Ontario is home to a variety of wildlife, including the skunk. Skunks are known for their black and white striped fur and potent odour. While they may seem cute and harmless, skunks can cause damage to yards and structures, as well as pose a risk to humans and pets. In this article, we'll explore the signs of a skunk problem, how they damage yards, and what you can do to prevent and resolve the issue.
Identifying a Skunk Problem
The first sign of a skunk problem is often the smell. Skunks release a strong, pungent odour when they feel threatened, which can linger for days and can be smelt over a kilometre away! If you notice a persistent skunk smell in your yard or around your home, it's likely that you have a skunk problem. Additionally, skunks may leave behind tracks and droppings in your yard or garden.
Damage to Yards and Structures
Skunks can cause damage to yards and structures in a number of ways. They are known for digging holes in lawns and gardens in search of food, such as grubs and insects. This can leave unsightly holes and damage to landscaping. Skunks may also burrow under decks, porches, and sheds, which can weaken the structures and pose a safety risk.
Skunks are also known to raid garbage cans and compost piles in search of food. This can create a mess and attract other wildlife to your property. Additionally, skunks may damage outdoor furniture and other items in your yard.
Appearance and Size
The Skunk is most known for its offensive odour. A skunk's spray can be smelt over a kilometre away. Skunks are about the size of a cat with oily black fur with a white stripe down the back. Skunks weigh about 3.25 Kilograms and are about 75 centimetres in length. Despite their odorous smell, skunks are helpful to the environment by controlling the mice and grub population. Skunks use their long nails to dig for grubs, often destroying lawns in the process. Skunks live an average of three years in the wild.Skunks can be viewed as a nuisance when they den under decks or porches. Skunks breed between February and March and typically have two to four baby skunks around May. The babies leave the den for the first time around seven weeks of age, and within a few weeks, the baby skunks are weaned.
Illegal to Trap and Remove Skunks
In Ontario, it is illegal to trap and remove skunks from their location without a permit. This is because skunks can carry rabies and other diseases and may pose a risk to humans and pets. Additionally, trapping and relocating skunks can be dangerous for both the skunk and the person attempting to trap it.
Baby Skunks and Baby Season
Skunks breed in the winter and give birth in the spring. Baby skunks, also known as kits, are born blind and hairless and require a lot of care from their mother. If you suspect that there are baby skunks on your property, it's important to exercise caution and avoid disturbing them. Separating a mother skunk from her babies can be dangerous and stressful for both the skunk and her offspring.
Preventing Skunk Problems
The best way to prevent skunk problems is to make your property less attractive to skunks. This includes:
Keeping garbage cans securely closed and using animal-proof containers
Cleaning up any spilled food or birdseed
Removing any potential food sources, such as fallen fruit or pet food
Sealing up any holes or gaps in your home or structures to prevent skunks from burrowing underneath
Installing motion-activated lights and sprinklers to deter skunks from entering your property
Fencing off your yard and garden to keep skunks out
It's important to note that sealing up holes or gaps in your home or structures should be done with caution. If there are skunks already living underneath, sealing up the entrance could trap them inside and cause them to die, and in a strong odour that could last for months.
If you're dealing with skunk encounters on your property, in Hamilton you're not alone. We understand that dogs getting sprayed by skunks is a common occurrence in our area due to the abundance of skunks. As a wildlife control service, we know firsthand the challenges of dealing with skunk odours and helping pet owners clean their furry friends. However, encountering a skunk on your property could also indicate that there is a skunk den nearby. If you suspect skunks have taken up residence on your property, we're here to help. At Integrity Wildlife Control, we offer guaranteed removal of skunks and other wildlife, along with a lifetime warranty against re-entry. Give us a call at 289-272-9453. Our team of experts can safely and effectively remove skunks from your property, ensuring the well-being of your pets and your home.