dangers. That is why you’ll only be able to catch a skunk if you set up a trap properly.
How to Get Rid Of Skunks in the Yard & Under the House
Home skunk removal issue is an ambiguous one as often people who lack relevant knowledge about these animals, treat them in a cruel and aggressive manner. The skunks shouldn’t necessarily be exterminated! The University of California scientists disapprove of violence and consider humane non-killing traps to be the most appropriate skunk control method: «Skunks can be caught with an enclosed cage-type, live-catch trap. Plastic box traps are superior to wire traps because they are completely enclosed, thus reducing the risk of getting sprayed while removing the trapped animal from the site.»
What should be done after you have caught a skunk? There are two options: a radical one (euthanasia) or a humane one (to move the trap as far away from home as possible and to set the animal free out in the wild). It’s up to you to choose what to do. For those who are willing to take radical measures, the scientists recommend to bear in the mind the criminal law: «Once the trap has been completely covered with the blanket, the trap can be relocated to a carbon dioxide gas chamber for euthanasia. If in a remote area, shooting can also be used to euthanize the trapped skunk. However, skunks usually spray when shot, so shooting may not be the best approach”. They also draw your attention to the fact that drowning the skunks is unacceptable and illegal!
Often it is poison that is considered to be the fastest and most effective way of pest control. In case of skunks though poisoning is legally banned and there are no officially registered skunk poisons. That is why trapping remains the only satisfactory skunk control way. Here’s some trivia: the scientists warn the homeowners who have first encountered skunk of certain risks. They recommend consulting professionals, because they believe that the experienced wildlife control operators have fewer chances of being sprayed.
Still, you wouldn’t argue that professional skunk control may be premium-priced, so below we’ll tell you about some affordable prevention methods and skunk control products which will prove to be useful in skunk removal even for the least experienced homeowners.
Traps, repellents and pest control services could be avoided if you figure out why the skunks have all of the sudden become interested in your house in time. Having taken into account the skill of the experienced pest control specialists we’ll come to a conclusion that is the food that attracts the skunks (this makes them similar to raccoons). Do you happen to often leave the meat leftovers over night in your garden after a BBQ? Or maybe you store canned food on the patio? Or, perhaps, it is the leftovers of your dog’s food that are to blame? All of that is subject to a skunk feast on your site especially if the number of plants in the woods nearby has been reduced for some reason or another.
If you don’t dispose of any fruit trees or other food, the skunks won’t be attracted by your place. Being neat and clean is a key to the animals’ preference of other houses. However, if the issue has already become substantial and the unwelcome guests won’t leave you alone, it’s time to use such an effective control method as trapping.
The best way to catch a skunk is to use a trap that complies with all the safety rules for both animals and humans. We’ve picked two best traps for catching the skunks outdoors and under the house among several dozen available on Amazon.com. The first one is a universal metal live catch trap which is large enough and simple to install. After a skunk sees the bait inside the device, it won’t be able to resist. The second one is an original sealed tube trap which is compact enough to be located under a patio. Both of them are humane, legal, approved for use by the experts and won’t cause any harm to the animal. We are against skunk killing and recommend you to avoid euthanasia and set the animals free in the woods instead.
A Large Universal Outdoor Skunk Trap OxGord Live Animal Trap 24" X 7" X 7" Catch Release Humane Rodent Cage for Rabbits, Stray Cat, Squirrel, Raccoon, Mole, Gopher, Opossum, Skunk & Chipmunks
This is the most popular, versatile and familiar to most gardeners trap for catching raccoons, gophers, squirrels and rabbits cage-trap. What are some of the advantages of this ~$24.95 item? You don’t need to dig any trenches any longer or spend time setting it up properly. You only have to install the trap in a quiet location and leave an open can or other bait. The effect will be seen soon as the skunks will be trapped quickly.
The only drawback of this trap is that it is open and that means you’ll have to resort to additional means of protection during skunk transportation. The cage is completely transparent which will drive the animal nuts and perhaps it will try to attack you with its stinky spray. So the first thing to do after catching is to cover the trap with an old thick blanket, so that the light rays do not penetrate it. Then give the small animal some time to calm down before exiling it from your site. And do not forget to wear thick protective gloves just in case.
Price:~$24.95 Check the current price
A Compact Under-the-House Tube Skunk Trap Spray - proof Skunk Trap
If a skunk has dug a tunnel under the patio, installing a large cage trap may be difficult. For that reason special tube traps to isolate the skunk completely and to indemnify you against its spray have been designed. The price charged for such traps is a bit more up-market that that for the regular live-catch traps, but many homeowners choose tube traps to ensure their own safety.
The spray- proof Skunk Trap for ~$56.37 is the most popular skunk tube trap. Its design is extremely practical because the small size of the artificial burrow won’t scare skunks and you won’t have to dig a special hole under the house to install it. To trap a pest it will be sufficient to place something delicious (preferably, meat or berries) in the far end of the trap, set it inside the tunnel and wait for the animal to be trapped. After that you can remove the tube and set the animal free. Don’t worry about its health as the trap is isolated and no irritating sunlight will penetrate it. The tube is sealed and the degree of the animal’s nervousness is less than it could have been.
Price: from ~$56.37 Check the current price
To facilitate comparison and choice, consult a comparative table we’ve made as usual.
|Photo||Model||Humane Trap Type||Trap Size||Price|
|OxGord Live Animal Trap 24х7х7||An open live catch cage trap||24" X 7" X 7"|
|Spray-proof Skunk Trap||A sealed tube trap||23 1/2 x 8"|
As you can see, catching a skunk is quite possible! Those of you who don’t want to encounter these animals at all, might like another control method, namely repelling.
Find the best products in our review of the best skunk repellents.