Skunks frequently take up residence near or even under people’s homes. That is often exactly as upsetting and inconvenient as it sounds. Skunks are most likely to spray when they’re startled or they’re defending their homes. Those two scenarios are most likely to happen when the skunk lives near you.
The best way to deal with skunks is… to ensure you don’t have to deal with them. If you can make your home unattractive or inaccessible to skunks, they’ll pick different a different place to live (and stink up). Here’s how you can do that. These are Varment Guard’s six best tips for keeping skunks away from your home.
Screen off low shelters
Skunks prefer to construct their simple burrows beneath existing structures. Around homes, they dig under porches, decks, stairs, sheds, and mobile home entrances very frequently. These areas provide them with existing overhead cover that helps them feel secure.
Use chicken-wire or wire mesh fencing to restrict skunk access to these locations. Make sure you dig the mesh several inches under the structure to keep skunks from simply digging beneath it. If skunks can’t find sturdy cover to dig beneath, they’re far less likely to dig their burrows near you.
Like many pest animals, skunks feel more comfortable approaching messy properties. They’ll use brush, shrubs, fallen branches, and other clutter as cover to make their approach. The more hidden they feel, the easier it’ll be for them to move toward you.
Try to keep your lawn as clear and open as possible, even during the winter time. Pick up fallen branches, twigs, garbage, or leaves. The idea is to make skunks feel exposed as they move across your lawn. The less you can give them to hide behind, the better.
Clear a perimeter
Skunks move around homes by sneaking through bushes and shrubbery. The closer these plants are to your home, the better a “path” they provide for navigating around your property. Often, skunks choose a place to burrow because there’s helpful cover near it. They’re very attracted to porches that are flanked by tall ornamental shrubs, for instance.
Keep any ornamental plants near your home neatly trimmed back and away from the home. Try to prevent any branches or leaves from physically touching the structure itself if possible. Ideally, you should keep two inches or more away from the house. Keeping a clear perimeter around your home will make your yard far less appealing to skunks. It’ll help deter other pests, too!
Skunks are opportunistic foragers, meaning they’re not exactly picky eaters. When a skunk forages, they’re looking for any food material they can access easily. Often, that means garbage cans. Skunks will climb inside or knock over garbage cans to get at any food material left inside.
There are several ways to secure your garbage from skunks. First, keep all garbage in airtight, sealed plastic bags. Rinse out food and beverage containers before you throw them out. Finally, secure the lid of your cans or dumpsters themselves when you’re not using them. If skunks can’t get at your garbage, they won’t be able to find food around your home nearly as easily.
Control turf pests
Skunks’ favorite food by far are subterranean grubs that feed on root systems. Skunks will dig into turf or even roll it away to get at these grubs, damaging your lawn in the process. Grubs are especially prevalent in the early to mid spring, and they attract skunks like nothing else. Skunks will also dig to eat earthworms and roots.
The best way to prevent grubs is to practice diligent lawn maintenance. Keeping your lawn healthy and strong will help prevent grubs from feeding on. You could also use pesticides or nematodes to eliminate the grubs and disincentivize them from coming back. If you can drive out grubs, you’ll be driving out a skunk’s favorite food source.
Remove food sources
Grubs may be a skunk’s favorite food source, but they’re far from a skunk’s only food source. The truth is, skunks will eat just about anything they can get their snouts on. The easier it is to find and eat, the better. This goes double for anything pre-packaged and ready to snack on, like pet food or birdseed.
Try to identify any possible food sources that may be strewn around your yard. Look for bird seed, fallen fruits, leaves, and twigs, pet food, seeds, nuts, berries, and more. Clean up this stuff as much as possible whenever it falls. The less food you give skunks, the less they’ll want to live near your home.
If you end up with a skunk living on or near your property, you shouldn’t panic. You really shouldn’t try to approach or remove it yourself. Instead, you should follow proper skunk safety procedure to get yourself out of the situation before it gets… stinky.
Once you’re a safe distance away from your skunk, give Varment Guard a call. Our experts can effectively and humanely remove the skunk from your property. We’ll also help you make sure it doesn’t come back. If you have a skunk problem, give us a call today! We promise our service won’t… stink! ...Ok, we won’t do that again when we come help. We promise that, too.